Tuesday, August 30, 2016

3 Smart Expenses You Can Avoid

Looking at your spending plan, it’s fairly easy to anticipate the regular monthly expenses, and with a bit of planning, the gift occasions, school activities and annual fees.  What is frequently not anticipated are the expenses that others try to include without our pre-approval.  They offer, and we accept the opportunity to spend our precious money.

Awareness is the key to this conversation, and please understand the choice placed before you is optional.  You can start to realize that commitment or acceptance of others’ expectations can “force” you into an expense you didn’t even realize you wanted! 

Here are some examples that I have experienced in my own family’s finances:

  •       When our family plan had an available phone upgrade, they went to our teenage son for a few years as he wore them out quickly.  Now, when the upgrade becomes available, there’s the anticipation of using the latest technology.  As soon as we had a chance, we upgraded my husband from a flip phone to the newest iPhone.  He primarily uses it to make calls.  Should we have waited a little longer, or selected a less expensive phone?  It is not a mandatory upgrade. We had a choice.

  • Our kids, or we as parents, want to experience every sport, musical instrument, and community organization available.  Youth build lifelong skills and friends through activities.  Each pursuit has fees, equipment, travel and various expenses to contribute.  We will spend all afternoon and weekends driving them all over the place to participate.  Parents end up with no free time, and a lot less money.  Who says it has to be this way?  Set a limit on time and money for activities, which is VERY important with blended families who need to ensure all guardians are on board with the plan and able to give money and time.       
  • Can you politely decline a destination wedding, family reunion of 3rd cousins, or a weekend in Vegas with friends you don’t really enjoy anymore?  If you truly don’t want to go, save the money and precious time and say no.  Tell them you didn’t budget for it, you don’t have that much time, or whatever honest answer you can give.  Other people’s desires and priorities do not need to be forced onto you.  Feel comfortable telling the truth, and not participating out of guilt or responsibility.  You really have the power to make your own choices.

Wouldn’t it feel delightful to have more control of your cherished time and money?  Could you remove the culpability of not doing the things above, and replace it with the empowerment of making smart choices?  This is my goal at MoneyWise Advisors, to encourage you to take action and power to control your finances, and start achieving your goals and dreams.  Your personal finance strategy becomes the tool to increase your earning power.  What choices do you have in front of you today?