This Article is About
money
money money money
monthly budget
big ticket items
life changes
thirties
debt reduction
creditors
car loan
credit rating
credit cards
It's All About Money
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It\'s All About Money

Money, money, money! Money is one of my favorite topics because it arises such passion in people. Everyone has an opinion about it – how to spend it, how to save it, how to get more of it! What about you? What does money mean to you? I want more of it, I enjoy spending it, and I want to save more of it.

Unless you’re very astute, when you’re in your twenties, or even your thirties, you don’t think much about money. When you're in your twenties you get a job, you get a few credit cards to start building your credit rating, you start doing a little bit of saving and you pretty much leave your finances alone until you want to buy big ticket items that you need a loan for, or until you undergo some of the major life changes such as getting married or having a family.

By now, you probably know what money means to you even if you don’t think about it aside from making sure you get your due salary and making sure that you pay your bills on time. But aside from your obligations to your creditors for loans – e.g. car loan, mortgage – what do you spend your money on? Do you have a monthly budget?

Quite honestly, even though I’ve always believed that budgeting is important, I was never able to find all those darn receipts when I needed them so that I could keep track of my spending! I found the solution to that a few years ago. I have a recipe box in my kitchen marked ‘receipts’. If I’ve spent money and I don’t want to record it right away, I simply drop the receipt into its place so that I can find it later when needed.

We can all find a way to keep track of things that are important to us, especially if we have something to lose if we aren’t being diligent. You can’t keep track of your income, expenses, and debt if you don’t develop a system for tracking each. You have to know how much is coming in and how much is going out each month and how you’re doing with your debt reduction. Budgeting and keeping track of expenses is a very simple yet crucial aspect of keeping track of your financial health.

Let’s talk now about what you spend your money on and how it makes you feel when you spend money. There is an emotional component to money. If you don’t think this is true think about the last time you bought something you wanted. Were you happy when it arrived in the mail or when you took the shopping bag from the salesperson in the store? Did you carry your shopping bag proudly for all to see and do you use your new golf clubs proudly and take extra special care of them?

With the purchase of non-essential items often comes a feeling of intense satisfaction and pride. This is the ‘high’ that comes from shopping that compulsive shoppers get addicted to. After all, you probably don’t have the same feeling as you pay for your groceries. Maybe you're not a compulsive shopper but it’s still quite likely that the emotional satisfaction you get from spending money propels you to always being in ‘need’ of something new. Maybe your present needs led you to purchase the latest equipment in your favorite electronic niche that costs $100+ dollars, or maybe you simply purchased another $20.00 fashion accessory. Whatever you bought, it’s another $20-$100+ dollars that you have to add to your expenses; it’s money that wasn’t spent on debt reduction nor added to your financial security.

It's important to be aware of emotional spending. If you frequently enjoy buying something new, it's important to be aware of what triggers your 'need' for something new. If you can recognize this need within yourself and learn to curb your appetite, you will learn how to spend money more wisely and this will amount to more savings in the long run.

I have found that one of the best ways to avoid emotional spending is to go on a spending diet. For example, I may decide not to spend any money at all five days in a row. Or, I may decide not to spend more than $10.00 this month on any single item no matter what it is. That should cover all grocery items and not leave much room for extra purchases, especially since I have to stay within my monthly budget. Spending diets are a good way to discipline your spending habits.

And finally, let’s talk about bank products and look at ways to save some money while still enjoying the conveniences of debit and credit cards. Today, many banks have products that help customers save money and it’s a good idea for you to learn about the products your bank has that can help you save small amounts of money that can quickly add up. My bank offers a simple saving program that transfers $1.50 into my savings account each time I use my debit card. I know that doesn’t sound like much but I have seen my savings add up quickly without my even thinking about it! After all, a 12 debit transaction month means $18 saved that month; over 12 months that’s $200.00 that I didn’t even have to think about saving!

Take some time to look into bank products and services that can benefit you. You can also check to make sure that your monthly account service fees are in line with the services you actually use and need. If you’re not using all the services and features of your account service plan, find out about reducing to a lower cost plan. With planning and diligence you can also avoid charges such as overdraft fees and extra charges for using ATM's outside of your bank’s approved network.

What about credit card fees? Are you paying fees for perks on your credit cards that you rarely or never actually use? If so, consider switching to a lower fee, or no-fee credit card. Many banks offer no-fee rebate credit cards that earn you anywhere from 1% to 20% in rebates. These are good programs because you get something back from your purchases; but remember to avoid making unnecessary purchases just for the sake of getting your annual credit card rebate. Rebates will have little value for you if you find yourself buying items you don’t really need just so that you can fill the rebate criteria.

If you feel you need to take better control of your finances, you can do so by making a few simple changes to the way you manage and track your saving, spending, and debt reduction. By putting away a little more each month you can feel good about moving in the right direction. Living well financially is all about the money you have, or don’t have. Take care of your money so that you have it when you need it to take care of yourself and your loved ones.


Street Talk

Kavinah  

Good advice. Needed now more than ever

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Vernon L  

Nice advice! Money to me is a relationship I've learned to respect.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Sixsa90  

Wow, that was nice

Reply
  about 4 years ago

I am pleased. Thank U.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Peggy2  

Hi Christine, I found your article perky and simple....something I need when reading about money. Its a great article. Congradulations on your first article. Peggy

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Pat Cook  

Great article. I think I read it when you first wrote it, but for some reason I didn't comment here. I sure do need to go on a spending diet, too. That's a good way to control that miscellaneous disappearance of money out of your wallet. Along with that I need to stop driving through the fast food lane, too. That would save me a lot! Pat

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Congrats on your first article ver well written. I was just wondering we're are the links o our website I would like to see it. Tommy

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for your comment, Tommy. Still building out my site. More to come.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Kymee  

Great article, I need to go on a spending diet...ugg! Thanks for the info ;O) God bless Kymee

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Ha, ha. Spending diets are fun. Enjoy the challenge. Thanks, Kymee. :)

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Wheres the link to your website? You left us hanging.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Hang on, Josh. More to come. :-)

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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