The Biggest Lie In Personal Finance Matters
I’m broke and I can’t afford to … (fill in the blank…save, add to my retirement, go on a vacation, and pay my bills). The truth of the matter is most people are only broke in the way that they spend money and the great news is that can be fixed. So stop complaining and let’s get started.
Take this daily challenge below for 7 days. Each day has different stresses and different issues that we respond to so until you know what you do you can’t change it.
Track everything that you do. First is the easiest because all you have to do is keep a daily diary of everything you spend whether it is cash, debit card, check or credit card. There is no right or wrong here just keep a diary.
Next take your monthly bill and break them down to what it cost you per day. Things like groceries, cable TV, Newspaper subscriptions, car payments and utilities.
The next is a little tougher. Go back over the last year and make a list of all the unexpected expenses that hit you. Things like tires that blew out, unexpected car repairs and health related issues.
After the week is up take you diary of daily expenses and put it on one list adding up the total for each item. Now look at each of those and think about how important they are to you. Look at how they affect your life. Not being preachy here but things like tobacco products and alcoholic product add to not only the cost of our health care but also to things like how much time we spend at the gym to work off those couple of beers we have a day.
Just think if you could eliminate just one of those items you spend $ 35 per week on that is merely an impulse item. This would save you $ 1820 a year and if you have been broke for 10 years then this is $ 18200 plus interest. Not bad for cutting out just one $ 5 per day item.
Now let’s look at those items that are monthly types of bills. Do you really watch al l those channels that you have on your TV. Could you lower the bill by $ 20 a month by eliminating some of them? What about your monthly electric bill. Could you move the thermostat just a few degrees and see a $ 20 a month savings? What about groceries? Most of us would not miss $ 20 per month out of the grocery basket.
If you can find 5 items that you can save $ 20 per month on then you have save $ 1200 per year. Or better yet $ 12000 in 10 years. Not a lot but if you are “broke” it is a great fix.
Now let’s look at unexpected cost. Most of these come from us not doing something that we should have done or not done. Granted some of them are just maintenance that we would have had. But if we take better care of our health we spend less on prescriptions and health care. If we take better care of our home we have few maintenance items that cost more than if we had taken care of them sooner. And if we had done the routine maintenance on our car a simple fix would have prevented major damage from happening.
Most people can find $ 1500 a year in unexpected costs that could have been eliminated if they had just….. Again not much but in 10 years it is $ 15000.
All of these are small things but if you had just…then you would have saved $ 45200 in the last 10 years plus interest that would have raised that to $ 59867. I know it sounds easy but it is hard to do. But isn’t it hard living your life “broke”?
Now is the time to “fix” your personal finances. Build a future with savings and a retirement plan.
To find out more about how to “fix” your personal finances and build a savings plan and a retirement plan see the resource box below.
Who is Mike Gordon?
Mike Gordon is a successful business owner and business coach with over 40 years of successful entrepreneurial experience under his belt. Mike can be found at his blog http://www.whoismikegordon.com Join Mike as he talks about strategies to get your personal finances in order. For more retirement planning tips and personal finances sign up for updates from http://www.whoismikegordon.com