Where does the money go? Answer: holes in your spending plan or spending leaks.
A spending leak is an uncontrolled expenditure of resources. Spending leaks are caused by a variety of reasons, both personal and economic. Common examples of spending leaks are susceptibility to impulse purchases, routinely paying credit card interest, or using energy inefficiently. Whether small or large, leaks add up and reduce the chances of achieving your goals. Sometimes spending leaks are hidden or camouflaged. So they have to be discovered. Others are more apparent. Once discovered spending leaks must be fixed.
Fixing a spending leak may be quick or require a long term behavior change. All are repairable with varying degrees of difficulty. Here is one spending leak repair that is sustainable. It is a behavior change that eliminates a leak for a lifetime. Make a quality decision to Stop Paying Fees. A quality decision is one from which there is no retreat. Most people don’t make a lot of those in their lives. Nor should they. But you can on this one. Just set your jaw, head down, and just do it.
Fees are not interest. They are other charges for privileges or penalties you have accessed through your actions. If you don’t access them, you don’t pay. It may take a strategy and some time to sustainably eliminate all fees but it can be done.I have for decades.
Here are 5 fees to never pay again. When it comes to my money I see paying these fees as a self-inflicted wound. Those are the worse kind. I decided to stop hurting myself on purpose.
Most employees unnecessarily leave money on the table when it comes to their compensation by not maximizing their employer-provided benefits. According to the BLS, 30% of your compensation is benefits. Let’s look at some strategies to get the most out of your benefits for the rest of this year.
But first a rant about paid vacation days. I realize that 1 in 4 American workers don’t get any paid time off at all. The rest get paid vacation “yet only 51% of paid vacation days are used! More disturbingly (if not surprisingly), 61% of those who do take vacation are “working while on vacation.” Americans left 768 million days of paid time off unused last year, according to research released by the U.S. Travel Association. The study found that 55 percent of Americans did not use all of their paid vacation time.” Why would you do that? Seriously, ask yourself, “why would I do that?” What are the short/long term benefits of this behavior?
Here is what to do for the rest of this year. The best time to do this is around October 1. This will give you flexibility before that end of the year time crush everyone experiences. Also, it gives time for any changes in your withholding strategies to take effect and return the expected benefits. Of course, these strategies can be implemented anytime.
Many household budgets are still in recovery from '"back to school" spending. Some of us don't even want to hear anything about money right now, especially spending more of it. But now is the time to prepare for one of the biggest challenges to your family finances, the Holidays' spending.
The retail-commercial-complex is preparing to launch all-out massive assaults on our minds, money, and happiness. Buy,buy, buy.... "Resistance is futile. Assimilate or be destroyed."
Here are three things you can do.
BUY MEMORIES NOT THINGS.
It’s almost impossible not to spend money in the USA during holiday time because of the opportunities, the social approval and the messaging to do so are limitless. It now starts with Halloween in early October. Followed immediately by Christmas and its’ greedy spawns: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Doorbusters, after Christmas clearance sales, etc. It finally winds down in very early January. About 94 days of hyper-consumerism and conspicuous consumption run amok.
Americans spent $707.5 Billion during the holidays in 2018. You are not immune. Since you are going to buy something anyway, buy something that lasts. Most people remember experiences longer than things. Is the preponderance of your fondest memories experiences or things? Special experiences with friends and family will be treasured by both the Giftee and the Gifter. Remember experiences don’t just have to be good to be memorable.
HAVE A PLAN BEFORE THE SEASON BEGINS.
Don’t go into this financially hazardous season unprepared. Have plan. Decide how much you will spend for the holidays. People spend money during the holidays on food for celebrations, eating in and out, decorations, gasoline for holiday-related travel to events, errands, and visits.
These expenditures are over and above the normal monthly spending required. The average American family spent over $800 in 2018 on such items. Oh yeah, don’t forget the money for gifts.
It is important that you take control of your spending decisions. If you don’t, your spending decisions will control you. Holiday hangover debt is never fun and last longer than the one from that great New Year’s Eve party.
Now that you decided how much you are going to spend. The next step is to decide how you are going to spend it. Will you use only cash or will you borrow from credit cards? If you have to borrow for holiday spending, you need to make sure it is not financially self-defeating. You also can make additional income to cover your holiday spending plan.
6 Things To Consider When Planning Your Holiday Spending
STICK TO THE PLAN.
Now that you have a plan. Stick to it. Believe me, that is far, far easier said than done. Because of the aforementioned messaging and social approval, it is HARD NOT to impulsively spend money during this time of year. Try as you might, you just get worn down and succumb. Let’s face it, buying stuff feels good. That’s the part of consumer psychology that retailers and advertisers have mastered and prey on.
Start implementing your plan early. That could include researching planned holiday purchases or buying before the holiday rush. Perceived time constraints can add to the holiday stress of gift-giving and food preparation forcing bad spending decisions. Look for seasonal employment to cover additional expenses.
Here are 10 Tips For Cutting Your Holiday Spending.
In 2017 Equifax acknowledged a data breach that affected about 148,000,000 Americans of the 209,000,000 Americans 18 years and older. The data breach released Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as:
What you must do now since Equifax has set a deadline of October 15, 2019.