Spend Money or Save it – Daily Decisions

You are where you are today, because of the decisions you have made so far in your life.

Many people I know are losing daily financial battles and not saving enough money.

Every minute of the day we make decisions and while most are very small and inconsequential, but their combined effect may impact your life forever.

How much money to spend on the things you purchase or to purchase at all.

The forty something generation that I am very familiar with has confused “need vs. want”.

My frugal family experience:

With many spending decisions, my wife, Soni, and I are winning the battle of “need vs. want”.  One major key to my family’s financial success is that I married a frugal woman.  Soni’s frugal ways allow me to save the money we need to meet our goals as she manages the household expenses with the finite amount of money she has every month.  We do all of our saving with automatic monthly deposits (see where we invest this money in a previous blog) and do not use credit cards for anything then than travel.

  • My wife drives an 8 year old minivan with 119,000 miles and doesn’t complain about it
  • My wife shops at TJ Max & Marshall’s
  • I mow my own lawn (only house on our block that doesn’t have a lawn service)
  • My wife cooks our meals (I’m a very lucky guy) as we seldom eat out.
  • We brew our own coffee
  • My wife is a frugal grocery shopper. She seldom wastes money on junk food ( I have to beg for my favorite Chips Ahoy cookies)

 

 

Some Losing battles:

  • Travel baseball and soccer – we spend several thousand dollars per year on our kids to give them the opportunity to play travel sports
  • My son “needs” a new $300 baseball bat each season
  • My three kids love Dairy Queen Blizzard’s at $5 a piece ($15 total) when I can buy 2 gallons at Walgreen’s for $7 and feed three kids desert for a week.  I lose this battle half the time.

As I write this, I realize that the author of “The Millionaire Next Door” had it right when he said “The key to financial success is to marry a woman that is more frugal than you”.   Over the years I have met with many couples and one conclusion I can make is that when the woman is in charge of the family’s finances, overspending is seldom an issue.  Most of the time when women are not aware of the monthly cash flow, household spending is often dominated by spending on “wants” and credit cards get worn out from overuse.

When I am 65 years old and look back and wonder how our financial decisions affected us, what might am I likely to conclude?

According to my financial planning calculations the consequences of the many frugal decisions my wife and I have made will be:

  1. relatively stress free (financially) college years  if/when our kids go college (even when all three are in college at the same time)
  2. we should be financially independent by the time I turn 65.
  3. our estate plan on solid ground and our nest egg will be protected from potential long term health issues
  4. overall “financial peace of mind” is attainable, although not easily for someone that thinks about it quite often

Again, I thank my wife for being a great partner in our journey and allowing me to save such a large percentage of the money I made over the years.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

What path are you taking?  You will also get to that age and be a product of the spending and saving decisions you make between now and then.

Contact us if you would like to know the projected outcome of your current savings plan.

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About Brad Rosley

Brad Rosley, CFP®, is the founder and President of FFG which opened in Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1996. He has been a Certified Financial Planner since 1990 and helping individuals with their financial decisions for over 25 years. Ask Brad your financial and investment questions!

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