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Money, Money, Money!

How much money do you make? What do you spend it on? Does it make you feel secure? Does it make you happy?  If the answer to any of those questions are “I don’t know” then you have an issue.

How much money do I make?

That is usually pretty easy to answer if you are on a salary and it never changes.  Even if you work hourly and don’t get overtime you can pretty much figure out how much you make. There is a big difference in how much you make and how much you get. After taxes, insurance, and retirement are taken out  “how much you make” is very different.  My yearly salary looks really good. Reality is I bring home about half after taxes, insurance and retirement. Do you know how much you are really able to use for daily living? Do you have goals for your money?

What do I spend my money on?

I am married so I don’t get to make that decision all on my own.  How we decide on how much we spend on those things are based on needs and the market.  We have to have somewhere to live, transportation, food, and utilities. We decide how large a home, what location, and how much of a payment we are willing to have.  We decide what kind of transportation we need, how much it is going to cost monthly, and will it function for our needs.  Food and utilities are dependent on the weather, the season, our diet, and the market. This fluctuates month to month.

Others can be cussed and discussed.  Some of the things that we discuss is vacations, home improvements that will add comfort and value but don’t have to happen, and the non reoccurring expenses like running shoes.  These are things we “need” but can live without if we have to.

We have an allowance that is just ours for our stuff that isn’t shared. I use mine for pampering; hair, nails, pedicure, housekeeper, and lunch with my best friend. My husband uses his for shooting matches and anything needed for those.  Having an allowance helps us not fight over money.

Does your money make you feel secure?

Are you comfortable with the amount of money you make? Can you provide for yourself and your family? Are you able to save for emergencies and the future? Is your life comfortable? If the answer is no to any of these there is a solution to your problem.

Take a look at your employment. Do you qualify for a higher paying job that will give you the same satisfaction as the one you have?  Do you need more training or education to get that job? Do you need a side hustle?

Take a look at your expenses. What are you buying that you don’t need? What are you throwing your money away on that could help make your life more comfortable elsewhere?  Our biggest item that we throw money away on is eating out.  Fast food and inexpensive restaurants add up to large amounts of money if you are eating out multiple times a week. What is sucking up your expendable income? At the end of your month look at your bank and credit card statements. Print them out. Use different colored highlighters for different categories. Then total each category. There are also different programs out there that can automate this for you.  Make a decision of what is important to you to keep and what to do without.

Does your money make you happy?

Are you using your money for things that make you happy?  My “extra” money goes for experiences and fabric. My husband’s goes to shooting matches and the equipment needed.  Just to brag a little,  he made #1 of the Governor’s dozen this year.  What do you want your money to do for you?  Do you need a lot in the savings to make you feel happy and secure? Do you need to go on vacations? What about sending your kids to college or trade school?  Take a good look at what makes you happy and adjust your budget and intake to help you achieve that.

Money can cause and eliminate a lot of mental turmoil. It can control you or you can control it. You have to know what your values are on money and what your values in life are and then reconcile the two. There is always a solution to how money controls your life as long as your pay attention to what money is doing for and to you.

 

 

 

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