Pay Check Already Spent? Dollar Sense Up Ahead!

2-20-2015 1-25-59 PMTight budgets. Utilities Costs, groceries…the list goes on and on. Finding ways for our dollars to stretch is getting more difficult every day. Many of us just don’t seem to be able to do it. The closer you get to the end of the month, the tougher it is to see yourself getting to the next payday. It’s a struggle, and especially during the winter months. I am thankful for the lower gas prices we have right now. It has been a big help to many families, including ours. Although it looks like the prices are starting to rise a little, it is still great to be able to pull up to the pump and spend less than $40.00.

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We are now working more hours than we ever have, our incomes have increased, but as Americans we save less and less. So really why is it so hard to save money? Two of the biggest reasons we as adults have such a hard time saving are because we don’t know how and we don’t know why. Numerous adults have never really been taught how to save and develop specific goals for savings. We have money, and then what do we do? We spend it! We have all heard the phrase “saving for a rainy day.” Defining what a rainy day means is just as important as saving for the rainy day. It is time for us all to become educated on true financial wealth. It starts with us taking the time to evaluate where we are and really take a serious look at our finances, or the lack thereof.
Recently my husband and I decided to take some time to evaluate our (my) spending habits. Yes, it was hard because when you like to shop as I do, you really don’t pay attention to how much you have spent. I just enjoy the items purchased until my husband is balancing the checkbook. Well I must admit, it has been a real awakening for me these last few months to truly stop and think about what it is I am purchasing, how much I am spending, and truly why do I need it? It has started with me making better decisions about the money we actually earn and what are the goals for its usage. My “Dollar Sense” has increased a little, and I am working on it so I will be able to save for the goals we as a family have for defined future purchases. I still like to shop and will continue to, but the key is with more purpose and definition.

Here a few tips to increase our Dollar Sense:

1. Mindless consumption always turns into excessive consumption.
2. Don’t get caught up in copying other people. You are not that person! Be You!
3. Stop, think and see the big picture. Income, mortgage, car payment, and your personal spending habits.
4. Realize your trigger points. Stay away from the sales racks, clearance items, and sales papers.
5. Purchases always have a hidden cost. Henry David Thoreau said it best, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
6. Just because you have the money to buy something doesn’t mean you should always buy it.

Until Next Time, Be sincere, Kind and Intentional
Jackie Warner, Career Development Facilitator
The Bridge “Where Community Matters”
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