I can finally say, despite being in my mid-sixties, that after a lifetime of misuse and mistakes, I have learned how to spend my money wisely. It’s been decades since I have bounced a check, had insufficient or uncollected funds, have been overdrawn or incurred any bank fees. I’ve enjoyed and benefited now from free checking for more than twenty years. I pay ALL my bills on time and with never a late fee. In fact, these last few years I’ve been able to eliminate costly time payments from my auto/insurance/tax expenses by paying all these bills in full!
I’ve learned my lessons well.
I faithfully keep a daily running tab on my variable spending (food, gas, restaurants, maintenance & repairs, household) and when I see I am nearing my monthly limit, I stop spending. Plain and simple BUT it works. Every six months I re-calculate my spending average and adjust my written budget accordingly. I have finally learned how to say ‘no‘ to myself.
Better late than never.
Every January I receive my regular annual budget expenditure amounts. This year, these stationary expenses (electric, internet, insurance, medical, HOA fees, taxes etc.) have gone up on average, about 5%. My variable spending (food, gas, restaurants, maintenance & repairs, household) have gone up around 12%. Ouch! Our income, however, has not kept pace with these increases so that means either cuts need to be made to our spending or a less expensive alternative must be utilized in order to make our budget balance.
I don’t mind making cuts to our budget. It’s almost fun to find cheaper alternatives. It helps me prioritize what’s important to us. What do we keep? What do we eliminate? The answers are the path (for us) to successful financial management.
So, armed with all this experience and knowledge, I’m looking forward to 2018. I plan on saving more money by continuing to spend as wisely as I possibly can. Living on a fixed income is a challenge, but one that can be coordinated and managed successfully when you put your mind and effort to it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, READERS!
LIVE WELL AND PROSPER.