The current world we live in is full of instant gratification. You want to buy a song? Download it in seconds from your iPhone. You’re hungry? Stop in at McDonalds and you can satisfy your hunger in less than 5 minutes. You really want that sports car but don’t have the money? No problem, you can have the car now as long as you make the payments over the next 6 years.
If you are striving to become more financially wise, I suspect that you are making an effort to eliminate your debts and are beginning to pay cash for almost everything. This is a great step to take, but it’s most certainly not the last.
Some individuals begin to see their bank accounts grow and become very excited! Suddenly they have $1,200 in an account that has never before seen a comma! They immediately pat themselves on the back because they have become disciplined in their spending and now have some savings.
My wife and I are in this position. We are still paying off debts, but we are building up our savings at the same time in the event of an emergency.
Currently, we have one television; it has a 15″ screen. Needless to say, watching a movie isn’t all that entertaining anymore. Most of my friends have a screen that’s at least 50″, and it definitely has me thinking about an upgrade. I’ve been talking to my wife about a new TV, and she’s actually been talking about a Playstation 3. We agreed that we should rid ourselves of debt before we splurge on these non-necessities, but guess what happened last weekend? Best Buy had a sale – A brand new Sony 46″ television AND a new Playstation 3 for only $1,200 (Save over $1,300!!). My wife knew I really wanted it, and actually said she’d be alright with me getting it. I mean, we had the money in the bank. We would pay cash for it, why not get it?
After I calmed myself down and began to think logically again, I decided not to get the package deal. It’s really a matter of opportunity costs (yes, we’re taking a trip back to Economics 101). If we would have spent $1,200 on that TV and ps3, which means that we no longer had the opportunity to spend it elsewhere (like on our debts).
When your savings begin to grow, make sure to write down what the savings are for, since it may be delegated to many different areas of your budget. Perhaps a small portion is for a future haircut, another portion is for new furniture, and another chunk is for the unexpected car expense. Every dollar in that savings account should be accounted for, and unless you know exactly how it’s broken down, you will be inclined to spend it.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.