Is Your Time Valuable?

Each of one of us makes hundreds of decisions about our personal and financial life based on our daily and future needs. The concept of time value and opportunity cost are important if you know how valuable your time really is. The way conceptualize this idea is by taking my hourly $20/h and assigning a value of what I am doing and if its worth my time to do it. Essentially, I am checking if I am paying myself enough to do this activity.

Every decision has an effect on our personal and financial lifestyle and needs to be taken seriously. Think about it, every decision you make is a choice of not doing something else.

Financial & Personal Costs

We all should have remembered these concepts in our very first economics class. First financial costs are those directly affecting your money. Whereas, personal costs are types of activities that you do instead of another. All in all, it’s about trade-offs of every decision you make.

Everyone should be thinking about what they do financially every time they choose to spend, save, invest or borrow money. The time value of money is an important idea because it allows you see the cost of your decisions in a quantitative manner. Since interest rates are slowly beginning to rise, holding your funds in a savings account that pays you 0.02% or 1.5% has huge consequences.

Example 1: Let’s take you have $20,000 in the bank at 0.02% APY. You have earnt yourself $4.00 for holding your money in a savings account. 

Example 2: Let’s look at $20,000 in the bank at 1.5% APY. This is where it gets a little juicy you have earnt $300.00 

There are online banks that are offering these kinds of interest rates and even higher rates if you put them in a certificate of deposit (CD) locked in for a year or more! Allybank.com and marcus.com are offering these rates and it’s a no-brainer why I would stick my money in an online bank! PAY ME MORE and ill give you my business banks! [I don’t get any referral fees for saying that, just saying your stupid if you don’t do this]

Here’s the difference between financial opportunity and personal opportunity costs, I think about what certain activities will generate future sources of income or more income like earning a bachelors degree, learning a new skill, or cutting costs like cooking more at home. If I do something that benefits me in the future that has a direct benefit to my lifestyle and income I will TRADE the time to earn money to learn the skills and gain the knowledge to earn me more money in the future.

 

 

Born To Spend

Social Spending Addiction

One of the greatest disadvantages of living in a consumption-based country is that we lean towards living beyond our means. Social spending temptations is a real problem for all of us and can be incredibly difficult to overcome. We lack self-control when we are out with our friends, colleagues, or wants using our credit cards to borrow for our future funds we intend to receive and the interest we pay to on those credit cards, lines of credit will really dig a very big hole that will take a long time to get out of. These days we have a lot of companies competing for our wallet space in hopes that you use their cards to buy stuff we get very little value from but end up paying an arm and a leg for it.

It can be challenging at first to stop the habit of spending on frivolous things and people, but if you master this discipline of strategically reducing your expenses it can alter the course of your life. I had a friend who was drowning in about 60k worth of loans, credit cards, and student loan debt that was crushing him financially all with interest rates well above 20%. Although, none would be the wiser to know this about him because he was always going out, partying, enjoying life to its full potential. Finally, we got together to discuss his finances and most importantly his mindset of what he wanted to do in the next 5 years [he had maxed out his life].

For someone in his situation, opening a savings account wouldn’t be the best approach, so we tackled his biggest and most expensive obstacle which was his debt. We got 2 months of bank statements and all loans, credit cards statements and began computing what type social spender and find the areas opportunity to address. He was spending over $789.57 on restaurants, $42.23 on Starbucks a month! That’s no way to really enjoy life. The budget was created and my constant pestering insured he had the right tools and support to make sure he would get out of debt in about 2-3 years [No one said this was a quick fix!]

Lifestyle Debt

Some of us enjoy living beyond our means and accumulating debt to maintain a lifestyle that isn’t affordable or realistically represents who we are, but more of who we want everyone else to see us as. One the factors that influence unnecessary spending stems from social media and its role in our spending habits, we tend to show off our new cars, phones, adventures, travel destinations, clothes in order to feel good about ourselves and affirm that we are something more than we are. I’m sure everyone can relate to a daily barrage of Snapchat, Facebook posts, Instagram feeds, and Twitter assaults of your friends living luxurious lives. I’m sure you have stopped to ponder the possibility of how the finance this type of living considering you have relatively the same disposable income.

We can make small adjustments now, to change our lives in the future in dramatic ways that will not only benefit the way we derive value from purchasing something to what experiences we want to purchase!  What I am proposing is making these simple changes to your daily habits and this will snowball into a life where you have that emergency fund, you can handle a financial setback, or you can just have the discipline to reach your own goals you set.

Keep Life Simple!

The 5 Principles of Money

I’ve created this site for those of us who have attempted, explored, strived, ventured, and moved heaven and earth to begin savings, stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, and being heavily indebted. Financial freedom starts with small incremental steps that anyone can take, but they have to set themselves up with realistic milestones and find a community of like-minded individuals that are passionate about saving, investing, and spending the right way.

My hope is that we can build a community together and can share ideas on how we can improve our lives through spending, protecting, investing, life events and savings.

  • Spending
  • Protecting
  • Investing
  • Life Events
  • Savings 

In a particular order these form the acronym SPILS, these five categories are the fundamental elements to anyone wanting to improve their financial well-being by diving into these core elements further we can really begin to formulate a plan to better ourselves. There is a particular order we are going to follow to maximize the value we create from saving, investing, or protecting our hard earned money.

Spending 

It’s America’s favorite past time. We enjoy spending more than any other activity and its silently ruining our lives one monthly bill at a time. It’s not your fault, it’s my belief that you were born into a consumption-driven society where you need the latest phone, newest model car, and everything that someone else has. We enjoy spending on things we derive very little value from and that has been creating a big hole in your pocket one interest payment at a time.

Over the years working in various financial institutions, I’ve seen thousands of people who willingly make the minimum payments on their credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, and home equity lines of credit that complain that they seem to get deeper and deeper into debt without contemplating the true cost of their borrowing and spending habits. Moving forward I will show you some incremental steps you can take right now to take control of your finances and truly have that feeling of financial security.

Step 1: Tackle your spending habits and demolishing our debt!

Saving

There is no point in opening a savings account if you are bombarded with a bunch of debt that you are paying interest on or haven’t formed the discipline of maintaining a budget. If you were to put $50 a month into your savings account, but regularly pull that money right back out to purchase something we just have defeated the purposing of saving. Even worse, if you have mountains of credit card debt and fail to pay your credit cards off in full and pay on items that you bought months ago are you truly saving or are we just trying to kid ourselves that we are actually trying to save.

In case you were wondering there are a plethora of savings methods we can utilize and maximize you can begin to take advantage of based on your current habits. It’s not just about having money stuffed under your mattress, savings account, or your 401(k) at work. We need to understand that our lifestyle choices are deterring us from saving comfortably.

Step 2: Understand how much we can realistically save and the maximizing our efficiency rate of saving!

Investing

When we think of investments our minds drift to the financial markets and a hectic roller coaster ride pertaining to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, but I think we should consider the word investments as the creation of value over time through meaningful changes to habits and resources that create passive income or value.

There are a lot of different ways one can invest to create value that is tangible or intangible. Purchasing a home would be a tangible instrument that you can physically hold and grow through the equity created over time or taking the time to learn new skills to increase your ability to diversify your income.

Step 3: Live your life with the idea of creating value from what you do!

Protecting

Naturally, once we control our spending patterns, create a disciplined savings strategy, and live for the value we need to consider some of the possibilities of how we protect our new found wealth and riches. It can be challenging and expensive, but there are some ways we can really reduce the probability of losing our financial freedoms through careless and reckless behaviors.

Protecting your money begins by asking yourself what your priorities such as succession, tax consequences, creating a trust, insurance, and shielding your current assets from others looking to take what you have taken so long to earn.

Step 4: Safeguard your assets now and when its time to pass them on to our loved ones!

Life Events

This topic could go on for ages but our most important events would be changing jobs, marriage, having a baby, and transitioning into retirement. Each event if planned incorrectly could lead right back into you dependence on maintaining a life you were custom too, but couldn’t afford. With that being said, these events are some of the best times in your life and as our community grows I hopefully have others share some of their experiences in how the dealt with these transitions.

These disruptors in your crafted savings and spending strategies can entice you to go back to your old comfortable habits. Now with you are armed with knowledge that you can get out of debt and into financial freedom there maybe some of us that begin to slack as we begin to grow our emergency funds and balances and begin down that cycle of indebtedness

Step 5: Don’t lose focus on your spending and savings strategies. Life events are special, but they also can be a huge expense.

All in all, I am hoping to show that a life lived for value is a much more rewarding method living on borrowed money. Being frugal doesn’t need to be associated with being cheap, but rather finding the highest amount of value from the things that you do each and every day. The reward for having a frugalist mindset is an appreciation for life and the financial freedom to do whatever you want at any time responsibly.

%d bloggers like this: