Picture yourself during the holidays. Imagine the perfect setting. Who are you with? Where are you? For most of us, the holidays are about sipping drinks and eating treats surrounded by friends and family.
Oh, and maybe there’s a nice car in the driveway.
We All Like Things
Family get-togethers and gatherings of well-wishers go a long way toward reminding us what truly matters in life: our health and happiness and that of our friends’. The problem is that for the other 50 weeks throughout the year, our happiness is often tied to the things we own - our house, our car, our home theatre system and so on.
Well, collecting all those things is possible, but maybe just not all at once.
This is still a blog about spending money wisely, after all, so as much as we’d love to live in a dream world where we can afford everything we want, it’s not reality. So, how do we give ourselves all those neat toys we see in the window?
Planning Your Budget
Taking a good hard look at your monthly financial plan is the same as looking at yourself in the mirror. Too often we cry poor but we neglect to take into account all the money we spend that we don’t need to spend.
- What do you value?
- What does your family need?
- Where can improvements be made?
Planning a budget that works for you is all about prioritizing different areas of your life. Is driving a good vehicle important? Is it important to be close to work? How many bedrooms do you need for your family to live well?
These are questions you might not be able to answer immediately - it’s not like we can all just up and move whenever we want to, right?
Well, maybe not tomorrow, but the next step after planning your budget is taking action.
Let’s say a vehicle payment, with insurance and registration (for our Albertan readers) will cost you $500 per month, but living closer to work will eliminate that payment, although you’d have to take the bus or the train to work.
Is it worth it? A monthly 3 zone bus pass in Vancouver costs $170, so there’s some weighing of options to be done.
That’s just one example. Everyone is in a different situation.
Your purchases will have a huge impact on how you live your life, but they don’t define you. You define you!
The Future is Coming
This Christmas, don’t think about what you might find in your stocking, think about how you can shape your life so that stocking is possible.
But it takes time. We work with clients all the time to plan exit strategies so they can alleviate their debt and their payments. It won’t happen overnight, but the only way to move closer to that future is to plan for it and take action.
Homes, cars, renovations, debt reduction - these gifts are on everybody’s wish list, and if you’re on the nice list, chances are you’ll be able to afford the things you want sooner rather than later.