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Do You Spend Too Much?

One of the trends I have noticed among family households is the notion of unconscious spending.  This can happen for both what we would consider fixed expenses (gas, electric, phone, cable), and also for discretionary expenses (dining out, vacation, household purchases).

You are often very conscious about what you spend when you don’t have any money or at the stage when you have a low income. Your thought process often revolves around what your net pay is from your weekly or bi-weekly check, and wondering whether you are going to have enough money to cover the basics monthly bills.  You dream for the day when you make enough money so you can splurge to buy a few of the items you have always dreamed of having, or thinking about that vacation spot you have always wanted to visit.

There becomes a point for many people that you begin to make enough money to cover your bills, and you have more than enough disposable income.  Naturally, your lifestyle expands as your income does at your job or business. You buy a larger home, treat yourself to some cool items, and stay at some of the most posh resorts in the country.  You figure that you have worked hard to make this money, and you shouldn’t have to worry about where each dollar is going.

The truth is most people don’t understand that you won’t make hay forever, and they end up spending in such a fashion that it is very difficult to pull back when the income levels decrease. Such is the case today where many Americans are making less than they were a few years ago, yet continue to unconsciously spend reverting to their old habits.

My initial recommendation to shake yourself of spending too much is to simply read all of your bills for 90 days.  With the advent of on line bill paying hardly anyone reads their bills anymore. Since credit card companies went to e-statements, many Americans don’t even read all of the purchases they make on their credit cards each month. By reading every bill, you will begin to trigger the conscious part of your mind to see what is going on with your household spending. Then, as your New Year’s resolution, shop every single bill.  Even if you think you have the best deal, shop them all.

The unconscious mind can be a powerful thing.  Make sure it doesn’t take your spending out of control.

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oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin  is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc.
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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Hey!

My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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