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Financial Fitness

January 29th, 2019 at 03:30 pm

People ask me all the time how to save more money. I say at work, while doing taxes, stop spending it on crap. That's me being blunt. The other part I say is just put it on 10% and save it before it hits your account and you won't see it. Again nothing fancy.

But honestly a bigger problem? A lot of people have trouble saving money because they have a lot of bills. What sort of bills?

A really expensive mortgage. Instead of 33% PITI it's 50% PITI. It's hard to get ahead when have your income is gone. Or other people are spending $1k/month or more on a car payment. Or 2 car payments. Having bought a $28k minivan and $26k subaru legacy with 3 year payments of $500, I can see how if you drive a $50k/car you are paying $1k/month for 5 years! Um wow. And that's one car. again it's hard to get ahead and save if you are paying say $3k mortgage, $1500 on cars. Then private school or after school care for another $1-2k/month.

Then suddenly all your income is already mostly spent before you even start paying for things like cell phones $100/month, internet $100/month, gas for cars, groceries, etc.

The real problem is that even watching these other categories which are flexible and can be minimized if you don't have enough money after paying all your set bills you can't save. You can't build an EF. Of course not. I mean who would? No one.

So when I see clients making $20k/month gross but then struggling and telling me so. I can easily guess it's the house, car, or private school/college.

So my tip is curb the spending to 50% needs, 20% saving, and 30% wants. If you do this you'll be fine.

What's your number one financial advice?

5 Responses to “Financial Fitness”

  1. crazyliblady Says:

    I think that ratio is fine, but most people don't really know if they are spending 30% or 50% on the mortgage or anything else. I advocate for having a basic budget written somewhere that is portable so you can see it at the moment of need - maybe a budgeting app on a smart phone, for example. I don't have a smart phone, but I keep my basic budget on a 4 x 6 index card in my wallet. It saves me when I want to spend money on something and think I can afford it, but really can't. I have each expense listed with the amount budget. When I pay for something, I mark a line through and update the amount. When I exhaust the amount, I mark through it with the date. That's my one good tip for not spending money on crap.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I think you make a very good point that it's the big expenses like cars and houses, and the overspending in general.

    My number one tip is to have an Emergency Fund...and not just a little one. If people don't have that, but make it a priority to build one they are likely to discover all the other expenses they are incurring that are keeping them from building one. It's a foundation and a stepping stone to better control on their finances.

  3. mumof2 Says:

    I think having a written budget and sticking to it and living within your means...are the most important...and having the accounts that you need we have our ice acct, savings, annual bills, daily account and a car acct, we know what money needs to be put into the accounts each pay and for gas and groceries we take out the cash and just use that so we don't go over...we hardly eat take out...I really think these days people like instant gratification and don't want to save for anything...then complain when the bills come in that they have no money...we also have our mad money each month so any crap that we want to buy we use that

  4. Jenn Says:

    The common bills of others that boggle my mind are cable and cell phones. Both are optional and it's not uncommon to hear of hundreds of dollars each month for these bills.

  5. Smallsteps Says:

    The first thing that stuck out in the post is the close to 50% PITI who gave them that loan?
    If they bought cars after that loan person should have seen they were over extended on mortgage. another example of reckless loans?

    I have seen so many get way in over their head with adding on this payment and that payment each month. While it may all seem doable at the start a few months/ years in it begins to seem harder as people overextended themselves thinking like some small loan period like 3yr we can do so easy, but part way in they feel stressed out and broke.

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