Do you spend to impress?

Spending money is a snap! All you need is a credit card and you’re off to the destructive habit of over-spending . . . or living beyond your means. If you have access to an ATM, wasting money is almost as easy. Stop at the nearest dispenser and withdraw $$$ for every whim.

With these modern banking conveniences, you can buy things you need . . . or don’t need . . . 24 hours a day. Add to the mix online stores like Amazon and you can literally spend your money throughout the night. You can go on a shopping spree in your PJs on your phone or computer any hour of the day. You don’t even have to get out of bed!

Constant access to online storefronts, quick cash and easy credit can be convenient; but costly. Convenience is rarely free of charge. Credit on plastic cards and ATM cash all come with hefty fees, adding to the price of everything you purchase. Easily available, both loosen the purse strings by creating the illusion that you have unlimited funds and can afford anything, anytime, anywhere.

On the other hand, If you reserve credit card use for rare occasions and leave ATM withdrawals for emergencies; then, pay bills on time each month, such banking amenities can make your life easier. You save yourself the hassle of writing checks, accessing cash and counting out coins. If your credit card balances carry over from month to month at high interest rates, though, or you stop at an ATM every time you pass one, you add unnecessary expenses to every purchase you make.

If credit card balances carry over at high interest rates and you stop at an ATM machine    
every time you pass one, you add to the cost of everything you buy with that money.

Some people go for years making only minimum payments on their charge cards until they’re thousands of dollars in debt. They accumulate fees freely on their ATM accounts. Many of their purchases are consumed, worn out or outdated before they pay for them. Why are they so foolish? Experts blame their behavior on a half-dozen or so weaknesses in human psychology:

  1. Bending to peer pressure, or the desire to keep up with the Joneses.
  2. Getting a high each time they get something new, often known as “feel-good spending.”
  3. Failing to set financial goals for important purchases like education, family vacations or homes.
  4. Neglecting to live on a budget that designates a specific place for every dollar earned or acquired.
  5. Inability to delay gratification (I need it! I want it now! I’ve got to have everything right away).
  6. Catering to kids’ demands or others’ expectations. (Why don’t we have a big screen TV yet)?

On the road to financial success, there are many pot holes. A few of them are put there by others, many dug up by ourselves. Recognize the dents and dings those craters cause to your cash flow and don’t let those bumpy roads stop you from building wealth.

Manage Your Money . . . financial tips from:

AAM Fee-Only Financial Planning & Investment Advisory LLC              

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Ronald Van Surksum, CFP                   

4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2               Grandville, MI 49418                                     

Phone: (616) 531-5220                             Cell: (616) 450-8439                               

For permission to reprint:         07-15-22