Tag Archives: budgeting

Discretionary Income Choices

Guest Article By Robert Alan Stewart

Making the most of your discretionary income

Discretionary income is what you have left over after paying your fixed costs. It is yours to spend on whatever you choose.

But…
How you spend this money can make a difference to your financial situation, but before this we have to ascertain what is discretionary income.

Rent/rates
Car running expenses
Power
Debt
Groceries etc.

People who have an addiction of some kind will prioritize their spending so that the addiction is included among their fixed expenses.

Everyone as an adult has freedom of choice unless they have debts which means their freedom is being eroded away in relation to their level of debt.

The old Proverb, “The borrower is a slave to the lender,” sums it up.

We all have some control over most of our fixed expenses such as groceries and power;we can cut down on these but with items such as rates/rent are fixed but even then we can choose to live in a more modest apartment or downsize.

The excess to your expenses is called discretionary income.

Another way of increasing your disposable (discretionary) income is to increase your income by getting a part-time job, getting a higher paying job, or selling stuff online.

Saving your discretionary spending for some greater purpose instead of frittering it away gives your life some meaning. Instead of just letting things happen you are making things happen. Many people in 10-20 years time wondered what happened.

There is a major difference between saving your money and investing it. Astute investors use their discretion to increase their wealth by investing in higher risk stocks and shares, gold, and cryptocurrency. There are enough online platforms where you are able to drip feed money into these things if you are still climbing up the investment ladder.

But then you may prefer to save for a holiday and tick off one or two items on your bucket list. The border closures will restrict your choice of places but here in New Zealand there are so many fantastic places to visit it is an opportunity to discover your own backyard.

Among the more popular activities in New Zealand are landing on the Franz and Fox Glaciers, going for a dip in the Hanmer Springs hot pools, visiting the wine region of Marlborough, or attending one of the sports meetings around the country. One thing I have to mention here is the Tranz Alpine Express train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. It is rated one of the finest train journeys in the world and having experienced it I do not disagree. It has to be on everyone’s bucket list.

Setting financial goals are personal to you gives your life a sense of purpose and deciding how to spend your disposable income can help you achieve your financial goals. My blog http://www.robertastewart.com has lots of articles related to finance.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Robert_Alan_Stewart/2287449

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Three Things To Do Today To Improve Your Retirement Planning

Guest Article By Morris Raymond

There are a number of things that make a person break into a cold sweat, but perhaps one of the more underrated ways to cause stress is thinking about planning for the future with an emphasis on retirement planning. It seems odd that planning for the amount of money you have for future use would cause so much havoc simply because we tend to be big fans of money. Still, there seems to be a negative cloud that surrounds all that is planning for retirement.

Perhaps it’s because it reminds us of an end to things as we know them. Sure, it’s only the end of our working life, but many of us identify ourselves by the careers we establish. When you’re no longer working, how does that ultimately affect the way you identify yourself? Big questions to be sure, but it also reminds us that we’re getting older & looking at our mortality head-on.

Regardless of the reasons why we put off planning for retirement, it’s important to make a plan early. While it may seem as though there is a big process involved, it’s as simple as choosing to start planning. After this step, here are three more simple ways to get the retirement planning process moving forward:

1. Set Goals – When it comes to retirement, we always hope to relax and have a nice time doing nothing. Even with nothing pressing, though, we want to do something cool like travel or dive into a hobby. One easy way to start a retirement plan is to lay out the type of goals you’d like to accomplish. Whether they seem a little extravagant or not isn’t an issue. A goal is a goal, and so long as it’s important to you & your family, list it.

2. Create A Working Budget – Though this seems to be a step most people in debt take, it is a step that even a careful retirement planner should take to help get their finances in better order. Sit down & establish your monthly expenses. Establish what your take-home pay is per month and see where the numbers fall. If you’re spending more than you’re making, you need to figure out the best way to shed unnecessary spending. If you’re “in the black”, the extra money should be used to begin establishing your retirement account.

3. Be Mindful of Extra Money – If you have money that comes to you in the way of a work bonus or raise, just don’t spend it. Literally, put that extra money into a retirement fund. You were operating before on the money being brought into your home, so it means you can still operate the same way. Any extra money should be seen as money that’s just out of your reach & untouchable.

Obviously, retirement planning is more complicated than what’s outlined here. Still, these are three very simple steps to start the process, and simply starting to plan for retirement is a step in the right direction.

Need help with retirement planning? Contact Sproles Woodard for more information on other steps you can take to get the retirement ball rolling, and take advantage of the numerous financial planning services they have to offer.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Morris_Raymond/2323165

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