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Deriving More Happiness from Your Spending Habits

Not all purchases are created equal. No matter your tax bracket there is often the feeling that there isn't enough to do what you want, pay off what you need to, and sock enough away for down the line.

There's always some excuse for not getting on top of our finances, we are busy after all, and between work and families, there's little brainpower left to devote to balancing the books and making more mindful spending choices. But what if, with just a few tweaks, you could? In this article, we will walk you through a few techniques that can help you feel happier about your spending habits and your money management skills.

Technique One: Make Spending a Treat

Are you the type to grab coffee out every day? How about lunch? If so you may be spending thousands of dollars a year. By bringing a lunch and making your own coffee you could pay off a credit card bill, go on a great vacation, or have a nice chunk of change tucked into your savings. We nickel and dime ourselves all the time and retailers know this. Supermarkets and department stores are designed to make the things you need harder to find and encourage impulse buying along the way. Online retailers create urgency with sales, email campaigns, and coupon codes. On top of that, keeping a credit card on file makes it all the easier to make last-minute instantaneous purchases. The less we use cash, the less we feel these fast, impulsive purchases. A great place to start tweaking our relationship with money is making the little purchases more of a treat than a given. Paying in cash is a good way to see where your money goes, allotting yourself a certain amount of spending money a day, when your wallet is empty, then you've reached your max. By practicing mindful buying you can also fight the urge to just speed-spend. Pick up items, try on clothes, price comparison shop. Retailers are very savvy about the psychology of the shopper's brain and design your experiences to upsell you. So, step one is to talk a pause and really think before you buy. Do you need a $5 coffee (and the extra calories?) is it better to grab a $10 wilted salad or to brown bag it? The average family wastes over $2,000 a year throwing out leftovers alone.[i] You may find that by making your purchases more of a special treat and not just a blah exercise in consumerism, that the things you own start to mean more. That cappuccino becomes a treat and not a daily caloric indulgence.

How to Start Investing

If you’re interested in beginning to invest but are nervous, or simply don’t have a lot of money to invest, why not start slow?

There are a multitude of ways to get started without risking a lot of money in the process. If you have $1,000 and are ready to start investing, here are some ways to do so:

February 2019 Leading Economic Index


Adjusting Your Portfolio as You Age

 As you approach retirement, it may be time to pay more attention to investment risk.



If you are an experienced investor, you have probably fine-tuned your portfolio through the years in response to market cycles or in pursuit of a better return. As you approach or enter retirement, is another adjustment necessary?


Are You Ready to Purchase Investment Property?

If you’re looking to diversify your investment portfolio, you may want to consider purchasing investment property. Depending on how hands-on you want to be, you may want to purchase real estate as a short-term investment; fixing up the property and then selling it immediately for profit.

Socially Responsible Investment

Socially responsible companies balance business concerns like revenue and profit with social concerns like the environment, community benefits, and sustainability. Likewise, socially responsible investing considers both financial return and social/environmental contribution to bring about a positive change.

Easy Ways to Financial Health

We all have our own unique way of handling our finances. While some of us are natural born savers, others may have a hard time making it to the next pay cheque. Fortunately, most of us fall somewhere in-between, putting away money at times, while making frivolous purchases at other times.

What to Do With My Unspent RMDs? (Podcast)

By Byron Moore, posted February 20, 2019

The following segment first aired on KEDM 90.3.

You get sent a Required Minimum Distribution every year, but what should you do with it?

Click above to play/pause audio.


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