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Evaluating Your Choices to Meet Your Financial Goals

Updated on July 23, 2008

Do you have goals in your life? Do you have a plan for your future? Most goals and plans cost money. A new car, a house, having a baby, moving, a vacation, switching jobs, retiring, etc. They all require money. How can you save money for everything that you want or want to do? By evaluating every choice you make and deciding if it lines up with your long term goals.

I will be honest here - we have been seriously contemplating getting cable TV. We have the most basic plan available and it costs $10 a month. We wanted to get the expanded basic plan for two reasons. We wanted to be able to watch more of the Olympics in August and we wanted more sports channels for football season. I know those reasons seem silly, but that is why we wanted to upgrade our cable.

Today we did some calling around and in order for us to upgrade it will cost an extra $50 per month. That seems like a lot of money! It definitely caused us to stop and rethink our goals here. We have short term needs (a new roof) as well as long term goals (a new car in a couple of years and in 5-10 years a move to a homestead). Our current budget does not allow for expanded cable and the only way it would have been possible is due to a pay increase that my husband is getting in August.

Do we want to immediately start living up to the raise? We have to be careful about not spending all that extra money. Now is the time that we can start making some headway on our goals. To think about spending a good chunk of that raise every single month so we can watch more television makes me a little sick to my stomach. I already think we watch too much.

By stepping back, rethinking our goals, figuring out our priorities and making a decision based on all of these things we will be able to reach our goals much faster than if we just spent all of our money without a plan. If you haven't guessed yet, we will not be upgrading our cable package. Paying money to get more channels on the TV is not going to help us meet our goals.

Have you evaluated your choices lately? Not just the new ones, but the ones you blindly do every day without even thinking. Do the choices you make help you reach your goals or do they prohibit you from reaching them? I am not saying that everyone should get rid of cable. But you need to decide for yourself if things like cable TV are worth it. For us it isn't.

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    • 02SmithA profile image

      02SmithA 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Those reasons for upgrading your cable don't sound silly to me. Olympics and football season are right up my ally! Those costs are pretty outrageous though, it's more of a want than a need.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      10 years ago from USA

      Very good example of a bigger picture that is painted with many small choices. We all would benefit from taking a close solid look at how we are spending our money, which might end up also giving us the gift of time. If we're not playing hi-tech games, or planted in front of the tV, what else might we do? I spend a lot of time on the computer, but it's my passion as i write, and I'm spending less and less time on movies and tv -- turning to the less distraction of radio and books and ...talking! wow, all because I'm spending less. I still need to do a better job and you have inspired me thanks!!

    • Nicole Winter profile image

      Nicole A. Winter 

      10 years ago from Chicago, IL

      You guys definitely made the right choice, right on, Jennifer! I always think it's a bad idea to start spending money right before or right after getting a raise. Yes, in the short-term you might get something you really want, but there is always the possibility that the raise could somehow, (god forbid,) fall through. If you're saving that money instead of spending it you'll have a little nest-egg for future investments. Awesome comment, dabblingmum, sometimes we can get the companies to step-down from their insane pricing simply by threatening not to pay for it anymore.

    • profile image

      dabblingmum 

      10 years ago

      Nicely said! We don't even have basic cable right now, but have contemplated Cable several times. All we have to do is spend an evening at my mother-in-law's watching her cable to realize it's a waste of money.

      We evaluate our expenses every six months--that is, what we "blindly" pay monthly. A few months ago we realized we never checked around for better auto insurance. Doing so saved us nearly $50 a month.

      A friend, strapped for cash, went through her budget. Called to cancel her Cable and was given a better option: free long distance telephone, same cable channels, and high speed Internet for $50 less a month than she was paying! So basically, she's getting free cable now.

    • ProCW profile image

      ProCW 

      10 years ago from South Carolina

      It's ridiculous that companies can get away with charging such outlandish rates! From television, to internet... even gasoline! Maybe someday they will see the error in their ways... :)

      Great hub!

      ProCW

    • starcatchinfo profile image

      starcatchinfo 

      10 years ago

      NICE ARTICLE

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      Sacrifice is making your goals meet their demands.

      I do believe you have made the right decision.

      From the sublime to the ridiculous. Yesterday I walked up to the shops (Exercise)

      Truth by saving the bus fare, Val and I sneaked down to the beach for a coffee and toasted Banana Bread. It was worth the walk. Although I will have to go for another walk today to remove the calories of the Banana Bread.

      Thank you

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