Evaluating Your Choices to Meet Your Financial Goals
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.