Why don't you get richer & have better retirement? Asks Joe America (Part I in series)
Ever wonder why you just can’t seem to save more?
“Save More?” you exclaim “I don’t save, in fact each month I think I get poorer.”
I’ve noticed as a lawyer over the last 15 and some years of practicing that the population as a whole is getting poorer. I know I’m not the only one, it’s been reported in papers. But I’ve seen it practicing law when people can’t afford to litigate a case they should litigate. I saw it back when I did bankruptcy cases also.
I’ve looked at why my family doesn’t save more too.
A big reason, in my opinion, is all the incidental expenses we tack on to our budget.
For instance, twenty years ago we didn’t have:
1) $150-250 cell phone bills each month.
2) $150-200 bills for internet & cable/dish/directv. I looked at a flat screen Saturday. The price wasn’t so bad, then I realized I’d have to upgrade from basic cable. I walked away.
3) Credit Cards: On top of the above, twenty years ago it wasn’t quite as prevalent for people to defer payments on a credit card. A credit card was a charge then pay the bill at the end of the month. Now people run balances at interest rates that make loan sharks salivate. You know if you pay the minimum, you’ll never pay off the credit card balance. Practice Point: keep really low credit limits ($1000 or $2000) & pay the sucker off every month, on time.
Every month, $300-500 goes to just maintaining the 3 expenses I described above. And what do you get at the end of the day? Another bill for next month
Meantime, my goal is to increase retirement funding and brokerage accounts. I’m taking a hard look at what I need.
My question for you: do you really need that smart phone? digital cable? LeBron James Shoes?
Next blog in series: Do you really need to get a new/newer automobile?
W. Kirk Sanders, Attorney
Sanders Law Firm, PLLC
326 N. Spring Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101