Drug testing

Budget the Luxuries First!

Strictly speaking, his advice was preceded by another Heinlein maxim as well. "Sovereign ingredient for a happy marriage: Pay cash or do without. Interest charges not only eat up a household budget; awareness of debt eats up domestic felicity." Today, that advice gets abused eight ways to Sunday, as the average household is currently carrying credit card debt to the tune of over $10,000. Assuming an interest rate of 18%, this works out to about 150 bucks a month going to the credit card company. That's money NOT available for things like fresh flowers on your desk... new skis... upgrading to gourmet coffees and wines for daily consumption, or dinner out (including tips and babysitter).

Luxury item #1: Get out of consumer debt

Being debt-free is an incredible luxury! There are a ton of books and articles out there already on how to budget and avoid debt, so I won't hold forth on how to do it. The important issue is WHY to do it. And the answer is simple. Peace of mind is the ultimate luxury!

Luxury item #2: Make some time to make a wish list!

While putting the wheels in motion on reducing debt, there's a happier issue to think through as well: What is it you really want out of life? Peace of mind (and of household) starts with asking these Really Big Questions!

More importantly (assuming you actually care about your relationship), what is it your partner craves? If you don't know, well... it can be fun finding out. Too many financial planning exercises are painful, which is why not enough people do them. This exercise, finding out what really matters to you both, isn't.

What are the things in life that really feel like luxury to you? Now is the time to identify them, and separate out the smaller, less satisfying things you're paying for that keep you from getting what you really want.

To keep to the spirit of fun, I've found it's useful to agree to some simple ground rules:

  • Make some unbroken wish list time for the two of you

  • There are no such things as 'silly ideas' or 'waste of money' items during the wish list time (that will come later on during a reality-check period)

  • No impulse spending during the wish list time! Window shop if you want, share a seat in front of the computer if you're looking online... my preference is to go hang out in antique markets and bohemian shopping districts for ideas, but you might prefer to go visit a travel agent's office or web site. It DOESN'T matter!

  • Each partner gets equal time to show off their ideas if they want it.

Being realistic, there will, of course, be a price tag associated with the wish list. Also being realistic, not all luxuries cost an arm and a leg, either. If you have the iron will to make a strict budget and do without so that you can go hang out in Tuscany for a month next fall, good for you (and yours!) If you're like me, though, it may make sense to make do with lesser luxuries.

Luxury item #3: Keep looking until you find reasonably-priced luxuries that really make your life more worth living, then revel in them!

That's all it takes. If you get this far, you've done a few extremely healthy things. For starters, you've actually talked to your sweetie about money, without it being a crisis! You've spent some time dreaming together. You've examined your debt and thought about what it's costing you. And with any luck, you've found at least one thing you can enjoy without feeling guilty about what it's costing you... because it's an investment in your piece of mind.

--

Print and Internet publication rights are granted, free of charge, for this article, provided the credit paragraph and copyright remain intact.

If you use this article in HTML form, please set resource link as a hyperlink. Please e-mail me the URL of any place the article is posted, or a copy of any electronic newsletter or eZine, etc. A copy of any printed publication using this article would be greatly appreciated (contact me via e-mail for mailing address!)

About The Author

? Andy White, budget guy for Coudy Coffee - because life is too short for mediocre coffee. For gourmet coffee and espresso; coffee gifts, information and resources, visit http://www.coudycoffee.com.

andy@coudycoffee.com

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Top Ten Reasons People File for Bankruptcy

1. Eliminate the legal obligation to pay many of your... Read More

Help for the Single Mother with Managing Credit and Debt

Today's consumers benefit drastically from the usefulness of credit. Credit... Read More

What is Debt Settlement and How Does it Work?

Debt settlement involves negotiating with a creditor or creditors to... Read More

What is Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement is the process of negotiating with your creditors... Read More

Debt Settlement

What is debt settlement?Debt Settlement is a process to settle... Read More

Five Hot Tips To Get Out Of Debt Forever

The financial and psychological burden of being in debt causes... Read More

The Debt Free Lifestyle

Many people have been taught that you cannot get ahead... Read More

How to Negotiate Debt Settlement

People over extend themselves financially as a result of a... Read More

Debt Free Living - 5 Tips To Get Out Of Debt

A few times I wonder what sort of credit system... Read More

Is There Any Way To Get Out Of Debt?

In this era where we are bombarded daily with commercials... Read More

Future Secured? Oh Really?

A headline for a retirement annuities flyer declares "Future Secured!"... Read More

Hide That Car! Fighting the Repo Man

Vehicle repossession may appear justified in circumstances where a person... Read More

Eliminating Credit Card Debt

The overwhelming task of eliminating your debts can often seem... Read More

Debt Elimination 3

Planning To Achieve Debt EliminationOnce you have started the process... Read More

Yes to Less Debt

Feeling stressed by the amount of debts you have? Three... Read More

Different Ways Of Dealing With Debt

Bills, creditors, debt collectors. Are you yearning for the days... Read More

Budgeting and Debt Management

Debt management (specifically unsecured) is the first step to taking... Read More

How Do You Spell Debt Relief?

Of all the problems possible in a marriage, finances cause... Read More

How to Get Triple A Credit in 25 Days

Good credit is everyone's dream. A wise use of credit... Read More

Can You Escape the Trap of Ever Growing Debt?

It's difficult not to be concerned when facing numbers like... Read More

Creating A Realistic Budget

Budgeting -- ooh, what a scary word! If you want... Read More

Debt Collectors; And what you can do to Get Them Out of your Life

FTC opinion letter on validation Section 809(a) of the FDCPA,... Read More

Credit Repair - Understanding The Basics

What is Credit?Credit means that you are using someone else's... Read More

Bankruptcy Reform: Designed to Protect Big Business

Who will benefit from the new bankruptcy reform laws? The... Read More

The Human Side - Debt Stress

In all the technical discussion you hear about credit... Read More

led light poles led flood light fixtures Pete's produce ..