Keeping Up Like a Cardcashian – – Not Recommended

Sandy Balick of Consensus Point Mediation LLC (consensuspoint.com) discusses the importance of spending less and provides some pointers on how to do so.Carrying forward from my last post on long term savings – always a good idea and, if you’ve just emerged from a divorce, it may be an especially important one — we tackle the subject of curtailing spending waste.

Fearing that eyes are already glazing over, I’m forced to resort to that old online media trick: send in the Kardashians. Yes, it’s a name not infrequently annexed to the word divorce. But I’m mentioning the Kardashians only by way of introducing an unrelated family; one that most of us are literally card-carrying members of, the Cardcashians.

The Cardcashians constitute the great extended family of those of us (divorced or not) whose financial plan is to meet daily expenditures through some combination of credit card use and cash liberation from the ATM (for a small fee, of course). Where this practice involves rolling credit card debt from month to month, there’s likely little opportunity for long-term savings.

The divorce settlement details of the Cardcashians may be a lot less interesting than those associated with the other family, but one thing is certain: without a disciplined spending and savings plan, we’ll remain Cardcashians forever with the risk of setting ourselves up for an underfunded retirement.

While my last post suggested retirement savings as a longer-term goal, it was not intended to provide an excuse to put off the issue for another day. The fact is (take it from me) retirement years are sneaky – they seem so distant for so long, then suddenly they are staring you right in the face. The financial ill preparedness of many Americans approaching retirement is well-known, and unless you’re prepared to live off the grid, in a tent, enduring retirement years as a Cardcashian will be challenging, even with Social Security, Medicare, etc.

What’s to be done? If you’re finding nothing to put away, take a close look at your budget (see last month’s post).  Are there expenditures than can be reduced, even by small amounts, or even done without? Are economies available?

Here are two prime targets for review: cell phone/data plans and food/beverage purchases. First, make certain you know the actual total annual cost of cell phone media services. The figure may surprise you. If so, it’s time to evaluate competing plans and to question whether you really need all the features you’re paying so dearly for.

Food is another area to keep a close watch on.  No, there’s no need to give up meals (although some of us could “afford to,” in another sense – but that’s another story). Surprising small economies here, liberating an extra ten or fifteen dollars a week can yield $400 or more in savings a year. Recall that you survived just fine back in the days when your water supply came from the tap (already paid for), not a plastic bottle ($1.00 or more per bottle).

These are suggested areas of investigation. Can you think of any more? Please share your ideas via the “Leave a Reply” box below.

 Next post – getting outside help where savings/investing is concerned.

Sanford (Sandy) Balick, Attorney & Mediator, NY Sandy Balick signature
Sanford E. Balick, Esq.
Founder & Principal Mediator
Consensus Point Mediation, LLC.

Phone: (646) 340-3434
Email: ConsensusPointLLC@gmail.com
www.ConsensusPointmediation.com
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