- As a financial planner, my priorities are saving and wealth building.
- But there are times when spending from your cash flow is wise, such as on family experiences.
Given my work as a financial planner, I am clearly a proponent of systematic savings plans and wealth building, but I also understand the reality that all of us must be consumers of products and services to some extent as we navigate through our daily lives.
Just to be clear, I believe putting away money in your savings account and retirement plan should always take priority over spending, but the purpose of this article is to discuss certain things that I believe are always worth paying for with your cash flow.
1. Family experiences
No matter how much we plan, we do not know what the future holds. No one is promised tomorrow, so it is important to do our very best each day that we are blessed to live. One main thing to do is to love and appreciate your family.
A husband loving his wife. Parents cherishing every moment with their children as they grow up. Adult children spending time with aging parents. These are just a few of many examples. Spending time with someone does not necessarily mean that money will be spent, but there are times when it is applicable.
2. Improving your health
Yes, building wealth is very important, but if an individual is compromising their health to do so, it becomes counterproductive.
Improving your health can mean many different things to many different people, and there are various ways to go about it. In certain situations, spending money can help accomplish specific health goals. Paying for a gym membership (and using it) is a cost many people think about when discussing spending money to improve health, but there are other examples as well.
Personally, I’ve noticed that healthy foods (organic, etc.) at the grocery stores are more expensive. Spending a little extra money for healthier food choices can go a long way in improving your health.
Another example can include paying for things that help bring enjoyment to an individual and reduce stress. For me personally, it can be something as simple as going to the movies with my family.
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3. Having a professional complete certain tasks/projects (that ultimately save you valuable time)
I understand the idea of always trying to find ways to save money, but there are scenarios where an individual could take it too far trying to do so. Yes, it is great to have the capacity to save money, but we also should consider the “cost of time.” This concept can apply to all different types of people and business owners as well.
If you’re self-employed, you may handle all tasks related to your business. But eventually, you may find you’re spending more time on the back-end of your business and less time serving your clients. Paying a professional to do your bookkeeping, for example, could be a good way to free up your time to earn more money.
Likewise for homeowners: Even the handiest homeowners may find that a task will take them too long to be worth doing themselves. While fixing things around your home is a great skill and will save you money over the years, some projects may be best left to professionals to free up your time.
This article was originally published in July 2022.