Money Matters

#MoneyMasterClass Recap — Week 7

This week’s focus was on our shopping habits and our vehicle costs and both were delivered in Gail’s no nonsense way.

Our Shopping Habits and Our Stuff

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I find I overspend by overstocking my pantry. I think it stems from my worry about running out of money to buy food. This year I’ve been slowly eating down my non-perishable items and am being more conscious of my extra spending on my grocery budget.

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I decided to make a larger purchase (well, a larger purchase for me) this week and I was contemplating it when I read Gail’s tweet about postponing purchases for 24 hrs.

Here are the three things I thought about as I waited to make the purchase:
1. Is this an impulse purchase that I’m making to fill an emotional need?
2. Is this purchase filling a practical/real need?
3. Is this something I can afford with cash on hand that is in my budget?

After waiting 72 hours and assessing the answers to those questions, I went ahead with my purchase and felt confident it was the right choice.

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I regularly try to declutter my belongings. I keep two boxes set up in my room to continually add to–one for donations and one for selling. I really agree with this study Gail referenced that our cluttered space can have an impact on how we think and feel.

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The Cost of  Our Vehicle

When my last vehicle broke down, I was blessed to have parents that hunted down a fantastic deal on a used car that I was able to purchase outright. But even without a vehicle loan, when it comes vehicle costs I cringe.

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Looking at my current monthly insurance payment and my budgeted amount for gas and parking, my vehicle expenses are 20.26% of my monthly budget. This does not include a lump sum insurance down payment or vehicle maintenance costs.

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I want to look further into vehicle expenses and nail down my planned spending for them. I would continue to guesstimate these costs, but now I picture Gail yelling at me when I think of doing that.

Like Gail says in this tweet, having vehicle expenses that are over 15% of your net income is something to seriously look at. By making the choice to spend more on transportation, I am also making the choice to spend less on other areas in my budget. The one thing I will not sacrifice on, though, is savings.

Vehicle Loans

Gail got real this week about how much our vehicles cost. Here’s a short list of her tweets about vehicle loans.

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In true Gail style, she slipped in some advice that applies not just to car loans, but spending in general. One of the reasons I’m grateful that we spent time in Week 1 focusing on our core values, is that it helps to reveal those times I’m shopping without a good purpose.

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Did you have any highlights from this week? How did you find stopping for 24 hours before making a purchase?

New to the Money Master Class? There’s still time to get started!
Check out this tweet to see all of Gail’s #MoneyMasterClass tweets from the start.
Check out my weekly recaps to get caught up.
Start here with the Money Master Class Intro and Week One Recap
Missed last week? Find it here:
Week Six Recap

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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