No. I am not talking about the use of my taxes, although I might have plenty to say about that.
I am talking about the “disposable income” that is left over after taking care of the necessities of life, you know – Shelter, Sustenance, Security. You pay for your residence, groceries and the things that keep you safe, what’s left over should have its own priority also.
A few years back I was a backup teacher for my pastor in Texas. We were covering a financial planning course in order to help people get a hold of their spending habits. It was really a simple formula that goes something like this:
Live within 60% of your income
Give 10% to God
Give 10% to Retirement
Give 10% to Investment
Keep 10% in Savings for emergencies
Left overs will be for your extravagant expenses!
Notice, living within your 60% means spending those dollars on the three categories – Shelter, Sustenance, Security. If you want to be blessed with having extra dollars for extravagances in life, then you have to earn more, or cut other items of necessities. Yet, the more we earn the more we want to spend – bigger house, better car, large vacation experiences. Instead of living within our means, we spend more to satisfy our desires. So, if you want to have some extravagant experiences then you need to learn where to control other areas of your life.
Giving to God has blessings beyond our belief. As one study noted, those that give believe their lives are better because of it. Compare that to those that do not give and watch those that do give – they assume they give because they have more and can afford to give. Which part of life do you belong to?
I will have more to say about this in a soon to be released blog report…
Retirement is not simply putting away for a rainy day, looking out the window and say, “Oh, it’s raining”… Retirement is putting funds away to replace the funds you are earning right now. Sock it away and do not even think of using it for anything until you retire. Then you can schedule it’s release into your financial plan to enjoy through your retiring years.
Investing is not necessarily retirement, although the two go hand in glove together. Yet, investing can be seen as a way to expand your financial base for other reasons also.
Rainy day savings account are for those special times when something goes on the blink and you need some emergency funds to bail you out – car breaks down, washing machine quits, etc. Keeping this fund flowing for emergencies will probably keep you out of debt and taking more of your 60% funds to live.
Regardless of all these thoughts, why do we spend extravagantly on our pets? When you take on the responsibility of a pet, it is like taking on the responsibility of a child. Shelter, Sustenance and Security. You must care for them!
In nearly 40 years of marriage we have only had 1 inside dog – a Cocker Spaniel named Sydney. In Alaska we made sure he had a pet door to allow exit outside to do his business. Other than typical pet costs of vet, food, and pallet, Sydney cost us very little. We have always had outside dogs, and the same is true for them. Basic necessities are all they get. They do need good Vet care and it is always expensive and never comes at a good time. Regardless of what you have to give, or not…
…they always give back unconditional love in return!
I am not sure why we feel like our dogs need bling, or specialty foods, or fancy sleeping quarters. Give them love, they give in return.
Isn’t that what all of us really want and need?
(Update: I just asked myself this question: Did Jesus have a pet? Are pets mentioned in the Bible?)