One of the special reports available to members of Christian Money Plus has to do with drastically lowering the cost of watching television. It’s amazing, when you think about how sneakily television-watching has become the major, monthly expense it has from when many of us were kids. It used to be nothing, outside of the cost of the set and the cost of the electricity we used to watch it, but now, it is not at all unusual to see people paying upwards of $200 per month to access the wide array of channels that can now be had by the TV “enthusiast.” Beyond the matter of television, it’s important to note the mass psychological leverage that has come to be exerted over all of us over the past several decades regarding the matter of consumption, generally (ironically, it is through our TV sets that we receive so many messages about how important so much “stuff” is, or should be, to our happiness).
This is not an article about detaching yourself from material possessions or anything quite so philosophical, but is, rather, about encouraging you to look at the rest of things on which you spend money in the way Jim Paris encourages you to look at TV viewing in his special report. Did you know it is estimated that the average American forks over about $1,000 per year on coffee? What about the amount of money spent on dining out? Even if you enjoy a nice night out once a week at a decent restaurant, it’s nothing for that dinner to cost $100, including tip. What if you were able to cut that weekly check in half, or perhaps went to the same restaurants but did so every other week?
The point is that there are a lot of holes in our proverbial financial pockets through which thousands and thousands of dollars are slipping each year, money that could be applied constructively to either paying down important and substantial debt, like the mortgage, or to use toward building a retirement plan on which you can rely when you are no longer able to work. What this will take, however, is a willingness on your part to make some tough but very important decisions about the current expenses that characterize your life. It will involve changing the way you think, perhaps even re-training yourself to learn to be happy with less, but here’s the cool part about that: because even modest changes can make such a big difference to your financial profile, you will likely find that there’s, overall, very little you have to change or go without in order to make the progress that will really matter down the road.
Robert G. Yetman, Jr.