The Discretionary Items In Your Budget

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420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – This is America Saves Week. All week we have been looking at small changes you can make to save big. Nothing dramatic but you will need to have discipline to be consistent over time.

We have been discussing saving on what we eat. Eating out really is discretionary spending. It’s more difficult to save on your rent or mortgage payments.

Let’s quickly look at a few more discretionary items in your budget.

Dry Cleaners: Dropping off your shirts and your suits each week. Can you launder your shirts yourself? Learn to iron or do as my kids did for their big interviews, just iron only the front of the shirt and hope you never need to take off your suit jacket.

Can you send your suits to the cleaners less often? Can you clean minor stains from your suits or uniforms and press them yourself? Use Febreze when necessary. You could probably save over $1,000 annually.

Bottled Water: If you don’t want to pick up a filtering system and a water bottle try buying the bottles in bulk. At the discount pharmacies, you can get 24 bottles of spring water for $3.88, that’s sixteen cents each. And don’t forget to recycle those bottles.

Even if you only pay $1 in the vending machine, you are still saving 84 cents a bottle. That’s a saving of over $200 a year.

So there is an additional $1,200 you can put in your retirement plan each year. At 8% in 20 years, you will have $59,000 and in 40 years, you could easily have $350,000.

We saved lots of money this week but it does mean changing your lifestyle a bit and spending your time. Can you do it? Lots of folks do. And you will reap the rewards. No one I know has ever saved too much money for retirement or for their kids’ college education.

I know things cost more money but review your budget and find the sinkholes, you know the ones where your money disappears.

Military Saves week

Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office will be co-sponsoring an all-day free seminar for the military.

OPERATION MONEY WISE
A FREE financial empowerment conference open to veterans, service members and their families.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Mass Bay Community College
McKenzie Auditorium
50 Oakland Street, Wellesley MA

REGISTER TODAY: www.mass.gov/treasury/operationmoneywise

If you are a service member, veteran, or are related to one, join us to sharpen your financial skills and better understand your military benefits at the Operation Money Wise conference! This FREE, first-ever event is geared toward military and their families and will feature dynamic keynote speaker, Dick Power, CFP and retired Army Colonel.

The day will also include over a dozen other expert speakers on a variety of diverse financial topics, as well as an interactive learning lunch with local celebrity radio personality Dee Lee, CFP. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Certified Financial Planner, Credit Counselor and/or Career Counselor.

Breakout sessions provide lessons and materials in:

- Budgeting & Setting Financial Goals
– Dealing with Debt
– Retirement Readiness
– Money & Disability
– Basics of Investing
– Home Ownership 101
– Using Your Education Benefits
– Bridging The Financial Gap to College

Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

We hope to see you there!

A Joint project of:

Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office
Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve
Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services
Massachusetts Financial Literacy Trust Fund
Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee

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