5 Steps to Tell if Something is Really Worth Spending Money On

5 Steps to Tell if Something is Really Worth Spending Money On

By
Sarah Pichardo

Do you lay awake at night wondering if a purchase is worth it? Like do you really need it or is it going to make its way into someone else’s home via Goodwill. Let’s take the guesswork out of it. Here are five handy-dandy steps to follow in order to find out if something is really worth it.

Step 1: Sing Missy Elliot’s Song, “Is it Worth it”
Is it worth it? Let me work it. I put thing down flip it and reverse it.

Step 2: Ask Yourself, Is it Worth it?
Now that you have that song stuck in your head, keep asking yourself, is it really worth it?

Step 3: Talk to your Bank Account
Hey, money talks so talk back to it. How does your wallet feel about this expenditure? Do you even have money in your wallet or is it begging for mercy?

Step 4: Talk to your Spouse or Phone a Friend
Talk to your spouse about it. Especially if it’s a major purchase where you’ll be spending money from a joint account. Let’s not start World War 3 in your house cause you didn’t communicate. Not worth it. Not married? Phone a friend. Tell ‘em your hopes and dreams. What do they think? Also, make sure you phone the responsible friend not the crazy one. You know which one I’m talking about.

Step 5: Ask Yourself, What Would Abuelita Do?
Your abuelita is a smart woman. She pays in cash and thinks credit cards are for necios. And, si no tienes el dinero, no lo compres. (If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it). Please refer to Step 3.

AbuelitaQuote-si-no-tienes-el-dinero-no-lo-compres

You did it. You went through all 5 steps. Pour yourself a glass a wine. Now make a decision. If it’s really worth it, your spouse is cool with it, you have the money and your abuelita gives you a thumbs up, then you should be good to go. If not, then it’s probably not worth it.

Still don’t know if you should buy it? Use this flowchart:

You’re still here? Not sure you and your media naranja are on the same page? Check out this blog, it’ll help you both make better financial choices that can help your relationship be on the up and up.

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Sarah Pichardo is the Creative Director at Family Bridges. When she’s not obsessing over pixels, designs and scripts – or brainstorming plans to take over the world – she’s probably reading a book or obsessing over Christmas decorations.

Follow her on…

Twitter: @sarahp726
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahp726/

For more tips on finances and relationships, follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

The Cycle of Debt

The Cycle of Debt

By
Eva Fleming

Did you know that the national household debt in the U.S. is a whopping 13 trillion dollars? To help you put that in perspective, keep in mind that a trillion has twelve zeroes in it! In the words of Dave Ramsey, “debt is as American as apple pie, but certainly not as sweet.” Even though most of us have it, none of us really want it. I had a debt from a hospital stay that took me two years to pay off. And this is after decent medical coverage!

Some of our debt is the result of unexpected expenses that end up on our credit cards because we didn’t plan for them in our emergency fund. But other debt is the result of our wants and desires and things we just had to have, but never actually made provisions for in our budget.

If we want to break free from debt, we must learn to make the distinction between those two types of unbudgeted expenses and learn to plan for them seriously. One requires that we put effort into beefing up our emergency fund and the other one requires that we become more disciplined with our budget.

Emergencies are part of life. If you think your life will be smooth sailing without any setbacks, e.g., leaking roof or car repairs, then you are living in a fantasy world.

I live in Florida, where hurricane season starts in June and doesn’t end until November 30th. To survive those months, residents must have a contingency plan that answers questions like: What are we going to do in the event of a hurricane? Where are we going to evacuate if the storm is expected to be a category 5? What do I need to have in hand if I decide to stay home (water bottles, water for flushing the toilet, generators, candles, medicine, batteries, can foods, etc.), When are we going to install the shutters? What will I do with my pet? It’s important to plan every minor detail to keep the family safe and minimize any harm to the house or personal possessions, etc.

There are no always hurricanes in Florida, but one must always be prepared just in case. Readiness will help you sleep in peace with the least amount of anxiety possible. This is the kind of mentality we must have to succeed financially. The more prepared you are for what’s most likely coming, the fewer chances you’ll use your credit cards to get you out of trouble when those things do happen.

We must also keep in mind that the human spirit with all its wants and desires is nearly impossible to satisfy. In the mall I frequent, there are big signs everywhere that read: “Desire It,” “Deserve it,” “Acquire it.” All these signs invite you to satiate your desires even if it is beyond your means to do so because after all, you “deserve it.” In a world like that, without a budget and the willingness to stick to it, you are not going to be very successful staying out of debt. Here’s a budget sheet that can help you get started.

If you are amid crushing debt, seek help from the experts like Dave Ramsey among others, and follow their recommendations to pay off your current debts. Beyond that, try to develop the discipline needed to improve your emergency fund and make a firm commitment to stick to your budget and you will see how little by little, debt will no longer be an issue for you.

For our children’s sake and the future of our children’s children, let’s break the chains of debt. Let’s no longer allow our circumstances and desires to keep us slaves to debt. This new year commit to do your part to shrink those 12 zeroes from the trillion dollars that are currently strangling our economy. Let’s end our addiction to debt once and for all. Here’s a helpful resource that can help you cut expenses and avoid getting into more debt.

For more resources on budgeting and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

5 Things You’re Paying for, You Should Cancel, Stop Buying, and Start Doing to Help You Pay Off Debt

5 Things You’re Paying for, You Should Cancel, Stop Buying, and Start Doing to Help You Pay Off Debt

By
Sarah Pichardo

If you’re like me, you’re probably paying for stuff you don’t even use. Well, maybe not like me cause after writing this I canceled stuff and rearranged my life. So I’m already one step ahead of you…catch up!

Here are those five things you should cancel, stop buying and start doing. Then take all that cash you saved to help pay off debt (and maybe buy a new pair of shoes).

Cable
Do you actually watch all 500 channels that you’re paying for? If you do, we need to sit and talk so I can report you to science. But chances are, you’re not. Matter of fact, you probably only have HBO right now cause you’re waiting for the last season of Game of Thrones to come out. Well, keep waiting and keep paying. Or you could be smart and cancel cable now, then just get the online subscription to HBO for when it comes out and cancel it again. It’s totally legit. I checked. Also, you’re probably just binge watching Netflix shows. Cable = $100+/month. Netflix = $10/month. So why are you paying for cable again?

Unused subscriptions
Do you really need Apple Music, Spotify and Satellite radio? At some point in my life I thought all three were absolutely necessary. I have regained my senses. You should do the same.

What other subscriptions are you paying for because you mostly like to throw money away? Don’t be like this kid, you might need those pair of shoes that are going on sale next week.

Buying lunch
Not only will buying lunch everyday cause you to gain 50 pounds and therefore ruin your New Year’s Resolutions, but it also costs you mucho dinero. Don’t want to cook? Make yourself a sandwich. It’s easy. It’s cheap. Again, those shoes are going on sale next week.

Bottled water
Why do you hate planet Earth so much? It’s a pretty cool place to be. There’s oxygen and science-y things that let us live here. All that plastic from bottled water is bad. It’s killing the fishies. (Do you really want to kill the fishies?) You don’t need those plastic water bottles. Besides, now that you’re bringing your lunch to work every day, you can fill up a reusable water bottle too. Want filtered water? Get a water filter. Look at you saving the planet. Your mom will be so proud.

Excess groceries
Speaking of, can’t you just hear your sweet mami in your head right now…“Tantos niños muriéndose de hambre, y tu aquí desperdiciando la comida.” (So many children dying of hunger, and you’re just here wasting food.) Shame on you. I’m telling your mom! How many times have you bought stuff and ended up throwing it away cause it went bad? It’s pretty sad. Not even my dog wants it. How about planning your meals ahead of time, writing a list, checking it twice? But, don’t forget the snacks.

mami-quote-desperdicando-la-comida-2

There you have it. If anything, after reading this, three things are very clear. First, I need to talk to your mom. Second, you should check out this blog so you can get real advice about ways to pay off debt. And last but not least, I just saved you a bunch of money and now you don’t have an excuse to not get me a birthday present.

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Sarah Pichardo is the Creative Director at Family Bridges. When she’s not obsessing over pixels, designs and scripts – or brainstorming plans to take over the world – she’s probably reading a book or overdoing it with the Christmas decorations.
Follow her on…

Twitter: @sarahp726
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahp726/

For more resources on professional development and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.