20 Sep Coins in the Cushions
There’s a term in business called “Money on the Table” where you look at your business to see where you’ve left money on the table. Unpaid invoices, unsent invoices, clients that were on the fence that can be converted are all examples of money on the table. When my coach challenged us to find the money on the table within our business, my immediate thought was, “Shoot, I’m just trying to find coins in the cushions” as I had not yet launched my business. The term “coins in the cushions” stuck with me. It got me thinking about my own budget at home and how much money I probably had on the table, how many coins I had left in the cushions.
When our financial picture changes, which divorce definitely does to our financial snapshot, it’s important that we take a close look under the cushions to see where our money is going and what we can change to find more coins under them. Seeing where all of your money is going is kind of like going to the dentist for me. I detest and fear going, but it’s necessary to keep my teeth healthy just as having a clear understanding of your money is to keeping your finances healthy.
After a divorce people need a 30% increase in income, on average, to maintain the same standard of living.
(Saywer, L.C. (2006) Economic Aspects of Divorce and Relationship Dissolution).
Personally, I had to take a look at some things I was spending money on that I didn’t need. I went through all my spending and put it into two categories:
Necessity or Desire. From there, I had to decide what kind of return I was getting on my investment on everything in the Desire column. The items that had the least amount of ROI were put on the chopping block. (Just to be clear, getting your nails done is NOT a necessity!)
My Money Chopping Block
If we took all the money people spent each month on gym memberships that weren’t being utilized, we just might be able to pay off the national debt.I was paying $90.00 per month for a gym that neither of us were using. That’s $1,080.00 per year on gym memberships. Whaaat???!! CHOP! Intead, I went with the Beachbody On Demand where I can stream amazing workouts to my house for around $40 per quarter!
Cable TV is another money sucker. My cable was costing me $95.00/mo and we hardly ever watch cable! Netflix and Hulu Plus are the main sources for our television entertainment at the combined cost of $14.98/mo. Cable was costing me $1,140.00 per year vs. the $149.28 for Netflix and Hulu Plus. CHOP!
By cutting out just those two items alone saves me $170.02 per month and $2,220 annually! That’s a lot of coins!
I looooove to eat out! Some people love to spend a lot of money on purses, I’d rather go out to eat, be served, endless dining options, no clean up and the ambience of the restaurant. I also love me some Starbucks, which if you’ve ever heard the $5.00 Latte Factor, then you know one latte per day makes your Starbucks bill $1,895 annually! Holy cappuccino that’s expensive!
Eating out as much as I did was costing me hundreds of dollars each month so I really had to change my habits and find the simple pleasures of cooking at home as well as my caffeine fix. Now, I haven’t given those treats up completely, but I now do it less often and keep them “treats” instead of the daily routine. I allow myself one lunch, one dinner and one Starbucks out per week. (With certain exceptions, of course.)
These simple and hardly noticeable changes allowed me to save nearly $600.00 every month! That’s an estimated annual savings of $7,200.00.
Now, get off your cushions… how many coins can you find?
Go to the Mojo Madam Facebook page and post where you could make some changes? Or maybe even what you’re NOT willing to give up!