Join us today for an episode about the reason an expense review can save you thousands...
Today's episode is focused on doing an expense review and what you may discover...
In today’s episode about investing in others through stewarding your treasures, I talk with you about doing an expense review at the end of the year. Why this helps you set up 2021 for the best. I also talk about the types of things that you may find and what to do about it.
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00:00:00 Thanks for joining me on episode 765 of the inspired stewardship podcast. I'm Robert Farrington from the college investor.com. I encourage you to be inspired, to become a better steward through financial wisdom. By listening to this show, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Mader.
00:00:40 And is it in alignment with your priorities and values? And if not figure out a way to reduce, to cut it, to stop doing that behavior or to change. So that 2021 is better than it's ever been before when it comes to your finances. Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcasts. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be,
00:01:06 then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling and the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world
00:01:35 I share why this helps you set up 20, 21 for the best. And I also talk about the types of things you may find and what you need to do about it. As we talk about stewarding your treasures, wouldn't it be great if you could support this podcast and do it without costing yourself an extra dime, it turns out you can. All you have to do is use inspired stewardship.com/amazon.
00:02:00 When you're ready to make a purchase via Amazon and a small commission, we'll come back to support the show. If you enjoy the show, when you're ready to buy from Amazon, just use inspired stewardship.com/amazon. Hopefully if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you've got a budget set up, you've got your tracking set up where you kind of could pull together data relatively quickly about what have you been spending money on this year?
00:02:28 And if you haven't done that, this is a really good time to actually begin to gather that data, lay yourself a foundation for looking forward into 2021 and letting that be one of the best financial years of your life. So, one of the things that I encourage folks to do towards the end of the year is what I call an expense review. Now,
00:02:50 that sounds really exciting. Oh great. I'm going to sit down and look at all the money I spent this year and then figure out that I can stop going to Starbucks and $5 a day or whatever. And that's really not what this is about. The first thing that I want to point out is what you spend your money on is a very personal decision.
00:03:10 Something that's vital and important to you. Someone else may look at it as a waste of money. So this is not about cutting out everything in your life. That's pleasurable or everything in your life that you're spending a little bit of money on. But instead, this is about identifying your expenses and looking to see are they in alignment with both my short term and long term goals is the way I'm spending money in alignment with my priorities and alignment with my values.
00:03:42 Is it moving me the direction that I need to go in? And if the answer is not, then why are you spending the money on it? Think about it. If you're in a family, you need to work with your wife, maybe even your kids, you want to, depending on their ages, you want to think about how are we as a family,
00:04:01 doing things. Is this moving us in a positive direction? And if it is fantastic, keep it, if it isn't don't. And so, as an example, a lot of times people will talk about cutting cable. And oftentimes there's a way you may be paying 185, $200 a month for a cable bill where you're only watching two or three channels consistently.
00:04:26 And there may be a way to either through cutting cable completely and replacing it with other kinds of streaming and that sort of tool, or by cutting cable, and simply shifting over to doing other activities that you can replace that. But in another household, they may look at cable and they may have many, many different things that they're using, where the kids are watching things.
00:04:51 The adults are watching things. And when you look into cutting cable and streaming and doing all of that, it ends up being as expensive or more expensive than what you're paying for cable. I've seen both of those things as true. So it's not a simple blanket statement of cut this or cut that it's much more about looking, what do you do? What are you using and how are you using it?
00:05:15 And does it move you in the direction that you and your family need? Does it provide services that are worth what you're paying for? This helps you set up 2021 because the truth is, if you do an expense review like this, if you sit down and really audit all of your spending, you're going to identify some leaky buckets. You're going to identify some subscriptions that you have,
00:05:40 that you're no longer using. You're going to identify other items that you may be able to cut or reduce. And if you then go ahead and make a list of those and begin to take action of on those over the next couple of weeks or months, then in 2021, by definition, your expenses are less and they're more in alignment with what you really want from a longterm perspective.
00:06:08 Some of the things that are key to look at, look at things where your behavior may be causing you to spend too much categories like eating out or entertainment are good categories for this. Again, I'm not saying never eat out, and I'm not saying never spend any money on entertainment, but oftentimes when you audit that, when you look at it, the amount you're spending is way more than you expected,
00:06:34 or then you knew you were going to spend. And with very few changes in your behavior, you could consistently spend a lot less, but it's about intentionality. It's about paying attention to it. That causes you to do it. The next category I mentioned earlier, subscriptions. I've seen person after person who either has a monthly subscription where they're paying each and every month,
00:06:58 instead of they can convert it to an annual subscription and pay one time and often get two or three months free, which would save them huge amounts of money, but they've just never done it. And if you've been doing a good job of getting your money in order, you probably have the money set aside where you could do that now, and that would save you some money or alternatively,
00:07:19 I've seen lots of folks discover subscriptions that they have, that the truth is they haven't actually used for a year. Sometimes even more. I've seen folks paying over a hundred dollars a month for a subscription that they haven't signed into or used for four or five years. So audit your subscriptions, look and see what are you paying for? And do you still need it?
00:07:45 Of course, the other category, behavior change subscriptions. And then the other category is just places where you could negotiate and get lower rates it's worth taking once a year or once every couple of years and checking into what you're paying for insurance, checking into what you're paying for other goods and services. If it's something where there's more than one provider, oftentimes you can find a better rate,
00:08:11 whether that's your cell phone, whether that's your home phone service, whether that is something like a insurance company and what you're paying for health or other kinds of insurances, depending on your situation, there may be a lot of these. There may only be one or two, depending on where you live and what services you pay for and how much competition there is in it.
00:08:34 But it's worth, even if you stay with your current company, it's worth picking up the phone and calling them and saying, Hey, I've been shopping around. I see some better deals out there. What can you do for me? You'd be surprised. Oftentimes they have what they call customer retention departments, whose whole job is to keep the customers they already have,
00:08:53 because it's better to have a customer than it is to have to go get a new one. And because of that, oftentimes if they're running specials right now, they'll let you get some portion of them or even the exact same deal, even though you're not a new customer, but you have to ask. So it's worth doing that regardless of if you're going to change or not.
00:09:15 So take some time at the end of this year, set yourself up for success in 2021 and begin to audit where you spent money this last year. And is it an alignment with moving you towards your long-term and short-term goals? And is it in alignment with your priorities and values? And if not, figure out a way to reduce, to cut it,
00:09:37 to stop doing that behavior or to change. So that 2021 is better than it's ever been before when it comes to your finances. Thanks for listening.
00:10:09 If you like this episode on the stewardship of treasures, you can sign up for our treasures tips by going to inspired stewardship.com/treasures or text in the U S four four two two two treasures tips. And we'll send you five weeks of our best tips on stewarding your treasures until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact
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When you know the impact of little expenses, you will realize that there is nothing little in this world. ― Manoj Arora,
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