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Tom Meaglia, ChFC®

Chartered Financial Consultant


Investment Advisor Representative

CA Insurance Lic. #0567507

Meaglia Financial Consulting

2105 Foothill Blvd., #B140, La Verne, CA 91750

Toll Free: 800-386-3700

Bus: 909-593-6105

Cell: 818-681-8600

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July/August 2020

How to Develop Healthy Spending Habits

Woman at desk with computer, tablet and phone.

Developing and maintaining healthy spending habits seems easy in theory, but prove harder in practice. From the time we earn that first paycheck to receipt of our first retirement check, financial goals change, but smart spending habits hold true. Consider practicing these habits through the times of your life:

Young Adults
There is no better time to learn and practice healthy spending habits than in our early adult years. But today’s Millennials are swamped with 24/7 sales messages on their electronic devices, television and in print. At any age, start by using your head and putting your heart in cold storage when shopping. When you hear “buy, buy, buy” answer the question “why, why, why?” before spending a dime.

Learn to curb your buying impulses. Ask questions. Do you really need to buy a new $1,200 smartphone when your old one works just fine and is paid off? Do you know how those designer lattes add up each month, each year? Understand your total expenses and learn to differentiate between needs and wants.

Once you take the emotion out of buying, put your new spending plan in writing. Detail your income and expenses, and build an occasional indulgence into your budget. Ultimately, you’ll appreciate the discipline you follow to a healthy financial lifestyle.

Midlife Reset
Even the most disciplined savers can fall back into poor spending habits and see their debt levels rise. If this sounds like you, consider the following:

  1. Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes;

  2. Review your budget and strategize for better spending health;

  3. Pay your credit card balances with the highest rates until they’re paid in full;

  4. If you use your cards again, pay off balances in full each month;

  5. Strive to buy with cash instead; and

  6. Put the extra cash you saved toward long-term goals.

Near Retirement
The younger you are, the easier it may be to correct poor spending habits. But no time is more important to nail this financial aspect than when you’re near retirement. Because this time of your life may include less income than when you worked, it’s important to start by lowering your expenses.

Healthy spending habits near and in retirement may start and end with reducing your major expenses. Downsizing your living arrangements could provide the biggest boost to your disposable income. Paying off credit card debt is a must and planning for unexpected expenses should be a priority.

Know, for example, that a home you own will need maintenance at some point, so plan for its costs. Carry the insurance needed to pay for health, disability and long-term care. Revisit your spending plan regularly to account for changes in your life.


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