Published by Minna Burns
I like to clean. As I’m scouring my kitchen and reach for a paper towel, I discover the roll is empty. No problem, I think; I’ll run to the store and get more. I pass my local supermarket but I keep driving. I pull into the parking lot of another store – this place is my spending Kryptonite, but I can’t stay away. I promise myself I’m only here for paper towels. I’ll be in and out in five minutes. As I park my car and walk toward the front doors, my heart races in trepidation. I grab a cart, even though I know it’s not needed for paper towels. But what if the bag is heavy? I better get one just in case…Instinctively, I turn right (the opposite direction of the paper towel aisle) toward the ladies’ clothes and shoes. “I’ll just browse really fast to see if there are any good sales,” I tell myself. As I’m weaving through the aisles of women’s clothing, I toss a few items into my cart. When I notice girls’ boots are on clearance, I buy a couple of pairs for my daughter. I again think to myself, I better check out kid’s clothing as well. I head toward the paper towels but take a detour through the home décor section. Without thinking, I grab a couple of throw pillows and add to the accumulation of goods in my cart. Then I see new decorative bins on display. Oh how I love organizing…I’ll just grab one. When I walk through the personal hygiene/makeup aisles, I lock my gaze straight ahead but in my peripheral vision I see nail polish and it’s calling my name. Finally, I make it to the grocery section and grab my paper towels. My cart has gotten a little full so I toss them under the cart and make my way toward the front of the store while stopping to pick up a bottle of Tabasco sauce (a necessity in my house), some tissues and a birthday card. I’m approaching the register when, oh shoot, I forgot I need hand soap. I race through the store, grab only that item then hop in the shortest line and toss my items on the conveyor belt before I think of something else I “need.” I hold my breath as the cashier rings up my purchases and silently pray that the total is less than $100. My purchases are bagged up, loaded in the cart and I walk out of the store $100(ish) poorer. I try not to feel too discouraged though – when I go home I’ll have a really cute sweater that I got on clearance for only $7 to cheer me up. I have a love/hate relationship with Target. It’s my spending Kryptonite.
I’m sure someone reading this blog can relate to me. Maybe you’re a fellow Target addict or perhaps you can’t get your fill of Starbucks Mocha Frappuccinos. Whatever your spending Kryptonite may be, the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.
“Hello, my name is Minna Burns and I can’t stop shopping at Target.”
I go to Target a few times a month (i.e. weekly) and find it difficult to leave without a cart full of goodies totaling $100. But just suppose I could control my urge to take laps around this store and instead, contribute that weekly spend of $100 toward my 401K or investment account? This could be a simple adjustment to my spending strategy that could benefit me in the long-run and help me pursue my financial goals.
At our firm, we refer to this as life’s tradeoff decisions – what am I willing to live without today in order to have something in my future? I’m lucky to work for one of the top wealth management firms in the nation where I see investors make smart financial decisions and enjoy the benefits of delayed gratification later in life. By working with one of our fee-based financial planners, they’re able to identify their goals and objectives, then our team creates a financial plan designed to help them pursue those goals. What I like about our planning process is that it isn’t intended to be restrictive. If you’re like me and need an abundance of $7 Target sweaters hanging in your closet, your financial plan will take that into account. We have financial planning tools that will show you what your net worth looks like if you keep your spending Kryptonite in your monthly budget versus what your projected net worth could be if you change your habits. Making changes to your spending strategy may not be easy but the impact of doing so could be huge.
Sometimes the hardest step is knowing how and where to get started. For me, I was lucky to have amazing advisors working hard next to me each day so I was able to ask my colleagues for help. Luckily, they can help you too! our firm helps people like me all over the country set up investment accounts and financial plans. Our investment strategies are designed to guide investors at various stages – from the ultra-high net worth to those who are just starting out. So if you’re ready to take action, give us a call or contact us here! You can also download our whitepaper, Back 2 Basics for simple financial lessons that are important to remember but easy to forget.