Guest author, Helen Fabe, successful real estate professional and life long volunteer

El Carino, Zoey, Simon, and I have been living with my folks now for almost one month as we wait for our short sale condo purchase to finalize in our new

Spend Smart

far away land. Although disruptive in some ways, there are also quite a few benefits; In addition to mom’s good cooking, she is also contributing her second article to this blog.

As one of my biggest fans, mom is also a long time student of personal finance. Read these three real life stories and learn from her observations about how to make smart money decisions.

Mr. Money is No Object

Mr. Money is No Object is a member of a moderate means couple with two working seniors. For their anniversary, he spends $100.00 on their celebration dinner. I was a bit surprised at that type of extravagance and wondered, “Wouldn’t a $50.00 celebration dinner be just as festive?” After
all, he’s also saving for an expensive watch. I continued to ponder, “Does he have a rainy day fund?” In Mr. Money is No Object’s case, I believe he might have received equivalent satisfaction from a $50.00 dinner as from double the amount.

(Barb’s comment; this also raises the question of his values, if expensive dining is extremely important to him, maybe the value of a $100.00 dinner out, outweighed the $50.00 savings of a more moderate dinner!)

Mr. Want versus Need

My next friend is selling his home and is sprucing up the patio. Although he wanted huge pots to dramatically improve the curb appeal, he was concerned with the $100.00+ price tag. After careful consideration, he realized his goal could be reached with several smaller pots grouped together. Just as beautiful for a fraction of the cost.

In my opinion, that was an example of a sensible spending decision. Although he “needed” to spruce up the curb appeal of his home, he avoided the extravagant pots for a more conservative alternative.

Mrs. I Feel Guilty Whenever I Spend

My neighbor is comfortably retired with no significant financial concerns. Throughout her life she has been and still is quite frugal. For a special occasion she wants an expensive piece of jewelry and agonizes endlessly about the purchase. She repeatedly asks herself, “Do I really need it?” Well, of course she doesn’t need it, but there is no logical reason not to treat herself to the jewelry. Unfortunately, even after making the plunge and purchasing the beautiful bracelet, she continues to be racked with guilt and worries that she spent too much.

The end result, she can’t even enjoy the lovely jewelry. In fact, if you can afford a purchase, and want it, then it’s a waste to feel quilty about the spending.


  • Consider your values when spending. Do you really enjoy and value the cash you are spending?
  • Make a conscious spending choice. Is the expense worth the amount of time it took to earn the money?
  • Be mindful about whether  your spending is a want or a need. Then make the choice to buy the item, look for a less expensive alternative, or avoid the purchase altogether.
  • For those “tightwads” out there, if you decide to splurge, and can afford it, make sure not to ruin the decision with second guessing and guilt.
  • Remember to enjoy your smart spending decisions.

Do you have any money tips?

image credit; Doug88888

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