Welcome to The Dividend Dudes Blog,
As we begin this journey together, we can share life experiences that will enrich our minds while we work together to achieve financial independence one cent at a time! Sit back, grab a Coca-Cola, relax, and enjoy this post!
First, let me ask you a question. How many “Hinder me” expenses do you have? How many “Help me” expenses do you have? If you don’t know the answer to these simple questions, I need your undivided attention before you descend into a financial spiral.
Let’s begin by defining each expense category.
“Hinder Me” Expenses: These are expenses that hinder “or hold you back” from your financial goals. These make your journey to financial freedom much more strenuous and stressful. You may be asking yourself what an example of a “hinder me” expense is? It is as simple as “an expense that you can eliminate/lower and maintain the same relative lifestyle.”
Let’s dive right into what a “hinder me” expense is… It’s a very complicated answer. There is no Merriam Webster dictionary definition for “Hinder me” expense. Go ahead, check, and see. I’ll wait… However, you will find a definition of Hinder and Expense.
Hinder: To make difficult, resulting in delay or obstruction.
Me: refer to him/herself.
Expense: the cost for something, the money spent on something
Now let’s combine these terms and get our definition…
It costs you money (monthly, daily, yearly, etc.), making your journey to financial freedom (more) complicated. These expenses are sucking fresh capital away from your investments (like a sponge). Most costs that fall into this category can be eliminated or decreased without disruption to everyday life, health, and well-being. Like I said before, remember this…Any bill that you can stop/lower without disruption in everyday life is a “Hinder me” expense.
Example 1: Eating out every day for lunch instead of bringing your bag lunch. On average, eating out for lunch will cost between 8-20 dollars compared to 2-5 dollars when you get your lunch (soup/sandwich/frozen dinners) from home. A whopping savings of 6-15 dollars daily!!
Example 2: Buying soft drinks/coffee instead of drinking water or making your coffee. At most restaurants, water is free of charge or at-most 50 cents, when comparing with Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, coffee, etc. ($1.50- $3.00) A healthy savings of 1-2 dollars per drink.
Example 3: Expensive cable tv packages (100-300 dollars monthly) Try Netflix, Hulu, etc.
Example 4: Expensive phone plans (when a prepaid phone may be a better option or a lower data plan) Don’t forget about financing those fancy phones…
Example 5: Expensive organic foods (when compared to non-organic foods)
Example 6: Alcohol/drugs
Example 7: Expensive cars (BMW, Mercedes, etc.) compared to Honda, Toyota, etc.
Example 8: Credit card (debts)
Example 9: Excessive spending on clothes/shoes etc.
Example 10: Unneeded vacations (close and far)
Example 11: Haircuts, nails, etc. (personal appearance)
“Help Me” Expenses: These are expenses that help you achieve your financial goals. These make your journey to financial freedom much easier. You may be asking yourself…What is an example of a “help me” expense?
Let’s dive right into what a “Help me” expense is… It’s a very complicated answer. There is no Merriam Webster dictionary definition for a “Help me” expense. Go ahead, check, and see. Like before, you will find a definition for Help and Expense.
Help: To make it easier for someone to do something (For us Financial Freedom)
Me: refer to him/herself
Expense: the cost for something, the money spent on something
Let’s combine these terms with seeing what a “Help me” expense is. It costs you money (monthly, daily, yearly, etc.), making your journey to financial freedom easier. Most expenses that fall into this category can not be eliminated or decreased without disruption to everyday life, health, and well-being.
Example 1: Grocery Bill
Example 2: Student loan debt (Only if you are using your degree to earn money)
Example 3: Cell phone (cheapest phone plan as possible)
Example 4: Electric bill
Example 5: Car payment
Example 6: Gasoline (within reason)
As you can see, there is a delicate balance between “Hinder and Help” me expenses.
1.) A bill that commonly categorizes in your “help me” expense column can quickly become a “hinder me” expense without proper discipline. Example: A gasoline bill can quickly help or hinder you. It depends on how much you drive. If you drive to work, it will be a “help me” expense because it helps you earn more money. On the flip side, If you drive to the beach on an “unneeded” vacation, it is a hindrance (not to mention the vacation costs itself).
2.) Every person has different “hinder or help me” bills. Example: Cell phone bill may be a “hinder me” expense if this person never uses it, whereas someone with children, elderly parents, etc. may find this bill as a “help me” expense.
3.) Some bills may be both “a help and hinder me” expense. Example: Vacation may be a stress reliever but may hinder your financial journey.
4.) Some “hinder me” bills can become “help me” as circumstances change and vice-versa. Example: A medical condition may require certain drugs to be consumed to help a particular medical condition, which was a waste of money beforehand (Mary-Jane).
Thanks for reading this post. The purpose of this post is to make you aware of your expenses. To control your financial freedom, it all begins with recognizing your expenses, creating a budget, and adhering to it. I challenge you to grab a piece of paper and jot down your expenses. Then, categorize these expenses into “Help me vs. Hinder me” expenses. Once you have identified those “hinder me” expenses, try to eliminate them. If you cannot come to terms with elimination, then deviation (decreasing) is the next step. For example, if you determine that your 175 dollar cable package with sports add-on features is a “hinder me” expense, but you cannot eliminate it to maintain your sanity (joke). Maybe reduce the package (i.e., eliminate some sports) to cut the cost. Trust me when I say this, I can say this with 100 percent certainty…No-one has ever died from not watching sports or cable TV.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for my next post, where I will break down my budget. Subscribe, share, and comment below.