Bank like a financial pro with the Alliant mobile app. Make payments, deposit checks, manage cards and so much more.
Renovate your kitchen, pay off high-interest debt, or have access to emergency funds when you need it with an Alliant Home Equity Line of Credit.
Browse new and used vehicle inventory, and qualify for a rate discount when you buy!81
Separate each of your savings goals into an Alliant Supplemental Savings Account so you can visualize your progress.
Discover how an award-winning banking experience could be your next little win.
Logo courtesy of CNBC
By Pam Leibfried
It’s easy to overspend, especially on the fun social activities and spur-of-the-moment purchases that consume most people’s “discretionary” budget.
Some of us find it hard to say “no” to an invitation to dinner, drinks, a movie or a ballgame. Or we have a hard time resisting the latest tech gadget we read about or the cool baseball jersey or purse that we saw in the store window and loved. We rationalize spending money on an activity or purchase that isn’t really all that important to us because, after all, it “only” costs $xx, and we have that in our checking account, so why not spend it?
One way to combat the urge to make unnecessary purchases is to think of the dollar amount you are about to spend in terms of the number of hours that you worked to get that money. To make this calculation, it’s best to consider just your take-home pay – after all, you can’t spend any of the money that is withheld from your paycheck, right? If your take-home pay is $600 each week, that means you are bringing home $15 for each hour you work (assuming a 40-hour workweek). Once you’ve made this calculation for your own salary, remember the dollar amount, and keep it in mind when you are tempted to make an impetuous purchase.
Using the take-home pay and impulse purchases mentioned above – a $600 paycheck and a baseball jersey or purse – let’s see how we can approach our spending decision with an “hours-worked” mentality. For our example, we’ll say that each item is on sale for $60 this week. Now, instead of thinking of it as being “only” $60, you could ask yourself if you really think that the item is worth FOUR HOURS of your time.
Ask yourself this question: If your boss asked you to come in and work for four hours on Saturday, offering you the jersey or purse in exchange, would you think it was an OK deal? If the answer is that you would NEVER work that many hours for a mere jersey/purse, maybe you should think twice about spending your hard-earned money on this purchase. But if you are really enthralled with the item, and would be willing to put in a half day of work for it, then it might not be a bad purchase for you – provided you have $60 of spending money in your budget.
Introducing this new hourly-rate consideration into your decision-making process can help you to change your “it’s only $xx” spending mentality to be a bit more thoughtful and savings-oriented. It can make it a little easier to say “no” to purchases you really don’t need, helping you to spend your money on the things that you truly value, rather than on frivolous or impetuous purchases.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to help you stay at the top of your financial game.
Welcome! You'll now have financial tips sent to you directly each month.
You are leaving Alliant’s website to enter a website hosted by an organization separate from Alliant Credit Union. The products and services on this website are being offered through LPL Financial or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Alliant Credit Union.The privacy and security policies of the site may differ from those of Alliant Credit Union.