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Every budget has it’s must-haves: food, shelter, heat. Conversely, most have some luxuries: gym memberships, smart phones and lattes.
But what about items that aren’t necessarily essential to living (although, I’d argue that with the 2nd item in this list) but rank high on your list of priorities? Our budget has a few such items.
Several years ago, we decided to give at least 10% of our income to help others. By living simply, our goal is to give more. More time, more income, more love.
Last year, we tried giving to Kiva and really enjoyed it. It’s actually a micro-lending program, but we just keep reinvesting the money that gets repaid to help someone else.
And then there’s the really fun giving, like surprising someone with a meal or leaving friends some delicious micro-brews on their door step.
2. Preventive Healthcare
A few years ago, I realized that we were spending too much money trying to treat symptoms. As I learned more about natural health, I saw that we needed to go beyond treating symptoms and get to the root of the problem.
In the last year, my main focus with preventive medicine has been on essential oils. I love that they’re potent, safe, effective and at a few cents per drop, super affordable.
Our monthly spending on healthcare? Between $50 and $100, depending on what oils need to be replaced (and sometimes more if I need to go to the chiropractor).
3. Life Insurance
As the mom of four small kids, this one is also a high priority. We’ve always had life insurance coverage (thanks to my mom who worked for a life insurance company for so long), but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that we put any thought into how much we needed.
After going through Financial Peace University, we switched to term life insurance and upped our policy amount quite a bit. We needed to make sure that, should one of us die, the other would be able to stay home with the kids without having to worry about money.
We also had to take into account what would happen to our kids in the event that we both died and chose a coverage that would provide adequate support to their new guardians. (We also finally made a will – if you don’t have one, make one NOW).
Our monthly amount is $75 and gives Ian and I the peace of mind that, should the horrible actually happen, at least money won’t be a problem. Worth every penny.
Everyone’s top priorities are different, but it’s important to identify what they are and make sure they come first.