This week’s podcast is a continuation of the series with Megan Russell from Marotta Wealth Management regarding healthy spending. In past episodes we talked about core values budgeting, avoiding advertising and waiting a week before making larger purchases. 

In this episode, Megan and I discuss ways to get the most value from the things you’ve already spent money to acquire. In particular, we talk about using what you already own, squeezing out the last bits of value from items that no longer bring you joy, taking care of the things that you buy in line with your core budgeting and finally, making all the strategies above a team effort for your family.

First, we explore using what you already own. This is where the notion of good to the last drop, or in Megan’s case, sucking all the fun out of something (in a good way) comes into play. We’ve all found ourselves in a situation in which we need a particular item. Instead of buying said item, take a minute to think about two things: 

1. Do you already own the item you need? 

2. Could your need be fulfilled by something you already own? 

Have a pile of books on the floor? Do you have a bookshelf that can be cleared off? What about another piece of furniture you could stack the books on or store them inside? Don’t rush to buy something new when you might be able to get more value from something you already have lying in wait. 

If some of the things you own are no longer bringing you joy, consider if they are worth passing along to others that might find value in the items. Selling stuff that still has life left via garage sales, local social media avenues such as NextDoor or Facebook Marketplace, and even eBay can spread the wealth by giving you some money back on what you purchased. If the money isn’t worth the effort in some cases, pass the items along for free. Bringing someone else joy is just as valuable as recouping some cash on prior purchases.

Next we explore the notion of taking care of what you own. This seems like common sense but all too often, tools are discarded in random places, toys are left out in the rain, shoes are left where the dog can chew on them…

Get into the habit of keeping track of the things that you use most often that bring you joy. For instance, I use my woodworking shop when I have the time. I also love to run. Whenever I head into the workshop, I know where everything is because I have taken the time to organize my tools and keep my work area clean. I also keep a box where all my running accessories are stored. These two hobbies are part of my core values and it shows in the way I maintain my “stuff” for each.

Getting kids to take care of what you own is another challenge. Megan gives great tips on creating scarcity and allowing kids to feel the pain of loss. If you have four soccer balls, it’s not likely the kids will care if they kick one into the woods. They won’t chase after it knowing there are three more in the garage. What if you only have one soccer ball? They will need to keep track of it, put it away when they are finished playing otherwise they won’t have a ball next time they want to kick one around. Have an older child with expensive electronics? If something breaks, consider learning how to repair the item together. Lost their phone? Have them mow the lawn or shovel the driveway to earn back the money you spend to replace the item.

The best way to get the most value from what you already own is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Buying into all these money saving tips as a family will help you be far more successful than trying to do it on your own. Share your knowledge from these podcasts with friends. Frugality is contagious. 

Learn more about Mike and my services at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

Are you ready to create your ideal lifestyle? Let’s Connect.

Transcript
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00:30 Megan: Thanks so much for having me. It's always fun to be here.

00:33 Mike: Yeah, today's topic is a continuation of our series and we’re getting really good feedback on the series. if you haven't listened to the previous shows with Megan, go back and check those out. It's all about aligning your spending with your values so it's a customized budget for you. What makes sense in your life to be spending now and in the future, what we call savings for spending in the future. And so we've had a lot of great discussions on this and today's topic is a continuation of that around how to spend less money. Now, I don't want people to turn it off. Now Nah, you can't tell me to spend money. That's not what we're saying at all. And again, if you go back, it's not about stopping spending money. It's about just spending the right amounts of money to bring you the most joy in your life, aligned with values. Megan, what are some of the things that are gonna be talking about today? Spending less money?

01:33 Megan: Yeah, so spending less money. It definitely has to be put in the context of everything that we've been talking about so far. If you've missed the first ones in our series, definitely go back and listen to especially the first one, because you don't wanna start with spending less money. You wanna start with figuring out what your money is for. So if you've been following along in our series, hopefully you've done some of the exercises you've figured out where you're happy. What is your money for? What's that core of your budget? And then you also by extension know the edge of your budget is, are the things that you could do without or leave it? You could spend less, and it would be fine. And really today's discussion is gonna be a bunch about that outer fringe. Do you spend less on the things that aren't the core of your budget? So if the core of your budget is eating out, you should eat out. Don't apply all of these principles to that budget, unless there are principles you enjoy in that budget. But maybe on the outer edge, maybe you have some things that yeah. You spend money there, but it's just not super joyful. These principles are where you help hack back that spending and make it so that making more room for the things that bring you joy both today and in the future. So we're gonna be talking about those budgeting principles for how to whack back the fringe of your budget.

02:52 Mike: Okay. Oh man, that's so great because of course you get worried right away. Stop spending money, but put this in the right perspective. So we know the things that are bringing us joy because we've done some of those exercises about, oh man, there's no way I'm cutting dining out or my running clothes bring me so much joy having that new gear. I'm not gonna cut on those So that's not what we're talking about today. We're talking about the things that aren't bringing you as much joy. Here's tips and tricks and ideas, strategies for cutting back on the things in your budget that don't bring you joy. So where do we get started?

03:27 Megan: So I think a good way to always start is to just start with things that you already own, because all of us have just a wealth of tangible assets, a wealth of services or things that are at our disposal that we discount a lot of times. When we look at our bank account and think that's how much I have, but your house probably has thousands of things that are super, super valuable that you could use, that you could use more than you are using now. And so let's just start there, we should presume that we have the thing to solve our problem. So if you're like me, I know we talked about kitchen gadgets a lot in some of our previous ones. It's super fun to get a new one, but maybe you have something already in your house that solves and meets that sufficiently. If you're not a professional chef, cooking and peeling every day in that kitchen or something like that may cut back on your kitchen budget, and using the things that you already have is going to be a great way to produce more value. So I like to say the best one's the one you already own. So if I already have something I use that, until proven wrong and you're like, actually this doesn't work at all use it, use that one and see if it satisfies the need.

04:49 Mike: Oh my gosh. That’s a great strategy. When you first started talking about the stuff you already own, my head went to a different strategy. I'm getting a dumpster next weekend and throwing out all the stuff I already own and that I'm not using. But that's not this little hacker or tip. I’m finding as I search through those things that I'm gonna put in the dumpster, it's going to be, oh, I might be able to use this. I was thinking about purchasing this other item, wait, I already have one so looking around and especially in the things that don't bring you a ton of joy, like a cooking utensil, unless you're that professional chef or amateur, you just love all that cooking. So you get the latest knives to help out, which is great. Otherwise you're like, I already own a spatula, go back to our episode about clicking by the impulse, oh yeah this spatula looks awesome I'm totally buying it, it's only $11. Wait, I already own spatulas. Why do I need another one? So using what you already have around the house is a great idea.

05:47 Megan: And the same can be applied to those that are more consumable. You think about every week maybe, or every month or whatever, you go to the grocery store, you stock up, you get a whole bunch stuff for your fridge and kind of at the end of that period, you've got some old spinach left over and there's a cucumber that's half cut and what are you gonna do with it all? And when you have a waste of nothing mentality and the mentality that the best one is the one that you own it can help you then stretch out something that you otherwise would've thrown away. And so what are you gonna do with that old spinach and that old cucumber? Do you have the stuff to make a salad? Maybe it's an odd salad, in our house we call it kitchen sink salads that are a mixture of a whole bunch of random things. The idea is like you've put everything in the kitchen sink. So we call them kitchen sink salads. And on our last day, we'll often have a kitchen sink salad for lunch or for dinner just a hodgepodge. And sometimes it all really works together and you find out man, ham and oranges are actually surprisingly tasty on a salad together. And maybe it doesn't work as well. I'm gonna eat around those olives because they don't really match the flavor of all of the rest of the salad or whatever, but that kind of mentality. Using until the very, very end. In my family, we have a family story. This is my memory of the family story. So if you talk to someone maybe they'll remember it slightly differently. But my memory of the family story is that we were out at a barbecue restaurant and my dad was eating the last of his ribs off of the bone. And he was sucking the barbecue sauce off, because it was so good he wasn't gonna waste a drop. And my brother was like, dad, what are you doing? Super mockingly. And my dad said, sucking out the last drop of fun. And that phrase of sucking out the last drop of fun or stretching it until it's end that became my family phrase. And we really have that waste, nothing mentality of there's probably more joy in this and if you just have that bias of, there's probably more joy in this I can probably get something else really valuable. Then you will inevitably not have to buy as much stuff because there's something else you can do with this thing. And when you just challenge yourself of what is the thing I can do with this, then everything that has something that you can do with it, you'll find out what it is.

08:08 Mike: Yeah, I love that mentality of sucking out all the fun, just having that mentality across the board. So as you're looking at things, one last use or one more use for this is a great idea, but I'm thinking, Megan, how do you respond to things like hoarding? Cause I could imagine, right, oh, I'm going through looking for stuff to put in the dumpster. Oh, there is a use for this. I'll save it. It could be used and then my basement is full again of stuff I might use in future. So how do you balance that?

08:36 Megan: So there are a couple of things here, one is that maybe you're not the one who's gonna use it. And so if you're willing, things like eBay or Amazon are ways you can turn stuff over that has more use in it back into money for your budget. And so my dad is really big on eBay. He's our official family, eBay Lister and so if we have something that we're like, feel like there's more joy in it but it's not for me, we'll see if he can list it on eBay and turn it into money, more money for the family. And that's really neat of me, I wanna get this out of my house, but there's more joy in it. If you're not super inclined to another thing that you do, almost every town has a buy nothing giving away things in a buy nothing group, you post oh, I've got this. Like one thing I just gave away was an old bike helmet that doesn't fit anymore. You can't resell bike helmets, perfectly fine. Bike helmet that's never been in a crash. And so I posted it to buy nothing. They took it away when somebody else picked it up from my house. There’s someone loving the kids bike helmet and giving it away in a buy nothing group, you definitely gain connections with others who then later you wanna say, I'm in search of something, can you help me find it? Like I'm in search of this really obscure garden tool and like to borrow it, you've given away a bunch of stuff in the group. And so they're more inclined to help you find that garden tool or find that obscure thing that you need and so the buy nothing group is another way that if it's not for you, but it could for someone you can turn it into more value in your life. And those buy nothing groups are hyper local. So you tend to also get friends out of it.

10:31 Mike: Yeah. We have something similar here. We use social media called next door and that's pretty big in our area. And so there's lots of ones, but the same idea you can post for free. You haven't convinced me to get rid of my dumpster yet. Although I'm thinking, yeah, there's gonna be some stuff that could have a second use but I always find, speaking of the Ebay kind of selling things. Oh, there's this trade off of time and money. And a lot of items don't have a lot of value left, in terms of monetary value. I hate them going to the landfill of course, I want them to be reused, but I'm gonna spend however many minutes, listing photos and listing and packaging and sending. And it's like for a $10, even $20 or even $50 item with all the fees and stuff. So sometimes I get a little bit jaded with selling it, but that's why I do like these local groups: Craigslist NextDoor. There's been a lot of them over the last decade or two, uh where, because it's so much faster, just a photo, just list it free. Come pick it up, I'll leave it out on the fence, or whatever. And so it's a great way of getting to reuse that all.

11:30 Megan: I will say that on eBay, you never know what's going to sell. And so my dad has listed what we got for free. We've saved them for years. And he has now listed them and sold them. And so it's random things like he went to Stanford, he got a free pamphlet at Stanford he saved as like memento for a bunch of years and then he was like, I don't really need this anymore, I don't wanna throw it away because it's a pamphlet, a memento. So he listed it. It sold for a small amount of money, but still like it's a small amount of money once you get in the rhythm of it, the amount of effort of eBay listing it's not high. It can be a lot more like just snap a photo put it up see if it sells

12:14 Mike: I agree. And also, it depends on what resonates with you, right? That wasn't resonating with me. I didn't enjoy that time, it's just a hassle, but there are so many people that it sounds like your dad too, just love the adventure of listing things, seeing what sells it doesn't matter if it’s pennies or dollars, it's just like a fun activity.

12:30 Megan: You can do the same thing on Facebook marketplace and things like that.

12:35 Mike: Yep We've been using Facebook a good point. Facebook marketplace. We've used that a lot for some free items as well, even which has been great for a few that I need to add to my house rather than get rid of. That’s why I need to get rid of more things.

12:47 Megan: The last thing on the hoarding is if you have things that you're like, this might be useful, but I don't know if I'm going to use it. If you give yourself a designated box, that's the box thing that if I don't get it out of here, I’m going to throw it away, they're not gonna be in my house anymore. But if I come and I fish it out, then we'll keep it because it must be important so there's a little bit of the like if it actually is useful it will prove itself to be useful, so just picking it up and thinking about it and being like this jar could be really useful for this particular purpose, I don't know if I'm actually gonna use it and so then I'll put it in my box and when the time comes check my box, if the jar's still in it must not have been useful because I’ll come get it out of the box.

13:35 Mike: That reminds me of you waiting for you on the purchasing side. Having that list and saying, oh, I really want this thing. Let me put it in the list and wait a week. If I still want it, I'll come back. It's the opposite of that. Put it in the box. And for me, I'm thinking through Megan in my house, if anything, in. There's stuff all over my house. I haven't even looked in a year. And so if I put it in a box, there is no chance I'm getting it out of the box. That box disappeared on the back corner somewhere. Every, about once a year, it's oh, didn't we have one of these items somewhere in this house and there's no I can find it.

14:07 Megan: Oh, yeah, doing a home inventory for your insurance purposes is a good idea. But I've used my home inventory more for just locating items in my house than anything else. Where is that? Do I still own it? I actually have a list of things I've given away in my home inventory just to keep track of like I did have that I'm not crazy, but it's not here anymore.

14:30 Mike: I could prove there was. Here's a picture that we did have of this thing. See?

14:33 Megan: Yeah.

14:34 Mike: So again, we're talking about the things on the fringe. We're not using them all the time. They're not core. We may not get a lot of value out of them but don't waste anything. Look around your house to see what's there that you could reuse for that purpose. Oh, I have too many books that are sitting on the floor. I need a bookcase. Hey, maybe there's a piece of furniture kicking around the house that you could reuse or some kind of stackable box or whatever. So reuse things don't waste stuff. What else are other good tips for being able to spend less reuse what we have or spend less money on things that we might want?

15:01 Megan: So related to wasting nothing figuring out more joy, there's also taking care of the stuff that you actually own. Stuff happens, you end up with it like stuff on the floor, I know kids' toys end up on the floor a lot. But when they're on the floor, they might get stepped on, they might get broken, they might get vacuumed, we're putting all that value of all of that joy on the line effectively when we put it in harm's way or when we don't take care of it. And so you can extend the life of your possessions by taking care of them. And as a result, you can extend the value and you can lessen the amount that you have to actually buy new things. So that 's a mindset. Again, just like the waste of nothing is a mindset, taking care of your things is a mindset. And I think what we were talking about before with the what if you just have too much stuff, it goes hand in hand with this take care of your things, if you do have too much stuff, such that you can't take care of them all, you will end up breaking them not being able to repair them not being able to extend the life. And there is a sense in which decluttering and actually paring it down to the things that are just your joy will help you extend the life of those things. Because if you have so many toys that you can't even fit them all in your toy chest, suddenly, you're going to be leaving them on the floor, and they're going to be broken. But if you just could fit them all in your toy chest, it would be easier to take care of them, and you actually would be able to enjoy them for longer.

16:25 Mike: Yeah, oh my gosh, I love how they go hand in hand with the right amount of things. So that's it, you can take care of them properly. So it's also a good marker for maybe you have a little too many things, too many children's toys that often the toy chest, I'm thinking, I've got so many games, we love to play games as a family, I've got stacks and stacks of games. Now luckily they're nicely organized, like all the pieces are mostly back in the boxes. But it's still that idea of geez, we don't even play them, you know that often we could get rid of some of those recycle and other families and then get new games coming in that we could enjoy.

16:58 Megan: I'm so glad that you use that example, because games are at the core of my budget. And I probably have an entire two bookcases filled with board games. And so hearing oh, we could pass on games. To me, I'm like what? We could not pass on games, like we need to keep the space. And so I'm really glad to use that as an example. Because it's so good, it's such a good view of if it's at your core, you have to protect it, don't tear it down if it's at your core, but if it's not at your core, make room, you got to make room for your running stuff. Like I don't have running stuff I'm buying all the time, I would totally pass on taking care of that. But you do and you need to make room for it in your life and your budget and your wealth.

17:42 Mike: Yeah, it's funny. That's so great. We also love gaming, it isn't my core, but I just have so many games that I haven't played them in like two years where the kids have gotten older or whatever. And it's like, All right, we could probably my shelves are overflowing back to the toy box example. It's like, All right, I've designated a number of shelves. And we're using more than that now. So maybe we got to do a little paring down but not the ones we've played within the last year. Now here's a question for you. Because taking care of stuff really resonated with me. Because I've incorporated that pretty well, in terms of some of the things that I have, I did a lot of woodworking in the past. So getting used to taking care of my tools, taking care of the workshop, like making sure everything I know where it is just brought me a lot of joy, but also made my life more efficient. In the workshop, the tools would run, they were sharp and ready to go anywhere they were, I wasn't spending time looking for them. So that translates into a lot of other things in my life. If I have something I do like to take care of it because I want to know exactly where it is. I hate looking for things, and I want it to be ready to go. So I try to get things put back away. My running gear is all in a box all in one place. So if I'm looking for my vest, or my hat, or my glasses, or a belt, or whatever, it's all like in one spot. But when I'm having trouble, Megan is teaching my kids how to take care of their things. Their stuff is like everywhere, and it's left outside in the rain and gets rusted and it's like all over the floor and gets stepped on. So are there any strategies you gotta get as well? And what strategies are you using to try to teach how to take care of your things?

19:16 Megan: I will say I think it's very hard for kids who come from families of means to learn to take care of their things, because they have a mentality of I can always get another one. Which is, I think, really a challenge to overcome. When you're a kid who grows up in a family that doesn't have very much you can't get another one. So you're going to protect if your ball breaks, that was the ball and the ball is gone. But when you're in a family of means you might have three or four of them already, even before one breaks, you already had four and so when one breaks, you're like no big deal. It's not my money. I didn't buy that ball, like I'm not out anything, whereas the parents are the ones who are feeling all of the pain of the ball breaking. And so I do think it is really a challenge in my family. I'm all about natural consequences. And so if something breaks, it's broken, we don't have to repair it, you know, we need, she should hopefully participate in the repair process if she can, so that she knows the effort that goes into fixing something when it's broken. So I think there's a little bit of that. In my family, we also have the, like, we're not going to do something fun until we clean up the thing we finished. And so there's a little bit of that, we're just you have to, you just have to do it. When she's playing with me, she doesn't really have an alternative. If I'm going around, cleaning up all the stuff, she's got to come clean up with me. It almost gets more challenging, though. I know you have older kids, it gets more challenging with older kids, because you're not playing with them. They're just leaving their stuff around the house, that's you're not there with them actively playing dolls. It's not a doll game that's going on here. There's just stuff all over. So I'm not sure how much I can speak to the older kid, because I haven't gotten there yet. But I definitely think the kids have a harder time learning to take care of their stuff. Because unless they have that buy in where they're like, I have to buy the replacement, it's coming from my money, I'm going to be making that decision or something like that, unless they feel the scarcity that an adult would feel I don't know that there's a super great way to motivate them.

21:14 Mike: Yeah. I'm so glad that you said that. And I hadn't thought about that before. And it just resonated exactly with me. Because and especially your example, on the balls, yeah, we have four soccer balls. So of course, they don't care. And they're not the ones that bought it anyway, and so I'm harping on them to stuff away, that's why it's not hitting home. Oh, the other thing I was gonna say is just having one item, we had one soccer ball, then it's taking up less space, we know where it is, like, where's the soccer ball, right, there's only one of them, you got to keep track of it. So it takes up less space, and you'll keep track of it, and you will take care of it. So I have found that multiple times like paring down to one thing, look, we don't need three, just have one know where it is, and keep track of it. Right. The other thing is getting the buy-in for the kids. Now you have one child, I've got three children. So already I'm at a disadvantage. So that's a challenge, but I love the way you said to get them to buy in. And I've done that as well, where look, I'll buy you the first one, and we'll use it. But if it gets broken or something, then you're pitching in for the next one, I'll help you depending on what it is, maybe we'll go have these but get them to buy in unless there's going to be some pain, I like the way you put that some pain. Learn that here in the nice household versus when they're out in the real world, right.

22:29 Megan: And as much as possible, I think getting them involved in the repair process to can help because if you do repairs, if it's something you can repair, if the printer breaks, I can't repair printers, we have a toy hospital in our house, it's a little spot, we put toys that have broken and then we super glue them back together normally or like plastic cement or something like that. But just learning the process here's what it takes to bring your toy back. So that there's some sense of oh, if my stuffed animal breaks open, somebody asked to hand sew it closed again. It's just knowing the effort that goes in even if they're not the one necessarily doing it, I think yeah, really helpful.

23:06 Mike: Oh, I think that's amazing. Gets your kids involved in that process, learning repairs, learning tools, spending their time doing that you get the time with your child as well doing it, and then you're taking care of that thing. And you're not buying, like all, you know, four or five different points there, which is fantastic. So I love the repair shop as,

23:25 Megan: Yeah, little toy hospital.

23:27 Mike: Toy hospital. All right. So we've got quite a few things. Are there other items that you wanted to hit on in terms of saving you around the edges, things that aren't in your core?

23:37 Megan: Yes. Another thing that I wanted to point out on the topic of taking care of your things is that sometimes there's something that is frequently worn out, you're constantly having to buy another one. And it's just like, what is happening? Why is this breaking? And so anytime that I'm buying a replacement of something, I like to have a little moment when I think about what has happened that's brought me to the point of buying another one. If it's that spatula that's broken, what did I do to break it? Was it not high enough quality? Did I use it in the native appropriate way? And I try to think about when I'm getting a replacement, what's a feature that I could get, that would mean that I wouldn't have to buy another one. And so maybe it's the I use the spatula and I use it in a heat environment and it wasn't supposed to be in a heat environment and that I melted it next time I need to not be so cheapskate and buy the spatula that's not heat resistant, I need to get the heat resistant one and maybe it costs a little bit more but I'm making a lifelong commitment to a spatula, I'm going to see it to the end of its days, because I have a waste nothing mentality and I'm going to take care of it. So I should spend three extra dollars today so that I can have the spatula for decades. So in my own life an example of this is I have nighttime headphones that I wear that I can listen to podcasts and things like that while I'm falling asleep and I bought a pair and they broke like within a year and I was like what did I you know, and I had to do some troubleshooting to figure out what kind of headphone cord do I need to be able to lie on my side with headphones in and not break them. And after I troubleshooted it, I found a headphone pair where the cord, which is the thing that breaks most frequently, can be removed, you can plug in a new cord. So now I've got really nice headphones, and I've got a cord that costs like $7. And if the core does break, which it hasn't yet, but if it does break, I can just unplug it and get another one and plug a new one in and keep going. And I've saved most of the value of the headphones. And so it's those kinds of examples where it's like, it's breaking a lot. Why don't we just buy another one? Let's figure out how we can spend less money on its replacement.

25:43 Mike: Right? Oh, yeah, like that, especially as things get broken or ruined in some way? What is it that you can try to avoid next time and it might be happenstance or whatever, but maybe there are certain features. But as you were talking, I was thinking about, for me the things that keep replacing my running shoes, and I don't think there's a lot I could do about that, then I was like, Oh no, that's in my core, I love going out there. So I'm going to buy the running shoes, wear them for as long as I can, and extend them a little bit longer, and then know that I'm gonna have to buy another one. And I'm not again, getting back to early episodes, I'm not going to compromise on that, because it brings me so much joy.

26:18 Megan: So there's one tip on running shoes, you may already know this. But if you have two pairs of running shoes, and you switch which one you wear each day, giving the shoes a day to air out actually extends their life. And so two shoes will each last longer. If you're using them at the same time alternating than if you use them sequentially like one shoe, when it breaks, you get another one. Because having that day of airing out actually helps extend the life of your shoe.

26:45 Mike: Good tip. Unfortunately, I'm running way too often, I already have at least two or three pairs of shoes that I need to rotate. Because my training right, if I'm training for some race, I will wear out a pair of shoes. And then I don't want new shoes right before the race. So already cycling at least three pairs of shoes. Well, they hadn't heard that that'll the cushioning and stuff will probably spring back and then Oh last longer. So a great tip, I told a funny story to a friend who was going out to buy some running shoes or was out buying things, and saw some running shorts. I need some running shorts. So she picked them up. Listen to our episode about similar or talking today. wait a week, do you already have something she's we already have running shorts, she actually went back and took them back to the store. practical implementation of some of the things that we're talking about. That's awesome. So are there any other items that you wanted to make sure we covered today, maybe

27:35 Megan Another one here is that sometimes shopping is a group experience, you're gonna go out, you're buying something altogether. Or maybe you're shopping as a family for a particular item. And the people that you're shopping with, or that you're talking about you're shopping with will greatly affect how much money you spend. And so if you're surrounded by a lot of really spendy friends, you'll be more inclined to spend more money. Whereas if you're surrounded by a lot of frugal friends who are all helping you who are like, Why did you get that? If you need running shorts, then you'll be more inclined to be frugal. And that kind of spending money is really contagious is the way I would say it spending money is contagious. And so it's important to get your family on board. And also have them having the mentality of wasting nothing, taking care of your things, only using just enough all those kinds of thrift mentality. And also the like, wait a week, if you're sitting around waiting a week and your spouse is like buying things right and left, it's gonna feel really lame and really bad. And so figuring out the system that you can implement as a group will really help ensure success there. And same thing for if you're regularly shopping with friends, or if you're talking about your shopping with your friends. Talk about this with your friends to talk about the podcasts that you listened to, and the lessons that you learned. And even if you don't implement everything, any one of these things will help you save money and will help you achieve your goals.

29:04 Mike: Oh my gosh. 100%. As with most things you already know, with our partner, we gotta be on the same page. Otherwise, it's gonna fall flat. So as you're listening to these episodes, I'm sure a couple of things resonated with you today. Oh, yeah, I do that thing or oh, I can do this. Yeah, bring it up and talk about it on the same page. And the other thing to broaden the perspective, you said to your friends, if they're more frugal, and you'll naturally be that way more spending, you'll naturally be that way. Remember that you are the average of your five closest friends. Oh, interesting. So pick your friends wisely. And not just your friends. Sometimes we can't fire our friends or fire our family. I get that. But you can decide how much time you want to be spending with each of your friends and family and how much mental energy and attention you will give to each of those people. And I have a concrete example too. I've mentioned running a few times. I have some friends that are unbelievably fantastic athletes and I've never been as athletic as they are, but I spend time around them. To encourage myself, I've always had something to look up to, or look forward to or to be an average of right. If I'm spending time around people that are super athletic, I'm naturally going to want to spend more time being healthy and doing those things. If you want to eat healthier, or you want to move towards being a vegetarian or something like that, if you find friends that are doing that, you're on that journey together, you will naturally do it, it will fit in. This is why you're the product of those five people that you're closest with. So on the spending front, I love to get aligned with people that are speaking the way that you want to be behaving, and having those conversations and you will naturally be able to do that and feel really great about it.

30:43 Megan: Yeah, that's great. Make it a team effort.

30:46 Mike: Exactly. Exactly. Megan, thank you so much for all the tips and strategies today, we hit on four or five different ones. Be in the show notes, they'll be in articles so you can find all this stuff and review it. Get more detailed information and appreciate everything today. Great. Thanks for joining us on financial planning for entrepreneurs. If you like what you heard, please subscribe to and rate the podcast on Apple iTunes, Google play Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can connect with me on linkedin or mortonfinancialadvice.com. I'd love to get your feedback. If you have a comment or question, please email me at . Until next time thanks for tuning in!

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