JARGONAUTICS- The study of new JARGON as it invades our lives…  Here’s today’s lesson…

Fiscalicious- adj.- Having an insatiable appetite for spending someone else’s money in an irresponsible manner.  Example- “Fiscalicious government officials continue to drive our country further and further into debt by spending more than we take in.”  To hell with budgets, financial accountability, even common sense… SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!

It’s ironic that fiscalicious behavior would be ridiculous for most of us to ever consider doing in our own personal lives, but a large portion of our country doesn’t seem to have a problem with this.  We need a better common sense approach to spending than being “fiscalicious” if we don’t intend to deed California over to the Chinese in the next 5 years (wait, would that be such a bad idea?) Here a couple of quick suggestions that not only apply to Congress, but to the average Joe or Jane.

  1. Wake the Heck Up!  Be Aware.  Know How Much You Have to Work With Financially.  Seriously people, although your benefits and gross salary package are interesting fodder for dinner party conversations, the only real numbers that matter to the people you purchase from is how much actually comes into your checking account. Net pay.  Actual cash to you.  Period.  Know it.  
  2. Be Smart!  Save for a Rainy Day, or a Crappy Day, or a Broke Day!  If your income is steady, great.  If it’s seasonal or fluctuates, then be smart and spend less when you have less, and save back when you have extra.  Even if your salary never changes, your expenses will change from time to time; the AC goes out in your car, the hot water heater springs a leak, or the kids need braces.  A great rule of thumb is to save 10% of every check for these kinds of problems.  Ultimately you want to have a fund for emergencies, and as much as 6 months to a year in salary put back.
  3. Plan the Spend, and Spend the Plan.  People think of “budgets” as something ugly or mean to control spending.  Just the opposite, budgets put you in the driver’s seat, letting you be in charge of choosing what’s most important in your life, and what deserves your hard earned dollars.  Heck, call it a “spending plan” if it makes you feel better.  Of course you’re going to need to deviate from the plan occasionally; it’s not a handcuff, but a guiding hand for your spending.
  4. Grow Up, and Make the Hard Decisions Easy!  Life is too Awesome to Let Money Worries Rule Your Life!  OK, it’s not very fun to scrutinize your expenses and suddenly realize how stupid you’ve been to spend your take home pay on Chinese take out, or on underwater yoga lessons.  But if you want to buy that new car, maybe a nice spaghetti dinner at home is better than eating out, and free zumba lessons on public access TV is a wiser choice for your health and wallet than a personal trainer.

We have huge financial challenges before us as a nation, but we’re not prepared or wise enough to influence change on a national level until we get our own individual money matters under control!  Don’t be a “fiscalicious” fool, when just a few important choices stand between you and a better life you’ve been hoping for!