by Doris Dobkins

Everyday, we make choices that affect our lifestyle, both now and in the future. There is no easy formula for success, wealth or the good life. How much money you make is not usually the issue. What matters is how much you get to keep and that is determined by choices that you make everyday.

We have become accustomed to allowing society to make choices for us that we are deceived into believing we no longer have any choices left to make. I hear it all the time.

This is so far from the truth. The discovery that we do have choices can be the dawning of a new day. We all have choices. Do we realize the choices that we do have and the extent of our choices or do we make our spending decisions because that's what the Jones's are doing or that's the way my family did it or that's what the rich and famous are doing?

That extra car you own (even though it is paid off) may be costing you an extra $4,000 a year with gas, insurance, registration, and maintenance. A pattern of buying everything new might be costing you a few hundred dollars extra a year. The coffee and donuts we buy each morning can definitely add up. Don't rule out the mundane nickel and dime items.

What are your patterns of spending and how can choices you have made in the past be adjusted to assist you in meeting your future goals? If you have no goals, then you'll want to establish some to help direct your spending choices. Add up the costs of your choices and be ready for an eye opening experience.

Penny pinching and frugal living can become a habit for you. It all boils down to choices, the choices you make on what, where and when to spend your money. The choices are yours. What will you do with them?

Doris Dobkins is a money saving expert, author and speaker and has helped thousands of people find ways to save money and get out of debt.

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