A solid financial future: It's the little things

By Brett Anderson

St. Croix Advisors


As I wrap up our exploration into modern life in America, I got to thinking that a lot of what makes life successful are the little things. Save a little along the way and pretty soon, you have a lot. Store up each little moment with your loved ones for a lifetime of memories later.

The little things also count when it comes to cost savings for two very American pastimes: watching TV and owning a pet. Both things can add to your monthly expenditures, but there are little things you can do to keep costs down on both fronts while still enjoying your favorite shows and your pets.

Cutting the cable bill

Eliminate the cable bill completely by incorporating a solid online offering in its place. Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and Netflix have all revolutionized the way America does TV. For a fraction of the price of cable packages, you can still watch many of your favorite current shows, past seasons and even feature films. The only thing you’ll need is an Internet to TV connection through an HDMI cable. Plus, if you already have an Amazon Prime account, many of your favorite TV shows and movies are free through their Prime Instant Video program.

Cutting the vet bill

While you probably can’t eliminate the cost of vet care entirely if you’re parent to a pet, there are certain steps that you can take to at least bring costs down.
  1. Preventative maintenance is key — Just as with a human:, keeping your pet healthy eliminates a lot of higher costs down the road when your pet becomes sick or injured as a result of poor health. This includes keeping your pet at a healthy weight and visiting your vet for regular check-ups at least annually to catch any problems early on.

  2. Think of your pet’s care realistically — Often, vets will suggest costly tests and treatments that are beyond reasonable for the condition of the animal and your wallet. Make sure that you find a vet that shares your same attitude about your pet and their quality of life, so you aren’t pressured into shelling out thousands of dollars on a dismal prognosis.

  3. Start saving now — Instead of buying into a costly (and often quite restricted) pet health care plan, start a savings or investment account for the costs. Start when your pet is young. Then, as the account grows, you can access it throughout your pet’s life to cover vet costs.
See, it’s the little things that count. A little saving here, a little planning there, and a solid financial future awaits.