I'm going to take a new approach to getting value out of my money and time. I am tired of paying for things I don't use. So, I'm going to start using them. If I've paid for it or earned it, I'm going to use it.
Like you, I spend thousands of dollars each year on taxes in my community. I pay out money for my home, entertainment and things. I have a job and earn great benefits. So here are ways I'm going to get value out of these things to enhance my life and stop spending money I don't need to spend.
- Sidewalks: I was driving down the street tonight and noticed a section of sidewalk was being replaced on Main Street. I thought, "It's about time they put my tax dollars to use!" Then... I realized that I don't even use that sidewalk anymore. I used to walk and jog often, but I've stopped. So, I'm going to start using the sidewalks. Same goes for streets and walking trails. I paid for them, so I'm going to use them!
- Libraries: I have contributed to a huge stockpile of books at my local library, yet I buy books on Amazon. It doesn't make sense. I will get a library card and make use of the books I've helped to pay for!
- Schools: I don't even have kids! So, I'm going to start looking for plays, events, or learning programs that are open to the community. Some of those high school plays are pretty good. And maybe I'll take a cheap class on cooking at the local community college.
- Community offices: I will no longer feel bad for asking for help or questions by my community leaders. I can reach out to city aldermen to request upgrades to my neighborhood infrastructure. I could attend city council meetings and weigh in on how my taxes are spent! I can make sure to vote in all the elections to have a say in the way my money is distributed! When I need recycling services, information or documents, and so on... I will ask. I pay the salaries of these people and I deserve to have access to the information I need, when I need it.
- Charity: I will donate my old things to charity (and obtain tax receipts to maximize my deductions.) I will investigate community volunteer organizations and events to help my community with my time. Those in need should get the full benefit of what our community offers - and maybe I can help facilitate that.
- House/Yard: I pay my monthly house payment (and taxes) and I don't use my home to it's fullest potential. I will do my best to make my home comfortable and inviting for others. I will host a barbecue and invite friends and family! I will eliminate dead spaces in my house by clearing out the extra crap I don't need or use. I will put more effort into making my yard into a creative, inviting place where I can enjoy time. Even if it's just visually appealing, I will clean up weeds, landscape, plant flowers and use my time to beautify it.
- Clothes: I have three different sizes of clothes because I don't consistently exercise. By using those sidewalks and parks, I will work to get back in the clothes I have and like, rather than having to buy new ones. I have invested in these items and I should use them rather than taking the lazy way out and buy new ones.
- Furniture: I've bought and paid for furniture that is no longer useful. I will either refinish it and find better uses for them, or give them away (tax deduction, again!). I've got a talent to refinish furniture, so I'd rather recycle that desk than have it take up space that I'm paying for! I'm tired having thing that don't benefit me, cluttering up my life.
- Cable: I will start to search the free movies and utilize the DVR that I'm paying for. Recording movies and having movie nights could be done for free (maybe the cost of popcorn). Every movie ends up being free... I don't have to see everything on the day it is released!
- Health: I'm very fortunate to have excellent benefits with my job. However, I am not sure I use them wisely. I will start using my health benefits effectively by scheduling Doctor and Dentist appointments, reviewing the website to determine what services are offered for free, and so on. I'm sure there are health programs that I could utilize to help me make better choices in my life. This time will be well spent and I'll get the full value from these benefits.
- 401K & Financial: I'll maximize my investments and investigate any advice and programs offered to help improve my financial future.
- Education: I will investigate to see if I'm eligible for additional tuition reimbursement options. I already have a Master's degree, but I may be eligible for additional education benefits that I'm not using. I may as well improve myself in any way. It will benefit me and my employer.
- Technology: I work for a terrific company that leads in technology. There are so many aspects of this technology that I don't utilize. I will start to seek out informational and educational opportunities proactively instead of waiting for them to be assigned.