Consider the “Small Stuff” in your Financial Planning…

I’m watching with pride and mixed emotions as my daughter, Brandi, gets ready to head off to college.

The house is littered with stacks of clothing, bedding, towels, shelf organizers and backpacking gear Brandi thinks she’ll need.

Stack of Clothers

My wife has informed Brandi that NO PACKING or STACKING can take place in the living room as we need to keep at least one room as a sanctuary.

Our financial strategy for college was well in place long before the start of Brandi’s senior year.

Even so, it was an eye-opening last week when the first college bill arrived. It wasn’t so much the tuition, housing, meal plan and books.

These were all obvious…but what surprised me was the fees. I sat back and stared. Here they are…all real, all on the first bill.

  • Chemistry Lab Fee
  • Academic Construction Bldg. Fee
  • Associated Students Fee
  • Health Services Fee
  • Intermodal Transportation Fee
  • Recreation Center Fee
  • Student Services Fee
  • Technology Fee
  • Student Card Fee
  • New Student Orientation Fee

I think this list of fees is a great reminder of the hidden expenses that can really drain our financial reserves much more quickly than we’d planned.

When we think about retirement, we plan to manage our large expenses much the same way as college: housing, food, medical, and other major expenses. empty walletBut we don’t plan for the draining impact of fees, service charges, insurance co-pays, traffic tolls, park user fees, permit fees, loan interest charges and the myriad of other “minor” fees we encounter daily.

The impact of these expenses becomes really important as we retire.

Develop a cash flow plan for your retirement before you retire, and don’t forget to factor in these “small” expenses.

You’ll be amazed at how they add up and affect your monthly income. By including the impact of fees in your cash flow planning, you’ll be better prepared to enjoy your retirement.couple-happy