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Tax Season: Beware of Emotional Spending

This is an interesting time of the year. The new Disney movie, Black Panther, via Marvel Studios, has hit the market and is doing extraordinarily well. It is tax time and refunds should be flowing into the accounts and mailboxes of many families in the coming days. On top of all that, U.S. workers are seeing an increase in take-home pay from their employers due to the new Trump Tax Plan.

Now with all that going on, I warn you to not get so emotional that you waste your money. Here are some things to watch out for:

The Wakanda experience or the Wakanda experiment

If I am Disney and Marvel, I am sitting back watching the success of our new movie, viewing the responses to the movie, and thinking how I could capitalize on the momentum that we just created.  You know what I am now thinking? Can we build an area in our theme park and give Black Panther viewers the ability to enjoy the Wakanda experience or the Wakanda experiment? If the numbers are right and the space is available, I would begin a building project and see to it that the project is announced and completed by the completion date of Black Panther II.

My fear is that, someone at Disney or Marvel is probably already thinking along those lines. If this does happen, please understand that Wakanda is a fictional West African country, this would not be a pilgrimage, it would be more like being “pick-pocketed.” Don’t just throw money at something like this. Don’t be so emotionally tied to the moment that you squander your financial present and throw your financial future into shock. If you do hear something like this, be sure to invest in Disney and partake in their earnings. By the way their ticker symbol is DIS.

Tax refunds are here!

Is it only me who notices that retailers seem to take a slight break in January from the deep discounts offered during the Christmas season, only to dangle similar discounts between the Super Bowl and Easter? Retailers know that this time of the year, some families will typically have more money on hand than any other time of the year.

These retailers also try to appeal to your emotions in order to bait you into the store or their website.  Once you arrive there will be a number of other seductive allurements to attract your dollars and distract your mind.  Marketing and advertising is a science and retailers know that after a certain amount of exposure, certain color schemes, and sexuality will tug on your emotional side, draw you in, and you will spend money that you didn’t intend to or cannot afford to.

In fact one of my mentors, Bishop Roderick R. Caesar started a set of financial principles that are repeated every Sunday for nearly the past 10+ years during Sunday morning service.  One of the points is, “A deal is not a deal if it does not factor into my budget!” That is a principle to live by.

Extra money on payday!

You probably already have started noticing that you have slightly more take-home pay from your employer.  If you haven’t seen this slight increase, you should by the end of March 2018. This extra money isn’t a gift as it seems.  It is more like a “stimulus package” to help you should you have a tax liability at the end of the year. Again, for some, this is a ploy to distract your mind and subtract from your wallet. Be wise with what you do with the extra take-home money you are receiving.

Don’t get caught in the emotion of the moment. Develop a financial plan and stay the course!

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About Frederick Towles

Frederick Towles is an entrepreneur, author and professional coach on personal finance, recognizing, seizing and leveraging opportunities of all kinds. Frederick founded The Towles Group Inc. to address issues that relate to small businesses and individuals – accounting, taxation, asset protection, financial compliance, wealth creation, debt management and business management. He also founded Unlimited Expectations Inc. which provides tools for individuals to assist them in the areas of opportunity recognition, leadership and personal finance. Through the tools and services offered by these companies people are positioned to operate their lives and their businesses at optimal capacity.

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