Discretionary income options

Making the most of your discretionary income

Discretionary income is what you have left over after paying fixed costs. It’s yours to spend on whatever you choose.


How you spend that money can make a difference in your financial situation, but first we need to know what discretionary income is.


Car operating expenses

The power

The debt

Food etc.

People with some kind of addiction will prioritize their spending so that the addiction is included among the fixed expenses.

As adults everyone has freedom of choice as long as they are debt free, which means that freedom is eroding depending on the level of debt.

The old saying, “The borrower is the lender’s slave,” sums it up.

We all have control over most of our fixed expenses, such as groceries and electricity; we can cut these, but they are fixed with items like prices/rent, but we can still choose to live in a more modest apartment or downsize.

The excess of your expenses is called discretionary income.

Another way to increase your disposable (discretionary) income is to increase your income by getting a part-time job, getting paid work, or selling things online.

Saving your discretionary spending for a greater purpose instead of taking it away gives your life meaning. Instead of letting things happen, you are making things happen. In 10-20 years many people asked what happened.

There is a big difference between saving and investing your money. Savvy investors use their discretion to increase their wealth in higher risk stocks and shares by investing in gold and cryptocurrency. There are enough online platforms where you are able to pour money into these things if you are moving up the investment ladder.

But you might prefer to save it for the holidays and check off an item or two on your bucket list. Closed borders will limit the choice of places, but there are so many wonderful places to visit here in New Zealand, it’s a chance to discover your own backyard.

Some of New Zealand’s most popular activities include trekking Franz and Fox glaciers, soaking in the hot pools at Hanmer Springs, visiting the Marlborough wine region or attending one of the country’s sporting events. One thing I should mention here is the Tranz Alpine Express train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. It is one of the best train journeys in the world and having experienced it I cannot agree more. It should be on everyone’s bucket list.