Discretionary income selection

Making the most of your discretionary income

Discretionary income is what you have left after paying your fixed expenses. You can spend on what you choose.


How you spend that money can affect your financial situation, but before we do that, we need to understand what discretionary income is.


Expenses for the operation of the car



Products, etc.

People who have an addiction will prioritize their spending so that the addiction is included in their ongoing expenses.

As an adult, everyone has freedom of choice if they are debt-free, meaning their freedom is eroded by their level of debt.

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

We all have some control over most of our fixed costs, such as groceries and electricity; we can downsize them but items like rates/rent are fixed but even then we can 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 a higher-paying job, or selling things online.

Saving your discretionary spending for a greater purpose instead of spending it gives your life some meaning. Instead of just letting things happen, you make things happen. Many people 10-20 years later wondered what happened.

There is a big difference between keeping your money and investing it. Astute discretionary investors grow their wealth by investing in higher risk stocks and shares, gold and cryptocurrency. There are enough online platforms where you can dig into these things while you’re still climbing the investment ladder.

But then you might prefer to save for a vacation and check off an item or two on your bucket list. Border closures will limit your choice of places, but here in New Zealand there are so many fantastic places to visit that it’s a chance to discover your own backyard.

Among the most popular activities in New Zealand are landing on Franz and Fox glaciers, diving in the hot pools of Hanmer Springs, visiting the Marlborough wine region or attending one of the sporting events around the country. One thing I have to mention here is the Tranz Alpine Express train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. It is considered one of the best train journeys in the world, and having experienced it, I disagree. This should be on everyone’s bucket list.