Money is not hard to manage, we are.
I saw the latest computer come out and I had to buy it. With the swipe of a card it was mine. I didn’t have the money, but that didn’t matter at the time. It was about what I wanted.
Regret followed shortly after. I owed $2000 to my bank, and had a monthly interest that I was not looking forward to. I saw it, and had to have it then. Now I had to work longer hours just to pay off this decision of mine. I had almost no money left. I had little freedom in what I could do. It took longer than expected to pay it off. The total damage with interest was $3000.
The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.
Some of us get into debt, others don’t. Some live from pay check to pay check, others don’t. Some pay too many bills, and others don’t.
Why is it that some people have it “easy” while others don’t?
Self-discipline and understanding.
If you want to stop paying too many bills, stop buying.
Meet your needs. Then the rest is extra. Don’t spend your money on things.
The Misconception: We are continually fed advertisements. We become prone to believing that they can bring a source of happiness into our lives. By having more, we become happier. All the credit card companies are offering you freedom with their advertisements about how you can spend anytime, anywhere. That you can buy anything at your convenience. “I deserve to have this.” They also offer you a reward system and how you can “win MORE” by buying.
The Truth: Spending whenever will lead to debt. You become chained. Your freedom is taken. You are on their collar. You will have to work longer to pay off what you bought. You lose discipline.
Limit your spending. Remove what is causing you to spend your money. Take control of your spending. Make conscious choices of what you need. Don’t believe any advertisements. They have one goal in mind, your money.
Solution: Cut your credit cards. Get rid of cards that offer you “convenience”. You cannot just buy things based on an impulse, advertisements or to compete.
Now that you don’t have credit cards, you need an alternative. The envelope rule. If you want to manage your money; spread out your spending into envelopes and mark them with what you NEED. This is what you NEED, not what you WANT. When you get paid; take out cash for your envelops. Estimate how much you need for your gas, food, house (etc) per every time you get paid. Work towards your estimate. This way you limit yourself and work towards your set budget.
Limiting yourself to a budget you HAVE to stay within that range. The longer you practice this, the more you understand your own spending and what you really NEED. You become aware of what you spend your money on. If you overspend, you can work towards evaluating why you did. You have physical proof of your overspending. If you underspend, that’s perfect! Take that money and put it in an account. See how much you can save each year. This is working towards your own discipline.
What you need versus what you want. The constant struggle. Through media conditioning we rarely focus on what we need. We are easily convinced that we need a larger screen, a faster phone, a better gadget etc.
STOP COMPETING. Just because John has the newest phone, doesn’t mean you need it to be like John or better than John.
Large expenses do not increase the quality of your life, they only increase the bills you have to pay.
You are contributing to your own stress.
The Misconception: I need this in order to live how I want. I have to have it.
Live below your means. Pay as little money as possible; whenever you can.
Every dollar you spend you have to work for it.
When you get a good paying job, the common thing to do is spend. You spend more, because it’s your first time making this much money and you feel you earned it. With more money we tend to look to bigger houses, better cars and more expenses. Don’t forget more maintenance fees.
“Buying” more isn’t the answer. We willing invest YEARS of our life for just stuff. Mortgage plan, car lease, higher premium, house upgrades, new technology.
- Any car in working condition will get you from destination to destination.
- A house is for shelter. It isn’t for hoarding valuables. Have a house with less stuff and more space. A bigger house means more time spending to clean and maintain it’s appearance along with bigger expenses.
Buying something that will improve the quality of your life is a great investment. There are two qualifications that must be met.
- If you can afford it (with cash, not other payment methods)
- It is essential. (You need it, and cannot live with something similar of lesser value)
The Truth: You can get by, and continue living without having the latest toys.
If you really want to indulge and live a luxurious lifestyle, do it after you put in the work needed. After you have the money upfront and you’ve worked for it. It allows you to appreciate your effort. And you learn the value of your money.
How do you save your money? Do you live below your means? Let me know in the comments.