So anyway I have many thoughts on and about money but it's not a topic of conversation for me, usually, but lately it's been in the topics of conversations I have been on the fringe of...I am just going to tell you right now we are a one income family BY CHOICE, we are not in debt, we buy cars without a payment plan, we have retirement accounts, we do not live paycheck to paycheck, we tithe, we save and we are by no means destitute but we are not what I would consider wealthy. I like to think we do all right. How much we make is no secret, it is readily available published information, my husband is in the military and that's just how that works. We have always tried to live within our means, we budget, we save, we do without, we have had PBJ months so that we can do other things, it's never been a problem, I think we managed well.
Anyway, I am hearing about people who are struggling, who are losing their homes, who are losing their cars...I'm blown away by the number of folks who are walking away from "things" they cannot afford that I consider basic necessities (homes). They don't even look back...there are a couple things I "notice" about the ones sharing this...
WARNING: THESE NEXT FEW STATEMENTS COULD BE CONSIDERED JUDGMENTAL...continue reading at your own risk.
So you are losing your house and you still have a state of the art cell phone...yeah, okay.
You are letting your house go back and you have acrylic/gel nails and you just had a pedicure...
You are going to walk away from a home that was too expensive to begin with...
Your house is being foreclosed on and you just spent $400.00 on a COACH bag...
Are you getting the picture? It's crystal clear to me and yet the ones in this situation seem to want sympathy...no, I don't think so. I'm old school, I think you tighten your belt and take care of your business. Give up some of your "necessities" to take care of the real bills, get rid of extras to take care of basics.
It was only nearly three years ago that we have switched from prepaid (read that TRACFONE) cell phones to contract phones and that was only due to some unique aspects and giving up the landline that we decided to do that. We do not and have not had cable TV since we have been married with the exception of our stint in COS, CO when we lived at the base of the mountains and could not get rabbit ear reception. We had dial up internet until we lived in Italy and only DSL was available. We don't eat steak at home and rarely out either, we drive new to us cars and we pay cash for them. I am not bragging here, I am telling you that this is how we roll, we don't buy it if we can't afford it, we don't have the latest gadgets nor do we long for them. Living is not about having stuff and having stuff is not living in our world. We are pleased with our life, it works for us.
Find out what works for you and start making changes to have more money then month, to be free to help others, to find happiness not in a dollar figure. I think everyone has dreams, I do, I dream of a simpler life with less. I want less stuff, less distraction, less busyness and the sad thing is I already have less of each of these things if you compare me to someone else in my socioeconomic situation and that is scary!
When MiB retires we are considering lots of options, one of those is a nomadic lifestyle. Sounds nuts and somewhat off the wall but if you know us very well that's not so hard to picture us doing it and I think we could do it, seriously! We have a while to decide but with careful planning and not having the debt monster eating at our heels and if we really think it's what we are supposed to do we know it's possible.
I hope if you have financial issues you are taking an active role in figuring ways to solve them, that you are seeking guidance and making a way to get into a better place. I like this guy and I think he gives solid advice if you are needing/wanting some direction.
My personal favorites on being better with your money are
- Have goals!
- Live below your means...always!
- Save and pay cash, it's very rewarding!!!!
- FREE is good, do free things and be happy about it!
- Eat meatless one or more nights per week (or try the vegetarian lifestyle)
- Shop as a necessity not for recreation; don't shop with friends, you spend more!
Another good read and I try to get this into the hands of young people is The Wealthy Barber. It's a really, solid easy to understand book. I snag copies on ebay and half.com fairly cheaply and have also picked it up in used bookshops. MiB keeps copies in his office to hand, sometimes the copies come back sometimes they don't. It's a good read!
You know you can do it...so save some bucks, pay cash, live large with little it's an amazing thing to do and feel! I know we are truly blessed, we have abundantly more then we need, we are wealthy beyond understanding; it's a contentment that we found not in the monetary system of our society but in an eternity system within our beliefs. God is good and he is the source of our true wealth and everlasting life that he freely gave to us and we accepted it. Wow, what more could one really ask for?