These are some interesting times. All I hear from my clients and acquaintances is that nobody can survive financially.
Is there anything to be done? I say YES. There is a lot we can do. We can start by changing our attitudes toward money and toward what we think we NEED. We have become so spoiled that we have lost touch with reality. The TV industry is filled with programs that keep telling us how to make more money, how to save money, how to invest or not invest, how to cut expenses. The other half of television fills our brains with SPEND SPEND SPEND.
Where is the silver line here? How do we learn how to exist in moderation while at the same time enjoying our lives?
Greed has become equal to success, to prosperity and to our status in life. How wrong is that.
The first thing we ALL have to realize is that when we leave this earth, we will take NOTHING with us. No expensive clothes, no cars, no homes, no jewelry, NOTHING.
Having said that, what are our actual NEEDS in life? Well, it’s simpler than it sounds. We actually NEED to have a roof over our heads, our health and food. The rest we have learned to accept as society’s rules for our status in life.
Do we need a new car every couple of years? NO
Do we need to buy “stuff” for our homes every month? NO
Do we need the newest model of cell phone, tablet, computer? NO
Do we need to spend on lattes daily? NO
Do we need to have manicures and pedicures every week? NO
Do we need to eat at Restaurants weekly? NO
Can we live with less? DEFINITELY
Can we learn how to prioritize needs vs wants? DEFINITELY
Can we actually write down our expenses and take an honest look at our financial status? DEFINITELY
All we need is the will to change without excuses.
Write down your monthly OBLIGATIONS, which should contain no more than the following:
1. Rent or mortgage
5. Telephone and cell phone
6. Car payment (if you have one)
7. TV (cable or satellite)
8. Health Insurance
Then, write down the MUST expenses:
1. Gas for the car
That’s all you need at first. Then make a second column and write ALL your monthly income.
When you compare the two, (income vs expenses) you MUST have money left, otherwise you are running on empty.
You haven’t seen me mention anywhere credit card debt payment. I did do on purpose, because you should NOT have credit card debt. If you do, you have to pay it off immediately. Take your credit cards, lock them in a drawer and forget they exist. You never need more than one credit card, and that ONLY for emergencies such as doctors, or hospitals.
You have to put aside the money you have left after all is paid every month.
Do not splurge on lattes, haircuts pedicures, clothes, shoes, etc unless you can actually put some money in a savings account.
If you have let’s say 50 dollars left, then this is your “pamper” budget for the entire month.
This is the ONLY way we will all survive and get out of debt. STOP comparing your situation with others. Learn to enjoy your home, invite friends over for a meal, actually friend meals that rotate from home to home is a great way to have fun, pay MUCH LESS for food and drinks and stay connected.
Make the effort to live within your NEEDS and below your means. Suze Orman, knows exactly what she’s talking about. We have to live within our own truth, take charge of our lives and situations and be HAPPY and GRATEFUL for the little things in life, such as our friends, our homes, our communities.