Payday comes, the money goes into your bank account, you leave some in to cover the automatic withdrawals, pay some bills online, head to the grocery store, fill up the gas tank on the way and start your next pay cycle. Often with little or no thought to how well it is working. Sometimes you just need to pause…take a few deep breaths…and look at things from a different angle. Then ask yourself, “what can I do to make this better?”. You might be surprised at the answers that present themselves.
I know we live in a world of credit, but sometimes I feel like I am on a seedy corner, with a drug pusher who is saying all of the right things to get me to make the “purchase”. I resist because I see the perils everyday, because I know how much credit I now have and how much I am unwilling to let myself be lured into that false sense of security that comes with credit.
Is it an Emergency? Or a planned expense? Do you use credit versus savings? This is the heart of what I see everyday and what I personally struggled with as I attempted to set up a spending plan for our household. By not planning for things like car maintenance, we are left with a roller coaster plan. We allocate our money to all of other expenses, spend the rest, and then feel the setback when we have a large ‘anticipated’ expense.
If you were to ask me, “what is the single most important thing a person can do to change their financial future?” I would answer “Track their spending”! Oh and I would add “And look at it!”. Let me tell you a quick story about a relative who learned this lesson just a tad too late.
Should I pay off my high-interest credit first or my card with the larger balance? Finding the solution that is best for you can be challenging. The following questions can assist in making that decision.
There’s an epidemic in today’s society. We are borrowing on our lives. And payment day is coming earlier and earlier. Is it sad, that at age 40-something :), I look forward to retirement. That in the same breath I fear it, simply because I have little (translated into none) savings at this point because every day, every week, every month, the cash flow that I do have pays for our basic living needs and ensuring that our kids get to have some opportunities in their lives?
I recently met with a couple who had to rely on the Bankruptcy system to get their feet back on the ground. We chatted about the cause of their financial difficulties and what they learned from the process. And I asked them what advice they would offer to the generation after them. What I heard was a familiar story. Not a story about how they overspent, took too many trips, bought too many things (although that is a story I hear sometimes), but a story about how life dealt them a hand, they decided which cards to keep and in retrospect, wish they had made a different choice. Ahhhh, life lessons! What would we do without them? My philosophy: If we didn’t make any mistakes our lives would be oh-so-boring. So, get ‘er done! Make as many as you can early on in life so you can make less in your later years. 🙂
What does a passionate business owner, a devoted home owner and a drug addict have in common?
I will admit, this is the start of a very bad attempt at a joke, and the punch line is, well, anything but punchy. The answer is, they are unwilling to let go of an addiction for their higher good. What brings this up you ask? Or maybe you didn’t, but I bet you are wondering, “what in the world is this girl talking about?”…
Forget until death do us part, let’s talk about until debt do us part! – what happens when a couple separate and one person wants to keep the house? Who is responsible for the payments, and are they involved in the bankruptcy in anyway?