My Money Tree
Watch Your Spending
You can never have enough money to buy everything you want. It doesn't matter if you make $150,000 a year or if you make $35,000 a year. You can still be just as broke. In fact, those with the higher incomes may be even more broke. The simple truth is that it isn't how much you make, it is how much you spend. If you make $100,000 and spend $120,000, you are just as broke as someone who makes $40,000, but spends $48,000.
With easily accessible credit it has become very easy to overspend and not even know it. Years ago, when you were out of money, you were out of money. But today, you can dig yourself a nice little debt. I understand that sometimes events happen that are out of our control. People get ill, loose jobs and face other emergencies.
But the majority of people with debt and money problems out there haven't faced these emergencies. And if they do in the future, they will have very little to fall back on. What you have to learn is how not to spend your money. Not where and when to spend, but how to not spend at all. The more you make, the more you spend. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you get a raise, you have it spent? I know plenty of people that are planning on getting a raise, so they go ahead and buy the new car or bigger home. And it goes beyond the large spending. There is a whole new attitude with a higher income. You think that you can afford the little things now. The grocery bill doubles.
You splurge more often. And it all adds up quickly. Over the years, you get no further ahead. You find yourself struggling even more than you did at twenty. You make more, but you can't see where all the money has gone. The key to controling your spending is found in setting goals. When you have a concrete financial goal that you are working towards, you are better equipped to avoid temptation. You may be more willing to drive your older vehicle a few more years, if you know that the money saved will help you retire one year earlier. Not buying that sweater may seem like a little sacrifice next to realizing the goal of remodeling your kitchen. When you are faced with the temptation to splurge, think about your goal.
Find other ways to spend your time instead of shopping. If you never go in the store, you won't spend the money. Remember, each dollar you spend that you don't have is costing you hundreds of dollars in the long run. And if you count the time it is taking off of building your retirement savings, you are actually losing thousands. Spending is the problem, not the money. The most important thing you can do for your finances is to learn to budget. Take the time to make a budget work for you. A good budget will let you plan for the future, while keeping you aware of exactly how much money you have right now. It will help you see what you are spending your money on and what you could be spending it on.
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