Finances Through Life
"Money makes the world go 'round", at least that is the way the saying goes.
I have not always been smart with money. I have not always had money sense.
I used to think--when I was younger that I had all the time in the world to save. Why save now? Why not live a little while i am young? Those were the thoughts that would cross my mind.
Then there were the commercials on tv...ah yea, the commercials. Those bright and shiny ads on tv with happy people buying nice things.
Time moved on, I have gotten older and wiser. But people are people and the lure of stuff still exists. Actually it is stronger. When I was young we didnt have the internet. We had two channels and later cable tv with a few more channels.
Now however tv has many hundreds of channels with shows flooded with commercials and the internet as well selling products like there is no tomorrow.
Yup, the lure of stuff. Newer smart phones, newer cars, clothing with names I dont even know priced so high one needs a ladder just to pay for it.
My entire mindset has changed, especially where money is concerned.
I dont worship money. I dont put the value of the almighty dollar higher than that of human life. But I do know that one must have self control and save.
We all get older and we all will need money for one thing or another, perhaps for car or home repair or to replace a broken appliance, or at least for retirement. Retirement pensions are usually not big enough to retire comfortably so to have a nice nest-egg of savings to supplement ones retirement pension is certainly nice to have.
There are people in this world who pride themselves on their car, or house, or the clothes they own. They spend a lot of money on stuff and place a value on themselves based on what they own. Yet they dont have much savings if any.
I was speaking with a highschool student the other day who said that there are kids who spend hundreds of dollars on their shoes or shirts because of the name brand it is. They are high end brands and these same kids make fun of some who do not spend the same on their clothes.
I tried to explain to this student that from my perspective I look up to the person who spends less on clothes and dresses fairly nicely rather than people who spend a lot on what really is just fabric that will wear out like all clothes do and 3nd up where all clothes no matter the brand end up...in the trash.
Why brag and say, "this shirt and these shoes cost me $700" and think that is cool?
I would look up to a person that would say, "this shirt and these shoes cost me $100". That would be cool as far as I am concerned.
Spending less and saving more, that's where it is at.
One must learn to distinguish between wants and needs, and to know when to spend and what to spend on and save as much as possible. Even one dollar saved is one more dollar you have for the future, and every dollar adds up. Hopefully you can save more than a dollar.
Remember also that it is ok to spend on wants once in a while, as long as you can afford it and do it wisely and not overspend. Overspending and saying you will make it up later is far to easy and one almost never makes up the savings that you over spent.
One thing that we must teach our children from a very early age is saving and budgeting. When a child gets some money, be it from a gift or for doing chores, teaching them to save half of it and allowing them to spend the other half is generally a good way to start. This is something many parents have been successful with.
When a child sees that saving money has a positive effect by seeing their bank accounts grow helps them to begin to understand how money works. And when they take the other half and spend it they also begin to learn that when the money is spent, it is gone. It is tangible, they can see what is happening.
As adults we know this, yet at the same time there are many adults who spend and never save, then when something happens that they need money for, medication or repairs, or an emergency flight to a sick relative, whatever the case may be they don't have the money...now they scramble to borrow and borrowing money is a very fast downward spiral to being in debt. Debt costs...a lot.
When we borrow, we owe and with owing comes a price. When we owe money to family or friends that puts a heavy burden on ones shoulders. When we owe to the bank that costs a lot in interest. Every penny you owe you pay interest on and interest adds up. Borrowing and owing interest is no different than throwing money away.
I am at a stage in my life where I do not owe money. I have one credit card, this card is a no fees card, no fees attached to it and I get money back everytime I use it. I also never hold a balance on it, i use it, get money for using it and i pay it off before it is due so I dont pay interest.
Being financially wise is learned and takes discipline. But the more you stick with it, the easier it gets.
Be patient with yourself and take steps to paying off debt and saving money. Over time you will see progress and you will be happier for it.
Why give so much of your money to businesses and banks, or sports teams or concerts. It is wasteful and they dont care about your financial situation, they only want your money.
Be wise and dont give it to them, spend on necessities and not on wants. Don't let anyone tell you to buy what you really dont need.
Your money is YOUR MONEY and you have a right to save.
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