What we spend our money on impacts our future goals. Our savings is greatly affected by frivolous spending.
We are a nation known for needlessly spending money.
Which explains why 54% of Americans are broke by their next paycheck. About 40% of those who make more than $100,000 a year, live that way as well.
Instead of trying to increase the minimum wage, how about we educate society on how to properly manage money? This would be more beneficial.
We buy new tools that we never use, loads of home décor for houses we do not own, too many clothes for overweight bodies that we plan to change one day, and we trade in fairly new cars for newer cars that rack up debt.
Our problem is the wrong mindset.
We use credit cards and risk not ever actually owning what we’ve bought because we spend more money than we make.
Our actions are proof that we live unfocused and misguided lifestyles. Many of us have no real plans or goals and our money is used for things we can’t even remember buying.
People blow through hundreds of dollars without giving it a second thought until the day they end up broke and wondering where their paycheck went.
We do many things in life trying to feel better. The way we spend our money is no exception.
Some people feel a certain satisfaction when they spend money. It can even provide some people with an emotional high. Then paycheck after paycheck, they continually have nothing to show for their hard work.
If we don’t get our financial priorities straight and focus on the big picture, our money will continually go down the drain.
What is the big picture?
The big picture isn’t your current circumstances, how you feel at the moment, or how unsatisfied you are with your lifestyle. Like I’ve said in many of my articles about eating too much, or eating the wrong type of food, buying things isn’t going to fix your feelings long-term.
Many of our bad habits are simply our mind’s way of trying to feel better, but overspending causes anxiety long-term. It affects our financial well-being and causes us heartache in the long run.
The things we usually spend our money on are temporary and will only bring us temporary satisfaction.
Temporary fixes cause us to waste money.
You might as well just light your money on fire when you spend it on frivolous things. Once you hang that new artwork on your wall or wear that new outfit a few times, you realize the high is gone. Then you must do it again to get that feeling back.
Our future goals should have a bigger impact on our spending than our current lusts. We should be so focused on the big picture that we use self-discipline in our spending.
Where you put your money is EVERYTHING in the world of finances.
Those extra tools you bought that you never use, will not matter tomorrow. It may make you feel good to have them today, but that is the only joy that will come from buying them.
The dozen throw pillows you just bought to add to the dozen you already own will not matter tomorrow.
If there are books sitting on your bookshelf that haven’t been read, you don’t need to buy another one to add to the collection (a bad habit I had in the past).
Why do we do this to ourselves? We are definitely our own worst enemy when it comes to financial goals. We are tempted to waste our money because we don’t see our money as a tool. It is a trap we need to stop falling into.
There are many distractions that can cause us to lose focus on our future goals. Prioritizing is a good way to stay focused.
DON’T THROW YOUR MONEY AWAY
USE IT AS A TOOL FOR INVESTMENTS.
GIVE IT TO OTHERS WHO ARE IN NEED.
BUT DON’T WASTE IT.
Take advice from someone who has lived paycheck to paycheck before. Living a debt-free lifestyle is well worth the sacrifice of not having every little thing you want.
Pointless priorities are why people don’t save more and why many people don’t reach their goals. Get your priorities straight. Make a list of financial goals and stick to them.
Believe it or not, ten or twenty dollars here and there does add up.
What are your goals for the future? Is it buying a house? Getting a new car? Taking that dream vacation? Starting a new business?
Whatever it is, spending money on useless things can keep you from reaching those goals. Are those useless things more important than having emergency funds?
The key to having a successful lifestyle is knowing exactly where your money is going, having the self-discipline to keep from spending it unwisely, and sticking to a financial plan. Savings should be part of that plan.
We all believe that we don’t have enough money. Let me tell you from experience that making more money doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have more money.
I’m not a spender. I’m a saver. I mostly save for big goals. Yet, I can always think of bigger goals than what I’ve saved for.
Having enough money is a mindset.
If you are working and drawing a paycheck, the problem isn’t that you don’t have enough money. You can always live below your means and have more money to save.
The problem is your mindset toward spending isn’t focused on the right thing.
SUCCESS IS A MINDSET
I’ll tell you the story of a millionaire who lost everything.
His ex-wife and business manager (her lover) took everything he had through embezzlement. He found himself living on the streets with one change of clothes and about $100 to his name.
Unlike how most people would have been, he didn’t see that $100 as his very last dime.
He also wasn’t afraid. As a matter of fact, he had confidence that he knew how to turn things around.
He didn’t even spend that money on eating or on the clothes he needed for job interviews.
Instead, he saw that $100 bill as an opportunity.
He knew his future depended on what he did with that money, so he slept and ate one meal a day at a homeless shelter, temporarily.
He earned money during the day by picking up aluminum cans off the side of the road, back when cans were actually worth something.
He used his $100 to purchase a cheap flip phone and materials to make homemade signs with so that he could advertise his services for odd jobs.
He built his way up to full-time work. He was finally able to rent a small apartment, where he slept on the floor.
At that point, he owned a sleeping bag and a bicycle, which he used to go to work. He was still wearing the same two outfits, which he washed in the bathroom sink at night and hung them to dry over the vent.
He kept investing his money into his business until it grew into a large corporation. Then he invested in stocks.
Before long, he was a millionaire again and was able to purchase anything he wanted.
The moral of the story is, your mindset is what holds you back. It isn’t your lack of money. It is your lack of understanding of how to use that money.
You may see that $100 in your pocket as not enough. But the way you see it is the problem.
Don’t see the glass as half empty.
We are consistently trying to increase our feelings of pleasure, when we should be trying to reach our goals, instead.
Do financial irresponsibilities hold you back? Stop spending money on things you don’t need.
Does your lack of understanding hold you back? Educate yourself on how to invest, how to start your own business, or how to create a budget.
If you don’t see your money as a tool, you will always spend it.
However, if you can change your mindset and invest that money rather than throwing it away, you will be able to reach your long-term goals.
I personally feel internal displeasure when I spend money on frivolous things. This is why I save it. I understand that money is a tool that should be used wisely. I do without a lot of things I want (temporarily) because I am like this, but I have everything I need long-term.
My husband and I are blessed beyond measure because we make wise choices with everything we have. We invest our money into things that have equity. Our houses, vehicles, and most of our possessions are worth more than what we paid.
We try to stay focused on increase. I believe this is not only biblical, it is wise.
Here is a simple solution:
Pick your top three long-term goals. Write them down.
Whenever you want to spend money on something, even if it is something small, ask yourself if it is worth giving up your long-term goals for? It sounds silly, but it works because those small things add up to big money.
If you are the type of person who feels that you must spend money because of some sort of emotional need, try setting boundaries in your spending. Reward yourself once a month with something new.
A spending limit is good for helping you to reach long-term financial goals.
Our financial goals have to be met by setting priorities and boundaries.
What are your priorities? If you don’t even know what they are, how can you reach them?
I want to help you break free from those bad spending habits. Having savings to fall back on will be well worth it.