Stuff. Things. Possessions.
We all like to buy stuff, right? As a self-admitted collector, there’s nothing I enjoy more than perusing a quaint used bookstore in search of a rare first edition to complete a collected set of one of my favorite authors.
We work hard all day, why not splurge a little and go for that extra-extra, big-big flat screen HDTV, right? Or take that expensive vacation to the Mediterranean. Or opt for an extra 500 square feet and the three-car garage for that stunning house in that gated community.
You deserve it.
Or do you?
Merit. Deserve. Entitlement.
I want it all! Now!
Living ABOVE your means.
The recent credit crunch, housing market bubble burst, and subsequent Wall Street meltdown has made all of us more cognizant of our financial situations. But all these financial fireworks and government bailouts and foreclosures and job loses and political promises and 401K angst have one major connection, one common thread:
PEOPLE LIVING ABOVE THEIR MEANS!
I like to compare those living above their means to someone who is grossly overweight, knows they need to change, but just keeps eating too much of the wrong foods until they eventually face dire health (and all too often catastrophic financial) consequences.
They need help.
They need to learn to “budget” their caloric intake. Need to understand why they THINK they NEED to eat the wrong foods and the wrong amounts. Same thing goes for those overspending, being financially careless.
They need to live within their means.
While practicing better fitness and nutrition is always a major focus of mine at livelife365.com, this particular post deals more with financial responsibility and personal accountability. By the way, if you are looking for ways to help you lose weight or would like to learn more about nutrition and fitness, these videos will help.
For more about my feelings on Living Within Your Means, please enjoy this video:
Now, for the hard part: Changing!
Just as the politicians, during the recently completed (it IS over, right?) presidential campaign, pounded the need for change into our heads, we, too, need to make changes in the way WE do things. But, guess what?
Change is good!
Is change easy?
That’s another story. Change can be painful, difficult, challenging, but no less painful or challenging as filing for bankruptcy. Or having your house foreclosed on. Or having to ignore a medical condition because you can’t afford to visit a doctor.
Here are some ways to help you try to live within your means:
* ADMIT you have a problem. Take personal accountability and understand that you CAN’T AFFORD everything that you WANT. Hey, I would love another 500 square feet and a nifty three-car garage, but will not put myself into unnecessary debt just to have it.
* BUDGET YOURSELF. Go on a financial diet. Just like when dieting to lose unwanted pounds, this is easier said than done. What can you do?
* EDUCATE YOURSELF. Reading this post, as well as visiting websites like livelife365.com, is a great start, but don’t stop there. Read, read, and read some more. Ask questions to qualified financial experts every chance you get. The more you know the better ability you have to understand your particular financial situation, what you can and cannot afford. You should know how much of a mortgage you can afford BEFORE you ever sit down across from a member of any lending institution. If you don’t, then you’re probably not ready to buy a house.
* THINK LAYAWAY. Before the human race became consumed with credit, they used to pay for things BEFORE they bought them. This not only gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and appreciation, but it also keeps you out of unwanted and sometimes devastating debt. It helps you…
LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS.
In a way, living a layaway life is the antithesis of being under the misguided misconception of feeling compelled to have a life of entitlement.
Simply put: We need to change.
Change the way we think.
Change the way we spend.
Yes, change the way we eat (had to throw that one in).
Change the way we live.
There’s a lot of nice stuff out there, things and possessions that we all think we need and can’t live without. But unless you really, really need something, or at least can easily afford it, then the solution is simple:
Just say no.
And try to change your life…for the better.
Until next time…
Monday, November 17, 2008
Stuff. Things. Possessions.