Do You Have Your Life Figured Out?
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE MAY OFFEND. It is not intended to offend. It is intended to bring forth a thought process to enhance you being successful with money.
So many of us wander through life thinking we have everything together. I have a fool proof way to see if you really do have it together. You will be able to tell with one question.
Are you successful with money?
I don't mean are you wealthy beyond belief. I'm talking about are you drowning in debt? (You may be and not even know it.) A good way to tell if you are in over your head is to list all your debts in a column and then all your assets and/or things that actually go up in value (like a house or an investment) in another column.
Now compare. Which column has the largest number after adding it all up? If we do this we may find that we are not as "together" as we appear to be? So the question again, "Are you having success with money?"
The answer for most of us is... [Imagine an echo with this response.]NO! (((no no no)))
Myth: If we ignore our financial responsibilities, they will either go away or take care of themselves.
Fact: Most of America wander through life living day to day, paycheck to paycheck. Most of Americans are about two major financial setbacks away from bankruptcy and don't even smell the danger.
Myth: The more stuff we have, the more wealthy we are.
Fact: The more stuff you have the more stuff you have. In most cases, the more stuff you have, the deeper the hole is being dug to make you even more B-R-O-K-E.
Myth: If my neighbors can afford it, I can too.
Fact: Your neighbors are about 2 steps away from bankruptcy too.
Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not cutting you down or trying to make you angry. I'm just trying to get your attention. Becoming successful with your money is easier than you think. But it's difficult at the same time. Let me explain.
You have the power to pay off all your debt.You have the power to start building gobs of wealth. You have the know-how but you just may not know you have it. You see, building wealth and paying off debt is nothing more than common sense.
Here's the common sense and the easy part. To pay off debt means you stop borrowing money (that includes using lines of credit). When you stop borrowing, you start paying higher amounts than the minimum payments. Much higher if possible.
Here's some more common sense and the hard part. Will you actually DO it? Most everyone reading this will read it, think "nice and true" but then will go out to lunch or shopping or fill up their gas tank and use a credit card. Habits are hard to break and we are marketed to thousands of times every day. Those marketing messages work.
They have been engrained in our minds so vividly and so deep that we think its okay to put our kids’ happy meal on a line of credit. See what I mean? Read that last sentence about the happy meal out loud and tell me if it registers as common sense to you.
Challenge: Go one week without using any lines of credit. When you want something, pay cash. Keep the receipts. At the end of the week, add up all your receipts and see how much you REALLY spend in one week. You may be surprised. You may be even MORE surprised on what you spent your hard earned cash on.
My wife and I have done this little exercise and it led to us building a nice little budget that we currently live by. Consequently that little budget has led to us paying off over $54,000 of debt in 18 months. Rowdy, huh?
Living successfully can seep into every area of your life. Which areas are you holding out on? Financial? Relationships? Family? Career?
Now if you're married, get with your spouse and do this stuff. Spend less. Save more. One day, you'll wake up and realize you have less money stresses and you will be in a position to do something unheard of. You'll give some away. Won't that be fun?!