I’m not a financial advisor and I’m not wealthy, let’s just get that straight. But common sense tells me that becoming wealthy is a lot like losing weight: Earn more than you spend, burn more calories than you eat. It’s simple math. Seems to me that until one can make this equation fit my life, I will remain poor.
Lately, I’ve seen that most Americans I know have this backwards. Like the way some people need a miracle pill to get skinny instead of working out and eating well, they also believe that wealth is some sort of magic.
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. – Proverbs 13:11
Being poor is okay for a season in your life–most successful people were broke at one point in their lives, and it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. But the only way to get ahead is to live like you’re poor.
“Getting more money” is easier said than done. If it was easy, we’d all be rich. But living like you’re poor isn’t rocket science.
- Stop spending money you don’t have to spend in order to survive.
- Pay off your debt–aggressively. Debt is expensive.
- Get a savings account and tell your bank to automatically deduct at least 5-10% of every check you deposit. Leave it alone.
- If it’s still useable (yes, even the last butt piece of bread), keep it.
- If you’re not using it and it’s worth money, sell it.
- Can you get a second part-time job?
- Can you get a roommate or rent one of your rooms?
- Take free stuff, no matter what it is. Use it, store it or sell it.
- What goals are you committed to? How can you start thinking big to get out of debt and saving?
I’ve been made fun of before for making clothing dye, using it, then putting it back in used milk containers for later. I treat butter like gold. Yesterday I poured hot coffee in the honey container to melt the residue, because I ran out and honey is expensive.
I hate to sound like your mother around the dinner table but here I go: Some kid in Africa didn’t have a meal today. Be thankful for every little thing that you have. Someone will ALWAYS have it worse than you.
I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money. – Pablo Picasso
Living beyond your means is a hard habit to break. Most of us do it and we don’t even realize it. Here are a few practical ideas to think about as far as cutting costs:
- Cook at home
- Stop going out
- Make your coffee at home (I’m addicted)
- Find entertainment at home
- Learn to hate the expensive outings ($6 for a popcorn, really?!)
- Find cheap entertainment (free events, museums, libraries, etc)
- Love your home (games, movies, books, home projects, cook together)
- Bring your own lunch
- Buy in bulk and think ahead
- Get used vehicles
- Cut housing costs (Is more than 1/4 of your income going to housing? Not cool.)
- Play a game and see how long you can go without buying groceries (I totally do this)
Speaking of games, try pretending like you don’t have any money to spend, even if you do. Pretend it’s The Great Depression and you have to survive on what you have. Try partying like it’s 1929. I know it sounds crazy, but at least once in your life you will probably be in a situation where you have to be really creative in finding a meal for you or your family. Whether it’s waiting for the next paycheck or being caught in an emergency situation.
I think most of you know what you over-spend on. So figure out what you can shave out of your budget, stop being a diva, put on your big girl panties and just do it.
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 5:10