Common Sense

Where Oh Where Will I Get the Money?

Are you like me that throughout the years I was one of those people who had too “much month left at the end of my money?”

To change that scenario, I had to find different ways to save money.  This involved re-positioning many of my spending habits and priorities. In a previous post I talked about financial freedom and listed the many different ways to achieve that freedom.  Using those tactics I was able to break away from the common excuse, “I just don’t have the extra money.” What I had to realize was I was simply living above my means.  I wanted to do and have the nice things that simply took me out of my pay grade. You know, “champagne taste with beer budget.”  To free up monies I had to look at several options. Here are a few:

PAY YOURSELF FIRST.  You’ll probably hear me say this many times in many posts because I believe it is the single most important concept everyone should learn to master.  Paying yourself first means putting yourself and your family above all other demands on your money, and that means even paying your bills.  The easiest way to do this is to deposit a set amount each week or month into an investment or savings account. If your employer allows you to have a certain amount of your pay directly put into a savings or profit sharing just DO IT! This will become money you don’t see or count on.  That’s the way you want it to be!

ADJUST PRIORITIES.  If you’re anything like me you spend money on things you don’t really need. Or you lack management of the money you do have. While researching for this post, I stopped and said to my wife that I needed an electric pencil sharpener.  Do I need it? No! But because I could not find a sharpened pencil my frustrations shouted out a want.  This is where I had an “ah ha moment” on when I could spend or where I could save and quickly determined the difference between “wants and needs”. I’m saving the complete discussion for a post in the future.  It took me some time to develop a proper management attitude about my spending habits, and it will require patience and determination on your part also.  The good news is that it is possible, but it is essential that YOU GET CONTROL of your spending.

The best way to do this is by budgeting.  Determining what you will spend on certain items and sticking to it will make a world of difference in where your money goes, or should I say, “Where it is wasted”.  I spent one month of recording on a legal pad on whatever I spent money and wherever it was spent.  It was a bit of a pain at first. It was a real eye-opener! As I went through the process of recording, I began to be amazed at how the little things added up to big dollars.  Even ordering take out from our favorite restaurant saved us the add- prices of beverages, tempting desserts that we didn’t need, and tips for complete service.  We figured we saved about $25.00 by ordering take out.

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ADJUST LIFESTYLE.  You can’t have everything.  Adjusting my priorities caused me to learn that I had to adjust my lifestyle.  I learned that I couldn’t do everything I wanted nor could I have everything I wanted.  If I wanted to achieve the financial freedom I wanted I had to make some sacrifices for a period of time.

Part of budgeting is learning the difference between what you need and what you want.  Example:  I always wanted my dream car, a corvette any corvette; and after I paid off my current car, I wanted to buy a corvette. Did I need it? No! So now I have a car with no monthly payments that I’ve been driving free for the past seven years. Being able to save the money that would have gone for car payments allows for a substantial amount of saved money to go towards buying my next car with cash and not throwing money away on interest.  It is much better to have the money in savings and making interest that is going to help buy a new car, than paying interest on a car loan which makes the car cost you more.

Many times big and small purchases are made because of want.  Are you ready to get serious about your financial future?  You might need to get really serious about postponing some of your desires and wants.  Which is harder…Doing without now or doing without forever more?  Vacations don’t need to be a week.  They can be 3 to 5 days. You can easily do away with extravagance without doing away with enjoyment…just for now.

EARN ADDITIONAL INCOME.  I found ways to earn additional money using the talents I’ve accrued over the years.  No matter what your personality or interest there is always someway to earn additional money even from home.  Here are just a few:

Blogging Freelance Writing
Virtual Assistant Consulting
Create  A Site/App Fiverr
Personal Training Teach
Tutoring Uber/Lyft
Graphic Design Work Website Designer

There is a website I came across in my research Growingslower.com which has a specific link to a webpage, “60+ Real Jobs for Stay at Home Moms that I find interesting for anyone that is looking for a way to supplement their income.  It’s a great inspiring website with great information.  I’m not saying that any of the extra/supplemental work is going to be easy.  Work is work after all, but the rewards in making the extra income can become addicting.  Who knows you just might find a niche job out there you really enjoy doing.  But don’t forget the main purpose is to use the money to invest and save.

Are your children making contributions to their expenses and eliminating expenses from the family budget with a summer job or part-time job providing them with their own spending money?

The Credit Card Trap
The Credit Card Trap

Avoid the Credit Rat Race.  Credit cards are a great convenience especially in this time of on-line ordering and for emergencies.  Just be careful to avoid the traps of “virtual money” as I once did and charge, charge, charge!   This was another one of those “why didn’t anyone tell me about that.” I went off to college and during the orientation there were at least six different credit card companies at different tables being represented.  Being fresh away from home with no financial education and being offered credit for the first time, I applied for five of the six credit cards; and to my surprise, got accepted by three.

Armed with three credit cards each having a $500.00 limit I felt what I thought at the time was financial freedom.  Boy! Was I in for a surprise?  Then I made another mistake I told my friends so we ate out a lot. Of course I picked up the bill.  A bad habit my wife has to remind me about even today saying, “John you don’t always have to pay the bill for everyone we go to dinner with.” When I stopped it, it was another cost saving I realized and could add to the list.

Read the contract to know all the charges like yearly charges, and a charge just to open the account.  Is interest charged from the day of purchase or at the end of the billing period.  Pay off your charges at the end of each billing period.  This will help you to avoid the 18 +++% in finance charges.  Try not to overspend because you have the card and the availability is there for you. Temptation is deep.  This is another case where “just say no” can have a positive impact on you. You’ll have to pay sooner or later, and if it is later you can be sure it will be greater.

Avoid installment loans, paying for furniture, appliances, cars, and boats etc. use cash! If you do use an installment loan, don’t load it up with extras like credit life insurance, disability or auto insurance.  Finance the least amount of dollars and pay off in the least amount of time.

These are just a few options I’ve found useful to come up with additional monies to begin a path to financial freedom. You can do it even though when you started reading this blog you were probably convinced that you couldn’t come up with any money to save.  You do have a choice about your financial future. Remember you are your choices.   I’m sure there are many more. Please share with us here with your comments on what ways you have found to come up with money to start on your path to financial freedom and help others to find their way.

 

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2 Replies to “Common Sense”

  1. Your best blog yet! I’ve said that before, but they just keep getting better and better. Your blogs are full of great information and motivation, and I love your personal stories on your bumpy road to financial literacy.

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