"Everyone can have a luxury life. It's a state of mind. It's not necessarily about having the biggest house. It's about living life to the fullest." ~Paul Miklas, Developer
Throughout this month I have focused on establishing reserves in time, space and money, especially those reserves that lead to financial stability. There have been many postings to Facebook outlining steps to move forward with this resolve. I hope you have been able to join me on the journey.
Let me highlight the steps along the roadway to Financial Freedom:
- Do I really need it? This was the major focus of the no-spend month. It is imperative to understand and articulate NEEDS vs WANTS.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Just for today, be grateful that you have everything you need—food, shelter, clothing and love. Realize that you already have a lot.
- Build an emergency reserve. Set aside some of your money immediately, no matter how much or how little you make. Use direct deposit into a savings account and watch it grow. Bank your income tax refund into a 'rainy-day-fund.'
- Establish a spending record to clarify where your money is going.
- Unleash your dependency of credit cards and be willing to let them go if you begin to sink into debt.
- Use a debit card. It is an excellent alternative payment source similar to cash or a check. With a debit card you cannot spend more than you have in reserve - period!
- Set up a spending plan. A spending plan is a tool to help you focus on wise choices and avoid impulsive spending. It allows you to live within your means.
- Analysis income vs. expenses. After a careful review of your financial status, you may find that expenses exceed income. The longer this continues, the deeper debt you encounter. Something has to change!
- Change your attitudes. Beliefs about yourself and money determine your ability (or inability) to achieve financial freedom. Real changes occur from within, not from external factors. Thoughts create reality.
As Henry Ford once said, “If a man tells you he can or cannot do a job, he’s right.”
Clear your vision
It is common for people to state, “I can’t afford that,” especially when money is extremely tight. In reality, you can afford whatever you want. It is not that you cannot afford something, but that you choose to spend your money on something different.
• You choose to have a home and pay the mortgage.
• You choose to have cable TV and a DVR and WiFi and a Wii.
• You choose to buy more clothes even though your closet is overflowing.
• You have to eat, but you choose filet mignon rather than hamburg.
• You have to drink, but you choose Starbucks rather than water.
• You have choices every day, every where.
Many choices provide comfort and pleasure; other choices may be inconvenient and difficult. Nevertheless, your basic needs are food, clothing and shelter. Everything beyond basic needs are choices.
As the no-spend month comes to a close, keep in mind that you have innumerable options as to how you will spend your money. Choose wisely and strive to be debt-free.