Money matters not as sexy as they can be?
Then take control of your finances by doing the following:
1. Make paying off your debt and mortgage your highest priority. If a mortgage is taking more than 15 years to pay off, then why not go for a smaller house or just move into a cozy cardboard box for the time being? And when the house has been fully paid off you can always upgrade (without going complete Bananas of course).
2. Credit card companies may be thoughtful enough to allow us 25 years to pay off that $10 balance. But it’s only when the Debt Collectors show up asking for our Pets and their belongings that we come to the realization that perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
So whenever possible, pay off Credit Card balances in full at the end of each month. And have these payments automated to help keep nightmares and hair frizzes to an absolute minimum.
3. Write down your expenses on a spreadsheet or all over your arms (right down to that small pouch of catnip that you bought for your Cat).
Then at the end of each Month, determine whether all of those expenses were really necessary.
For instance, making your own lunch could easily save you $10 a day, $300 a month or $108,000 over the course of 30 years. And making your own Coffee saves more or less the same amount. But when you take into account any interest that you may have accumulated in the process, it comes to something like a gazillion dollars and a nickel.
Another item that can cause a leak in our pockets is Water. Water can either quench us or drench us depending on how smart we are about it. Most folks seem to overlook the fact that the “recipe” for Tap Water is still pretty much identical to the Bottled stuff that we buy at the Store. And if you’re worried about rabbit toenails and eyelashes popping up in your drinking water, then you can always use a high-quality Water filter to squeeze out the good stuff.
It might also not be such a bad idea to replace some of your beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) with some good old fashioned H-2-O. This not only saves you money now but it’ll also save you a sweet penny in hospital bills years from now.
And then there are those Monthly Subscriptions that just love showing up once a month, just to shake our wallets/purses into shape.
Whilst some subscriptions are necessary, others just get a kick out of deflating our happy Bank Accounts.
And often times it’s the less helpful stuff that takes up all the space, such as those tantalizing Cable TV subscriptions, the Celebrity Gossip Magazines, and those juicy News/Mews magazines. Not only do they leave our brains feeling bloated and our faces looking considerably constipated but they also squash our amazing potential to about the height of a pancake.
So consider replacing those Cable TV channels with healthier and cheaper substitutes like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Seminars on Demand. Now, that may not sound like a very sexy substitute. But given the fact that most folks who ultimately became despicable successful did so by lending their TVs to their Cats and Dogs and by investing that “spare time” in Professional and Personal growth, it might not be such a bad idea.
4. Fill your Tax return when both your eyes are wide awake – Could you be overlooking some of your Business expenses that you would normally be tax exempt for? Or are you generally clueless about the whole process? If you are (as I am) then feel free to hire a good CPA, an accountant or a highly reputed Bank Robber to help you with the process.
5. Is your job or business paying you enough?
Could there be the slightest possibility that your Boss is somehow not paying you enough?
If it is,then perhaps you should consider going to work for the guy/gal who brushes your teeth every day.
Nowadays the only people who have any such thing as“job security” are the ones wearing orange jumpsuits.
6. Avoid buying on credit –
Ever found yourself insisting on paying twice as what they asked you to pay at the checkout? Well, that’s sort of what we do when we buy something on Credit.
In fact, if Darth Vader had heard about selling stuff on Credit before he would have opened up a Superstore offering all kinds of baddies, transformed his Stormtroopers into an army of Brutal Debt collectors and used that as his strategy to defeat the Rebels.
So avoid buying on credit like a plague. And if you still need it, then consider buying it second hand instead. For instance, buying a second-hand car with a low mileage is in many ways similar to buying a brand new one with the exception of the special handshake they have reserved exclusively for people who buy brand new.
Also, did you know that Millionaires don’t buy new cars (according to the“Millionaire Next Door”)? They just wait for someone to drive it out of the parking lot and then buy it for less when it run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
Two good sources for buying second hand are eBay and Amazon, where you’ll find many “unwanted” items sold as “brand spanking new” as well a whole bunch of stuff being sold“as new”for less.
Brand purchases – Are you a sucker for the shiny packaging? Or are you more interested in what’s on the inside?
Brand names do make a difference in “certain” things, just because of the quality and the experience they provide. But often times they don’t. One brand may be cheaper just because they showed up late to the party or because they don’t bedazzle their merchandise.
But often times than not, it’s near enough the same darn thing. So why not get your Cat to do the blindfold quality test on them and then decide?
And as per those everyday household products, do you really wanna pay twice as much for a tissue or a toothpick that pretty much does the same thing?
The pennies do make all the difference, which is why most wealthy folks are freakishly frugal.
7. Run your own race – Don’t keep up with the Joneses. If you have a better life plan and retirement plan in place, then you’ll be the one standing years down the line when their stuff gets hauled away to the land of Oz.
So the extra bling would only slow you down because they can to be pretty heavy both on your wallet/purse as well as your neck.
8. Always shop from a list – If you let your heart tag along when you go shopping, you’re most likely gonna end up needing a second or a third job by the time you reach the checkout.
So, have a list at hand whenever you go shopping and if at all possible pay with cash as opposed to using a card. Using paper money (the stuff issued by the Banks and not printed at home) just makes you feel the gravity of your expenditures (in a heart friendly way).
9. Live within your means – Spend less than you earn and save/invest the rest. And then watch your money grow and have Kids of their own.
Also, avoid falling into the trap of increasing your expenses in proportion with your income. That’s much like burning off a thousand calories and putting it all back on in one sitting.
So, if your income increases by 50%, increase your lifestyle by about 10%, and if your income doubles, then increase your lifestyle by about 20% and so forth. That way you’re the one in control of the race and not the shoes.
10. Donate to a worthy cause every month – If there’s one thing that pulled me out of financial ruin many times over and prevented me from becoming homeless, this would be it. I suppose being nice (even to the ones I felt like choking) played a part too.
When you contribute to your Creator’s mission (whether or not you believe in one), the Universe does its part to put a Supernatural shield around you, your loved ones and your finances.
Now that doesn’t mean you won’t get struck by the occasional lightning bolt, but it does make you immune to more hurricanes and sugarcane than you can imagine. And even when things do go wrong, they’ll help you get back on track.
So pledge to give away at least 10% of your net income every single month to a cause or charity that genuinely helps people who cannot help themselves. It can be anything you believe in. For me, it’s primarily orphanages.
I have stuck to this pledge even when I was once forced to live on porridge, beans, and oranges and barely had money to buy those.
Think of it like a science experiment that takes a few years. And once you prove to the Universe that you’re “worthy”, then all your money worries will be a thing of the past.