A recent report revealed that 69% of Americans have less than $5,000 in savings. This is a bad plan or more to the point, this is a sign of NO PLAN! Life is constantly changing and with change, the chances are equal that half of the time the change will be unpleasant.
Why do we find it unacceptable to save a little for tough time when they always come?
How long are the majority, going to continue living this losing lifestyle strategy?
I found a simple exercise that is instructive. Take out the bills you have in your wallet. How are the bills organized? Are the different denominations in order or mixed among the others. Are they crumpled or bent and jagged?
How you organize your dollar bills represent your respect for money. The way you respect or disrespect money reflects your understanding of money and how much you have or don’t have.
Disrespect Repels Money And Respect Attracts Money
Respect for your money and respect for yourself are linked.* Following list shows nine ways we either respect or disrespect our money. Which category do you fall into?
|Respecting Money is||Disrespecting Money is|
|Managing/budgeting your income||Not managing/budgeting your income|
|Pay yourself first – saving for retirement||Not saving for retirement|
|Paying in cash or with debit card||Using credit cards and keeping debt|
|Earning interest from assets||Pay interest on cars, cards or store credit|
|Giving to the needy||Not giving to the needy|
|Planning for spending||Not planning for spending|
|Being disciplined in moods, appetites, and passions||Not being disciplined in moods, appetites and passions|
|Using your money wisely. Save some, Spend some. Give some.||Being careless and spending on whatever you want and not saving some for emergencies or future needs|
|Being frugal. Saving for things you want||Being lavish. Buying on credit|
Not knowing where your money is going is disrespecting your money. The payments for disrespecting your money are living paycheck-to-paycheck, having large amounts of debt, feelings of hopelessness, and stress instead of security, peace-of-mind, and happiness.
They, the banks, credit card companies, retailers, car companies, etc., want your money. You have got to want it more than they do, or they’ll get it.* And the only way to keep it is to educate yourself. Take the time to read quality materials from reputable sources. Build a financial library and spend the time needed to understand your habits. Compare them to the habits you wish to emulate and the people who don’t have successful habits.
Learn about and make a monthly zero-based budget and stick to it religiously. Track all of your expenses. Pay off all debt and commit to never borrowing money again. Rely on your savings for your needs. Adopt the mantra, “if I can’t pay cash I can’t afford it!”
I learned an interesting lesson in my twenties. It was if you can’t live on the income you currently have you will never be able to live on any income even if it is ten times the amount you now make. Financial discipline is the only way to get ahead in financial matters.
I have to carefully watch my budget each month. Telling my money where it is allowed to be spent and where it is not allowed to be spent. Only when I do this am I able to save for my current needs and the future. I was careless for most of my adult life, the money just went and I never knew where it went. Now that I track my money I save for my wants and the future retirement I now can look forward to.
Do you have profits hidden in your paycheck? Most of us do. I found $1400 last month. That is a big deal for only paying attention.
PS: What is your retirement IQ?
* Suze Orman