Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Making it all work

Enjoying Steamboat Springs Colorado!

The best way to predict the future is to create it for yourself.

Its funny how time flies, and things change. Priorities, needs, and so on. They all change. Writing blog posts used to seem so important to me. I honestly looked at it like it was all part of my business, and getting the details up of what is going on in my personal life for people to read seemed so important to me. I now know its not. It does not mean that I don't love to inspire, and encourage, but in general a blog post is not something that matters to me anymore. My life has changed in the last year, and shifted a bit in some different directions, and I believe its all for the best. I believe we should always trust the path. Life will lead you where you are supposed to go weather we want it to or not. I also believe things will work out for the best if along that path you make good financial decisions, stay true to your heart, never settle for anything but what you want, and live a frugal and humble life. Things get icky and out of our control when we live above all those means or live someone else's idea of what life is supposed to be. To me it can be as simple as that. I also believe having a strong faith helps to :)

Jesse and I have a very strong base in our relationship that is something that holds us together like glue. We have an honor code to each other to never live above our means. We simply don't spend money we don't have. I am writing about this as I can think of about 40 people off hand that I know of that need to read this, and hear my advice. Stop spending money you don't have. Stop buying crap you don't need. Stop going places you cannot afford to go to. Stop eating out every meal, and stop flushing money down the toilet. I hear time and time again people stressed about money, broke, and just trying to make ends meet month to month. In the last three months Jesse and I have traveled all over the West coast, taken handfuls of vacations, and never once did we use a credit cards or go somewhere we didn't have the money for. Stop for a minute and look at your checking account. Could you write a 1,000$ check if you had a life emergency? Seems like a random amount to pull up, but still ask yourself that. The rule of thumb should be about a 500$ base always sitting in your account. If something were to happen you should be prepared.

I believe people have lost the value in real relationships. Jesse and I rarely  go out. Yes we always have people over, and definitely entertain. But that is the key. We do not need to pay someone else (re-a restaurant ) to entertain us. I also refuse to pay 15$ for a glass of wine when I can buy that same entire bottle for 15$ at Trader Joe's. Heres an idea, and I promise it will change your life. Have date nights at home. Cook yummy food, hang out with your kids, and make your dining room table a night out. I would guess we save about 700-800$ a month by not going out. Yes you read that correctly. Sit down and give this some thought. Now tally all your receipts form every meal you eat out. Even w/out fancy dinners I would guarantee its around 700$. Total I spend in groceries every month to feed my entire family, and entertain friends a few nights a month is 650$, and I am feeding a teenage boy! Imagine if tacked onto that was an additional 800$. Thats two car payments folks. Better said is that is money that could go straight into your savings. I promise it can be just as fun at home, and you will gain value in your relationships. Kids tend to hang out at the table longer, and chat. Its just the facts, and will change things dramatically in your household. Heres the bigger eye opener. Anywhere you go to eat I guarantee the sodium levels are ten times more than your body should consume in an entire week. Sodium=BAD. Cook at home. Eat healthy foods. Save lots of money.

Second stop shopping. I have not been in a mall or bought a single new item of clothing in a solid two years. Guess what? I am perfectly ok. I have more clothes in my closet than I know what to do with. They key is keeping things organized, and sorted. If you have crap piled onto crap, and not a fluid clean organized system you will never see all the things you have. The average american woman spends 500$ a month on new clothes. Thats medical and car insurance payments. Imagine if you were not doing that every month. Take the time to go through your closet, and get rid of stuff you don't need, and organize your life. Sort it by day wear, night wear, and dress up or office casual stuff. Learn to buy one or two new pieces a year to mix in with all the hundreds of pieces you already have, and this will save you over 5,000$ a year. Put it away into something that 20 years from now you can live off of. I promise when you are 60 you will want to travel more than you do now. Don't live your life so when you get older you are still stressed about money. Stop buying crap you don't need. It's only clothes. It just does not matter. I promise.

Buy a vehicle you can afford. If you are making less than 40,000 a year you cannot afford a car that is more than 25,000$. Yep you read that correctly. You are driving around a car so other people will think you have more money than you do, but in reality you are struggling every month to pay for that brand new car. Buy a simple, small, affordable car, and then pay it off in two-three years. Take very good care of it. Change the oil regularly, and then keep driving it until you turn the engine. Then its time to buy a new car. If you do not even have the credit to buy a car then that means your car should be a nice small used 4-5,000$ little beater until you get your finances in order.

If you cannot pay cash for it you cannot afford it. Stop using credit cards. Stop. The average american household carries 40,000$ in debt. Oh.My.God. Stop spending money. Its actually not even money. Its a plastic card, and that 50$ dinner is actually 65$ because of interest. Cut them up. Pay them off. No matter how long it takes. If you cannot pay cash for it you cannot afford it, and you don't need it. We all have a little debt. That is perfectly ok, but if your debt exceeds 7,000$ you need to get yourself in check. Spend a couple hundred bucks, and see a money planner or financial planner, and have them help you get yourself out of debt. It might take 10 years, but who cares. Get it done now. When your 50 you will thank me.

For every 100$ you spend save 5$. Every single time you spend 100$ take 5$ and put it in an envelope. Every six months put that money in a savings account. Every couple years have your financial planner invest it the right way for you. 30 years from now you will thank me. Simple, and easy. Plan for your future. If you are 35 and you have not started saving for the future you should probably start.

Last, but not least stop buying all those expensive grooming products. The best anti aging hydration syrum on earth? Raw coconut oil. I use it on my face every night. On my elbows, knees, and so on. Next in line would be Jojoba Oil. Both are very cheap, you only need small amounts, and it will last for ever. Get rid of your 100$ bottle of moisturizer. Its all lies and marketing. Hair products. Stop buying expensive brands. A good conditioner is key, but otherwise a shampoo is all the same. Buy a inexpensive shampoo from Trader Joe's, and spend the extra money on a good conditioner. Conditioners last for ever,a nd if you add a small tiny amount of jojoba oil to the routine it will last even longer, and your hair will be super healthy.

Live within your means. Plan a bit for your future. Life is a gift. Stop stressing about money, and stop spending money you do not have.

1 comment:

  1. I never even carried a credit card debt, nor a car loan. Mortgage is the only debt we have, and it's getting paid off in half the time. This is such an important topic, one which we might be afraid to discuss on our "running blogs" for one, and secondly, the community we're hanging around with for a good part (I would hope) is already doing it (well, I guess my closest friends are, but may be that's why they are closest?). We totally need to hang out:)