How to Fix Your Finances Without Really Suffering
This writer was recently strolling through a major tourist district after being stuck at home for the last 14 months. Some very interesting observations were made along the way. Among them were those pertaining to how people appeared to be spending their money. To the extent that Americans have financial problems, much of what we experience appears to be tied to spending habits.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic and its job losses, plenty of people feared for their financial futures. Some level of fear still exists today. But when push comes to shove, very few of us are suffering to the same degree that people in other countries are. We are very blessed people when it comes to comfort and material gain.
Are your finances a mess right now? If so, it might be possible to fix them without having to suffer all that much. Of course, suffering is relative. You may need to adjust your mindset in order to make the most of the tips mentioned below.
Establish a Budget
The most important step to getting personal finances on track is budgeting. You have probably heard this a million times before. But that’s because it works. Budgeting is so simple that it is hard to understand why people don’t do it. Just understand that an unwillingness to live on a budget pretty much guarantees you’ll never get your finances in order. If you want to fix things, you have to budget.
Avoid Pricey Brands
We Americans have a bad habit of equating quality with brand. While it is true that some brands are better than generics, it’s not always the case. Take sunglasses. Where you will pay $300 or more for some of the more expensive brands, you can get off-brand sunglasses from bulk supplier of sunglasses Olympic Eyewear for a fraction of the price. Olympic Eyewear brands offer quality equal to, or better than, the biggest names in the business.
The point is that overpaying for big name brands often equates to financial irresponsibility. Don’t just accept that pricey brands are better. Do the research. And if they are not any better, stop spending your money on them.
Say ‘No’ to Convenience
Next up is killing the sacred convenience cow. Convenience costs money. It is certainly more convenient to call a ride-sharing company instead of taking the bus. But you will pay many times more for the convenience. Likewise, it’s very convenient to buy your lunch five days per week. Brown bag it and you will save a ton.
Forget About Keeping up
Madison Avenue figured out a long time ago that they could get us to buy things by creating the impression that we had to keep up. Have you fallen victim to that mentality? If you are not sure, pull out your cell phone. How old is it? Are you the kind of person who runs out and buys a brand-new phone every time your favorite manufacturer releases the next model?
Trying to keep up is a waste of money. Manufacturers release new models on a regular basis for the sole purpose of getting you to buy. You running out to get the latest and greatest every time it’s released equates to playing right into their hands.
You could do all of the things mentioned in this post and really not suffer all that much. With the exception of creating a budget, the principles discussed here are related to excess. Being able to implement all of the suggestions is proof that your financial problems are due to your excess. Cut out the excess and your financial problems are solved.
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