Most of us have financial difficulties. You know…making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck, a day late and a dollar short. Plenty of clichés to describe the problem.
Enter Dave Ramsey and other gurus who have a solution. By the way…much of their advice is dead on. However, easier said than done, right? It’s like eating healthy. Seems like a great idea…but giving up pizza and cheeseburgers is just too hard. After all, we live in a stressful world. Got to have our comfort food and we have to buy trinkets like expensive smart phones and over the top cable bills to deal with all that pressure.
Back in the day, I made a lot of money. But today, I have little to show for it. If I could just have back what we used to spend eating out.
8 or so years ago, we decided (it’s a team effort) that it was time to fix our financial stupidity. Today, we’re living better on a fraction of the income because of some simple (hard at first) solutions to our problem.
No point in sharing everything that we’ve done. Here are 5 basic steps toward gaining financial independence:
- cash only (buy nothing on credit) – Yep, it’s tough, but it works. Nothing wrong with having credit cards but never use them beyond your means. As long as you can pay them off each month then you’re OK. However, if you are tempted to overuse them, then get rid of those plastic interest hogs until you have learned to live without them. No such thing as “an easy payment plan.” Making payments ain’t easy. Pardon my incorrect grammar.
- don’t eat out – Really? Yep. Do the math. Let’s say that you average just$10 per day eating out. And that’s probably extremely conservative. That’s $70 per week and $3640 per years. On special occasions…cook something together at home and dine by candlelight.
- buy used cars – Again, an opportunity to save thousands. What’s the average automobile payment? $400 per month. That’s a nifty $4800 savings per year. So what if you’re friends laugh at your ride? Guess who gets the last laugh?
- minimize the electronics – I worked for AT&T and Sprint and believe me when I say that there is nothing smart about buying smart phones. All those amazing deals the cell phone companies are touting are designed to suck your hard earned dollars out of your wallet. I get nauseous every time I see one of their ads. Rip, rip, rip-off alert! What do you really need in a phone? I mean, really need. Give it some serious thought and then buy that. Same goes for your cable or satellite choices. What do you really need? Moreover, how much can you save by making better choices?
- rainy day fund – Put aside at least $1000 for those unexpected emergencies so you don’t have to bow down to a predatory lender or turn to the plastic interest hog.
Now, that’s just 5 steps to getting your finances under control. When you start implementing these changes you will begin to find other ways to curb your spending and your quality of life will get dramatically better IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE.