Monday, 25 July 2011

Live Within Your Means

How many of us pretend to be rich but have nothing? - 'There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing' Proverbs 13:7.

You see that cute dress that you do not really need and cannot really afford, but you put it on credit.  You know those shoes are well out of your budget but look great on your pedicured feet so you buy them. Even though a cloud of doubt is looming over your head telling you to do otherwise.  You insist on buying an outfit for your child that will be too small before you can blink!

Why do we always choose to live beyond our means?  Credit is so accessible nowadays it is ridiculous.  I received a letter from my bank offering me a card with $100,000 (50000 GBP) credit.  Can you believe it?  I neither asked for, nor wanted it.  However it was approved and waiting for me to use at a reduced rate. 

I have cleared my debts on multiple occasions, and it feels great.  For some reason I manage to reinvent the wheel.  This year is the end of that vicious cycle.  In my bid to be financially free, I have to be debt free first.  It is so debilitating when you have to pay large sums from your monthly salary to clear your loans. 

Fair enough paying for a mortgage is an investment in an asset hopefully.  However that LV bag or Gucci watch doesn't an asset make.  Women in particular, we need to be more mindful of our money.  Seek education on investing.  Get a hold of our finances, start budgeting and saving for our future.

I started a fund for KC when he was born with the aim that his University education will be paid for several times over by the time he is 18.  God willing the funds invested will thrive and I will not have to worry one bit about his fees, housing, books or anything. 

Consider putting something in a fund for your child.  Definitely stop purchasing what you cannot afford.  If you need to do it on credit, unless the circumstances are dire, don't do it if you know you cannot repay in full when the monthly bill arrives!  Is a new Ipad worth your stress levels when you end up paying twice the original price by making minimum monthly repayments?

Start a money club with your friends where you can advise each other on ways to cutback.  Go to hypermarkets together and bulk buy and split the bill.  Buy the supermarket brands as opposed to name brands, they really are not much different if at all.  Cut out the nonsense channels that you never watch on cable.  Cook instead of takeaways.

Save for the year and  buy clothes during the sale.   I am guilty of insisting on buying Ralph Lauren clothes for KC.  I like how they fit, are durable and look smart.  However I buy a few to last him the year at half price and he looks cute for 50% of the cost!

I endeavour to only spend what I can afford. Say it with me, do it with me!  It will not be easy as I am starting a business, however I will just have to take that little bit longer to get my business up and running.   

Would like to hear any ideas you have on cutting costs and living WITHIN your means.


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