When it comes to our money and the pleasure it buys, lack of self-control is the number 1 enemy for most of us. Often, when you come into some extra cash, you have this urge to rush out and instantly satisfy the irresistible itch to splurge on just about anything you lay your eyes on. It is a "bargain" after all!
Instant gratification is a very costly mistake because many people fail to recognize that they just spent money that may be needed in the immediate or distant future for unseen or unplanned for needs. And, I have news for you, you are not alone.
Only a small percentage of the population have balanced family budgets and have savings for a rainy day. The majority are operating with maxed out credit and unbalanced family budgets.
The saying: "the thrill is gone" is true, especially when it comes to material things. The stuff you were thrilled to buy right now will eventually fade, break down, or rust away. Only with patience and self-control can you plan for the important things that your family will need in the future. Money spent on feel-good-stuff today robs your family of their financial future. The real thrill is having money in the bank!
The future financial success of your family starts with a determined effort to manage your spending and savings.
First, you need to accumulate a financial cushion that will serve you well in emergencies. Once that cushion is in place, you can start saving for future needs like the kid's braces, education, their first car. All these and more require smart planning and self control.
If you now understand the strong connection between self control and spending, the next question you will ask yourself is: "How do I start using self control and be a role model for my family?"
There are 3 primary ways you may have never been taught that are relatively easy to follow. Once your family members see how much extra money you are accumulating, they will want to follow your lead. These steps are not complicated and they will work financial miracles for you. As you use them, they will become part of your lifestyle and will give you a great feeling of personal power over your cash flow.
Here they are:
1. Resist the "itch!"
This may be obvious and may be the hardest to adopt. You have become used to instant gratification. It's a habit that must be broken. You need to ask yourself if you really need that new "thing" in your life or if you can do without it. Will your life change dramatically for the better if you buy "it?" You will find that the answer is almost always "No!" You will be proud of yourself if you resist the "itch!"
2. What are your needs? What are your wants?
Make a list of the things you "need" just to keep your household operating smoothly. These get priority because they eliminate stress. Pay for your needs first, always! I am talking about food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education, and medical care.
Now make a list of "wants" and decide which of these you can truly do without and which of these will actually make your life better. Plan for those that will improve your life and start saving for them so you can pay cash! Dump the rest.
The rule here is simple: Do not buy something you do not need today that will steal money from the things you need to buy in the future. It's all about having the money available when you need it. Money you spend on today's "want" may be money you must have for tomorrow's "need."
3. Who is your financial guru?
We all know someone in our family that has their financial act together. They have all their needs covered and they seem to have all the material things we would like to have but cannot afford. Have you wondered how they pull it off? Well, ask them and listen to their advice!
If you are too embarrassed to ask them, seek out a person who can serve as a guide for you and adopt a financial lifestyle that they recommend. This can be a financial counselor from your local bank or credit union or a non-profit organization in your community.
These 3 steps just scratch the surface. Get help and self control will become second nature before you know it.
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Author, Jim DeSantis, would like to give you free help to control your family budget. Please accept Jim's free ebook - "Your Family Budget!" Click here => "Your Family Budget!" No email or signup required. Jim DeSantis reveals some excellent tips and tricks that will help you improve your cash flow and your savings.
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