What You Didn’t Learn in School – Spending Lesson

Keeping up with the Joneses

We all like to make other people believe we are wealthier than we actually are. This is a horrible way to live. You only need to answer to your family, not your neighbors. Only buy what you can afford, don’t buy something to “one-up” someone.

Prioritize Your Spending 

You can’t have everything you want, but you can have everything you need. Obviously food, shelter, clothing, transportation, insurance, and health care are your needs. Go over all of your wants and decide just how much of them you want and compare to what you can afford. Decide what wants are important to you, important enough to spend money on. What is important to YOU?

Great deals that really aren’t

Stay away… far away. If it’s not a great discount/deal it’s not worth it. Don’t buy anything from telemarketers, don’t buy into “You won a free trip to the Bahamas” or anywhere else, don’t pay fees in advance for loans or credit cards and for advertised job opportunities, and don’t by those “miracle” products advertised almost everywhere, they will not help you lose 15 pounds in a week. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

Important luxuries

Make sure you can afford them and they are important to you. For instance, I love coffee and we have just your typical coffee maker that’s probably 10 years old, but when the Keurig came out, I was in love. They come at a hefty price and since my 10 year old coffee maker works just fine, we didn’t purchase a Keurig. In fact we got one as a gift. But if your older version works just fine for you, there is no need to buy the newest and greatest just for looks.

Think about your purchases

I love online shopping and I would fall into the hole when it was the middle of the night and I couldn’t sleep, so I bought things I didn’t need. When I online shop, I put things in my cart, leave them there for a day or so and decide if I really want it. Most of the time, I don’t end up buying what was in my cart. Same goes for shopping at the stores, I will walk around the store a few times or leave and maybe come back if I decide I want an item. Avoid impulsive spending.

“Unhealthy” spending habits 

I’m talking about cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Cigarettes can cost you $6 a pack or more depending on the state. Nothing good has came from smoking. I’m not against alcohol, but I have family member that were/are alcoholics so this I hold to my heart. So excessive drinking is unnecessary and dangerous. Don’t do drugs. The feeling is temporary with all three of these and they all cause long-term damage to your health and your relationships.

Increased bills

Ever had your phone bill go up in price? We all have. Any bill that you pay for you should know how much you are paying each time. If the bill suddenly increases or you get a notice that it will sometime soon, simply call the company and say no. They want to keep their customers happy, so tell them you’re paying the price you have been or nothing at all. They want to keep you so they will listen. Just make sure you pay that bill on time.

Pay your bills on time

I understand how hard it can be. But use the extra money you get throughout the year to keep up with your bills. This way you avoid late fees and disconnects. This goes for your taxes too. And check your bills too, really read them so you’re not being cheated.

Your car should fit your current budget

Pretty obvious right? When you are first starting your career buy a nice used car so you can afford a newer car later (with cash). Start a “new car fund” asap, this will give that new car a whole lot more meaning to you because you worked so damn hard for it. Also, buying last year’s model after this years model came out, saves you thousands and thousands.

Buy last year’s model

Everyone wants the newest and greatest and when those come out, so many people are willing to spend the hefty price. Don’t be one of those people. The newest doesn’t always mean the greatest and the last model that sin’t all that different, is a lot cheaper. This ties along with taking care of your valuables. My coffee maker is still going strong 10 years later because it’s taken care of.

There’s your spending lessons. I learned a lot just from writing this. I didn’t come up with this all on my own… While I was working, someone returned the book “Why Didn’t They Teach me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live by.” By Cary Siegel. I snatched it up and it’s so good I just had to share. You can buy a copy here. It’s only $10.70!! I have decided to do a blog post on every chapter (a condensed version). Stay tuned for more amazing tips!!

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