Living on a budget may not sound like much fun and neither does living beneath your means, but truth be told, both have their merits for building and creating wealth and helping you reach your personal financial goals.
Money is the key that will open many doors but we need to educate ourselves about the importance of financial literacy. The relationship that people have with money should begin with people knowing the importance of living within their means.
Suze Orman talks about the importance of not letting our emotions rule our ability to make smart choices with our money. Being millenniums, managing money is a difficult task because we constantly have to fight instant gratification as everything is at the tip of our fingers.
From online shopping to flash sales and discounts, from credit cards to online payments it has never been easier to acquire material things. Shopping addiction and debt are issues that are on the rise because of how easy it has become to lose ourselves in bad money habits.
Retail therapy in the comfort of our homes is something we all enjoy doing.
From buying games to music, we end up spending money that we do not have just to fit in and hop on the trendy train. We aspire to be inexpensive labels and have the latest gadgets but most of us are not even saving, we do not have savings accounts or even emergency funds.
Living on a budget within your means entails living within your income and having some money left over for a rainy day. Most of us do not keep track of our spending habits and it comes as a surprise to us when we have insufficient funds, but all that can be avoided.
The first step in financial education should be to understand your relationship with money.
Look into the whys of your spending habits. Are you spending money because you are seeking approval or is there a certain void you are trying to fill? We are all aware of love languages and it should come as no surprise that you also need to know your money love language.
One of the professions that are on the rise because of the importance of our relationship to money is that of financial psychologists. Financial therapy allows for people to process their subconscious/ underlying feelings about money and it helps people to set achievable financial goals and understand their spending habits.
Granted we cannot all afford therapy but we can make conscious decisions to educate ourselves about money, living on a budget and the role it plays in our lives.
People talk about changing our habits like it’s an easy thing, stop eating out and make a healthy meal at home, stop using your credit card and use only cash, living on a budget.
These are classic examples of what we are told. Underneath the takeaways and the constant swiping lay the real reasons why most of us are in desperate need of financial education.
For some of us, we believe we do not have time to cook while others believe that the constant meals at restaurants with friends are because that is the time we have to check up on our friends but sometimes we are just afraid to be by ourselves hence the constant going out and retail shopping.
We cannot escape from the fact that money is important hence our relationship with it needs to be nourished.
Some of us are fortunate enough to have been taught from a young age the importance of living on a budget and saving, we had piggy banks and some of us even had allowances but most did not have that privilege to have money lessons. In our adult years, we then need to find our way with money.
The 3 important lessons that we all need to learn involve:
We live in a time where one income is not even enough to cover an individual’s living expenses hence the importance of learning how to multiply money.
As we continue to learn about our relationships with money we need to get to a point where we do not attach our self-worth to the money one currently has in their possession. We ought to realize what money can do for us but also be able to realize what goes into getting the money is what is important.
The hard work, the sleepless nights and the tears are what allow us to get the money (hence people say work hard and play hard), that is what we need to celebrate and be proud of. Money then becomes the evidence of that hard work or the bright ideas that we have.
Start from where you are, try and understand your money behavior then seek to make changes. What works for Jill may not work for you hence the need to be brutally honest with yourself.
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