By Flea - Be A Survivor
People wasting money on stuff they do not need is certainly not a new phenomenon. It has been done for generations; excess is a way of life for those with lots of money. No one really needs a 7,500 sq ft house or 17 cars in their heated garage but people like to show they have made it to the big time.
The problem is when people want to show they have made it to the big time and they are still in the bush leagues.
What I mean is simple, living the good life by faking it. Let’s say you were making $35,000 a year at your job. You get a big promotion and get bumped up to $50,000. Woo-hoo, let the good times roll, all your money problems should be solved right? You were living pay check to pay check but you now have a theoretical $15,000 more dollars in your pocket, right? Umm…not so fast.
Most likely you were living at a $50,000 level when you were making $35,000 and now because you make $50,000 you will just have to spend more like a $70,000 a year earner. This is called living beyond your means and Americans have perfected it to a science. We buy crap that the Chinese make and buy it with reckless abandon.
Credit is how we do it and the government is just as guilty as the rest of us. The Chinese own this country and if you believe any different you have your head somewhere where your head should not be. We all live the lives of indentures servants, beholden to people like Bank of America and Wells Fargo to name just a few. Your debt never goes away either…
It is quite curious; if your creditor goes belly up someone is always there to assure you there will be an address to send your check to.
Listen I am a capitalist, it is the only system that works, I think that has been proven time and time again. The problem is we don’t know where to draw the line when spending money. Buying just what you NEED makes you every bit a capitalist as the guy who is on his 4th Ferrari. Yes you heard me right, buying only what you need with the occasional guilty pleasure thrown in, I mean we are all human beings for crying out loud.
I am not trying to be a party pooper here, seriously I am not but when I see a person driving a BMW when they should be driving a Honda Civic it makes me want to shake them violently. I had a friend who bought a Dodge Ram 3500, it cost him a ridiculous amount of money and his payments were like $600+ a month. The guys lived in a condo and never towed a damn thing in his life…he just wanted one! Then he would belly ache he couldn’t wait for payday because he was broke!
If you need a Dodge Ram 3500, be my guest, buy it…just make sure you make enough money to actually afford it.
If you have debt, just stop buying crap and start paying it off. Buy just the essentials to survive until your debt is gone. That is how you break the vicious cycle of consumerism that is plaguing the country and bringing us to the brink as a nation.
The best thing to get used to doing is pay cash, stop using credit cards and loans. When my wife and I want something we save and pay cash. The added benefit is that by the time you have saved the money you may have already decided you really don’t want or need what you were going to purchase anyway.
We want a boat in the worst way. We live right by Charleston harbor and there are two huge lakes a very short distance from me. We could easily finance the boat or pay cash from our emergency reserves; to the contrary we will do NEITHER of those. We will start a side savings account and place cash every payday in it until we can pay for the boat. We will have no new debt, our cash reserves will remain intact and we will be contributing to a successful capitalistic society.
If I can stress one thing in this post it is to pay cash and stop using credit. Remember that simple concept and you will be just fine.
...that is all.
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