By Flea - Be A Survivor
I have found there are typically three things that people tend to waste money on or over pay for. Most people don’t even realize they are doing it, I routinely hear people saying they are struggling to pay their bills and yet they are usually in deep for all three of these money black holes.
Any survivalist will tell you to be truly free and ready to face the uncertainty of the future one must first liberate themselves from debt and consumerism. Recognizing your mistakes may be hard to do and I, of course, am to help point out the totally obvious to you. Many times I get emails that say to me what you post is common sense; I also get emails from people thanking me for pointing out those “obvious” things to them. What is common sense to one person may not be so obvious to another.
So what are you wasting a good portion of your money on?
1.) Without a doubt most Americans spend entirely way too much money eating out. People are dumping massive amounts of cash into this activity and may not even realize this is a problem. Eating out is expensive, unhealthy and HABIT forming. Once you get into the routine of getting your food out it is extremely hard to “kick the habit”.
When I was a child it was a big deal for us to go out to eat and was reserved for special occasions. Today folks have become addicted to fast food and Starbucks coffee. A typical meal out will cost you at least triple what you could have had the home made version for, if not more. A typical latte at a coffee shop is four bucks! If you spend a few bucks more you can buy a large can of coffee capable of producing a dozen POTS of coffee or MORE!
I routinely hear my neighbors complain that they are just making it and yet they eat out as a family three times a week! If I were having a tough time making ends meet I wouldn’t eat out at all!
2.) The next thing that people routinely get in over their heads on are vehicles. People buy more car than they can comfortably afford. This may come as a shock to many of my more frugal readers but it is not unheard of for people to have $500 car payments on a single car! Add to that most families have at least two cars and that adds up to a lot of money! NADA estimates that the AVERAGE car payment in America is $400. That is a staggering amount of money to have tied up in a vehicle every month. Take that with the fact that the average length of the payment agreement is five years.
That is a boat load of money to be tied up in just cars. The lesson here is match a payment with what you can afford worst case scenario not based on living month to month. Do not get a car that costs $500 a month just because you can afford it right now. Circumstances could change and you will be in BIG trouble when they do and you can only afford $280 a month.
Look at used cars, a car loses at least 15-20% of its value the second you drive it off the lot and most of the depreciation is in the first year. Let someone else take that hit for you and buy used.
3.) Everyone needs clothes right? Yep but not everyone needs clothes that sit in a closet with tags on them and never get worn. Kids also don’t need $100 sneakers they will destroy or outgrow in a few months. Don’t fall into the designer trap, run of the mill tee shirts and jeans are just fine. You will be just as warm in Lee jeans as you will be in Calvin Klein’s and you will be that much richer for it.
Clothes are like food, get the generic brand and you will be just fine. Stay away from the stores that peddle the “hip” crap because you will pay dearly for the privilege of “looking good”.
...that is all.
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