There’s a very personal reason why so people in our society are caught living paycheck-to-paycheck, barely able to make ends meet. We have become slaves to our own choices!
We have been conditioned to believe that certain things are okay to do.
- It’s okay to buy a vehicle and put it on a five- or seven-year loan.
- It’s okay to buy more house than we need and finance it for thirty years.
- It’s okay to rack up $100k in student loan debt.
- It’s okay to revolve credit on a credit card and make the minimum payment.
We’ve been conditioned to believe it’s okay to go buy things we can’t afford.
But think about how many of those choices wind up causing us stress. Why do we make these choices? Because we believe that they’ll bring us greater joy or happiness.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having nice things, but too often we put the cart before the horse. We rush having and we delay personal peace until later.
What if, instead, you didn’t buy the brand new car but opted for a more affordable model a few years old?
What if you could live in a smaller house longer?
What if you took more affordable vacations?
What if you decided to eat at home more and eat out less?
Not buying a brand new car every few years would mean you could pay one off and lose a $400 payment each month. You could scale back on your house and cut another $400 per month. You could shop for bargains on vacations or earn points and save at least $1,000 per year. Most could easily cut $200 per month on saying no to things they don’t really want anyway. And most people could cut another $400 per month by not eating out as much.
With those five choices alone, you would have cut over $1,400 from your budget each month. And most likely, you wouldn’t even feel a difference, except… you’d for sure feel the freedom of having extra money in savings!
That kind of savings would total close to $17,000 per year. There’s the pay raise you’ve been waiting for. And you’d actually have to make closer to $22,000 to equal the same amount after taxes.
Are you following my thinking? This is delayed gratification. And delaying gratification leads to a less stressful life all the way around.
If you can break free from the trap of keeping up with the Jones’, get out of debt, save some money, and then invest that money to get it to start working for you, everything would change for you financially. And your future self will thank you!
These numbers or items may not apply to your current situation. And it’s possible you are already cutting everything and it’s still hard.
Don’t give up! Remember, the discipline you demonstrate now will allow you to do whatever you want later.
And that is the unstrapped life.