Friday, November 13, 2015

The Unhealthy Truth about Material Possessions

Have you ever considered the truth of math and money when viewing your possessions? Material possessions are everything you own. Clothes, furnishings, draperies, electronics, and everything you bought that made you feel good or provided purpose in your life.

What is the unhealthy truth about the value of our material possessions? What does this have to do with the way we spend and budget our money? Perhaps, nothing. But what if – this has everything to do with the way we spend and budget money?

Clothes retain no monetary value. What? This has to be wrong! Right? We pay higher cost for name brand labels of used clothing because of the designer name. The persuasive retail price tags would have us to believe these items do retain monetary value. However, they do not. Why?

Clothing depreciates in value - just as vehicles will - or a home purchased in a crime-filled neighborhood or flood area will. This is the money truth of unhealthiness spent on expensive clothing. Clothing only becomes an entity of value; when we the public, make it as one.

So why invest your money into expensive clothing lines to get caught in an exterior race that only leaves you financially struggling and strapped? Why burden your income and budget with items you cannot responsibly afford?

Does clothes make you feel good or increase your self-esteem? Does clothes make you feel externally secure, while internally you really feel insecure? Does name brands make you feel superior? Does expensive clothes make you feel handsome? Does expensive clothes make you feel beautiful?

Clothing is an exterior covering on our bodies. This is all.

To emotionally link our self-worth and self-value or self-esteem to clothing, is to internally have no value in self. Why? Because the way we spend our money, does detail who we are internally. Just as our actions detail who we are, more than our words.

The way we manage our money displays where our priorities are.

How many people did you know who wear the expensive clothes suffer from issues and have troubles in their life? How many have a difficult time balancing their professional and personal lives?

When we scrap off the exterior of their expensive clothing; we realize how their emotional, self-esteem, and personal values of their characteristics and personality is a sad, secret shell that contradicts the proud, vain, and appealing presence they represent. These people who seek external fulfillment of material possessions and expensive clothing, usually are not balanced in their life. They place value in clothing labels and expensive clothing. Most cannot responsibly afford it but they do it anyways.

Many use expensive clothing to cover and conceal the real issues of their life.
How many celebrities and notable social icons succumb to horrible crimes, prison sentences, and repetitive DUIs that leave the general public to believe that if you have enough money; then you are above the law? How is this something or someone to look up too? Why would we seek to spend our money to appeal to a social life that we cannot afford and one that surely is not in our best interest?

If celebrities and notable social icons cannot handle the pressures of living beyond reality; than why do most of us seek to buy a lifestyle we cannot afford?
Emotions will spend and waste our money - if we continue to allow this to happen! We must make conscience and rational choices with our money!

Shopping and spending money can make us feel good temporary. But when we fail to put our money priorities first; then our lows will immediately follow. The bills are not paid. Bad credit continues to mount. We end up paying triple for materials that we place on credit cards and credit accounts. The bills mount and offer no end in sight to relieve our financial situations we got our self into. Our incomes do not decrease while our wants do creating depression. 

We have to acknowledge the emotional madness of our money. We must make an effort to stop the bad practices of our money life to turn a sinking ship around produced by emotional money choices.
The solution is easy to rationalize and hard to put effort too. But it is worth it. Quit making impulsive choices with money based upon emotions. Start making mature, logical, and rational decisions with money.

If you buy a $100 pair of shoes on a credit card or credit account – do you know how much you are really paying to look “cool” for a brief second? Fashion changes every second and will always come back around. 

So how much is these $100 shoes going to cost you? If you pay cash, $100 plus tax. Done. Put it on credit and it can cost you $120-$240 depending on the monthly payment you make, interest rate, and how it takes you pay to them off.

Is any shoes worth 2-3 times the cost of their retail price? The answer is NO! Will you be able to sale these high priced shoes you bought on credit for $240 used? NO! Clothing has no monetary value! Stop emotionally letting clothes control you as if they do. Stop allowing your emotions to control your money and budget! Start controlling your income! Learn how to control income so you can control your emotional spending too!  

When we spend money, it is not the big things that trap us; but the little things we tend to overlook. Our emotional wants will try to supersede our priority things of survival. Our inabilities to focus on a financial plan to pay off our interest bearing debt accounts causes us more debts than emotional happiness from shopping impulsively.

We spend money that we do not have to impress people who do not really like us. 

Why get caught up in a social cycle that only produces stress on our budget and our finances?

Happiness and contentment produce a consistent and stable balance when priority is placed on valuables in life that have no monetary affiliation! Money is a tool. To emotionally place value in money is to misplace priority and lose focus on the real values of life!

Money spent to produce immediate and fast highs will never produce lifetime happiness and stable contentment. Why? Because any high produced by invaluable items and through harmful means produces only harsh consequences when the low happens.

Ask a drug addict, a gambler, or an alcoholic in recovery, why they do not obsessively act upon their addictions anymore? They will tell you that the benefits of getting a high drunk or high buzz is not worth the low, real, and hard crashes that reality gave them when they came down off their substance abuse highs.

Money produces the same substance abuse high when spending immaturely, emotionally, and irrationally. Mature money spending, budgeting, and being wise with a penny is the only way to produce a healthy relationship with our income, our lifestyles, and in our homes.

Many are not as blunt and bold about saying, “No,” when it comes to rejecting activities that cannot be afforded. But we should be. Why? Because everyone deserves an honest friend. Everyone deserves a responsible, mature, and healthy role model and friend in their life. Anyone can be an ally or alibi to do the fun, immature, or impulsive stuff in life. But it takes a real, truthful person to be a loyal, dependable, and responsible friend or family member.

Anyone can lead or follow to jump off a bridge because someone said to do it.  But the person who reaches their hand out to pull them back to tell them, “No or Don’t do this!” is more valuable for a lifetime than the few seconds produced by free falling to an unstable ground. 

Money does not represent the best of who we are, by what we have. Money represents the best of each person - when we control the money and the money does not control us anymore.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Balance Home Budgets

How do we begin to balance anything about money? By creating drafts on paper of what we spend, what we save, what we have coming in as income and what we have going out in bills.

By creating a paper draft, we are able to see the accurate facts and figures of what we are truthfully doing with our money. We must be putting every aspect of our money in its own separate column to know our money waste and what areas of our money we need to improve upon.

But for many of us, we accept the stale circle of negatives of our money that impacts our life; and do nothing. We never get ahead. We choose to stay behind. Perhaps, its low income or high interest rates we have to pay for the credit we have. Perhaps, it’s never getting ahead because one is always behind. By investing the time to look in-depth on paper of where money is going and how it is being spent; we can become uncomfortable to face the facts of what our money is doing.

Businesses use many types of financial statements and assumptions of economy to create their profit and loss. Businesses survive because everything is on paper, track-able, and view-able to pertinent stockholders, investors, employees, and anyone else that has a stake in the company. Home budgets require management as strategically as this. Why?

Because the money we have coming into our homes should improve our quality of life and not decrease our life with undue stress that we can prevent and control of our money. By critiquing home budgets, as if it were a business; we can predict our cost of living, expenses, and learn how to make something thrive less stress-fully and with profitability. Who wants to merely pay their bills? Who wants to be able to control their bills and budget?

Three primary “forgotten” aspects of home budgets are not usually calculated in. Why? Lack of knowledge. Lack of validity. Failure to know any better. Never taking a home budget seriously. These things do happen for many different reasons to good, honest people. Isn’t it time we quit assuming we know what we are doing with our home budget and personal finance and act upon our responsibility toward our money, as we would for our employers?

The three primary elements that must be taken into separate account of home budgets are these:
1.      Operating Expenses and activities that increase or decrease income potential.
2.      Investing Expenses and activities that increase or decrease income potential.
3.      Financing Expenses and activities that increase or decrease income potential.

Operating expenses are basically the bills we pay that keep our lights on, water on, trashing removed, housing above our heads, and a comfortable place to increase our quality of living. These bills can be controlled and managed by anyone who puts forth time and effort to understand energy conservation, weatherization investments, and having an ability of desire to compare last years’ operating costs with this years’ totals to create plans of what can be improved upon to do to decrease overall operating expenses. The more we know our bills and companies services provided – the more we can learn how to control them. Not letting them control us or our money anymore.

Compare insurance company rates at least once a year looking for savings. Compare activities cost of cell phone, internet, cable/TV services and other operating expenses at least once a year to find a better value to decrease costs. Consider if the services you receive are as important now as they were a year ago. Many get locked into “contract” rates for some services to pay extra fees, if they are cancelled before the contract end date. Do the math. Will you be saving more money by cancelling services and paying these high contract fees or will you be more by staying into the contract? Math saves money – it does not decrease it. Do not let assumptions or fears of companies, corporations, or big business scare you or intimidate you. Do the math. They want your business to improve their profits. They do not care what your profits or losses are. They only seek to increase theirs.

Investing expenses and activities can be many different things to different people. Many employees have opportunities to pay dues or annual fees to a non-profit organization that seeks to improve employee development, associate growth, job security, employee training and other additional benefits that employees view as an investment. People who pay tithes are following their beliefs to give to others first. People who donate to charities are doing so for tax deductions to save money on taxes or to sincerely help others in a specific cause. However, be careful of what you spend your money too of non-profit agencies, charities, and these items of “goodwill” investments.

What percentages go to the cause? What is your return of prosperity? How much funds go to helping others and what only helps the authority in charge of the organizations? Are you paying for their “trips, luxuries, and their wants?” Are they sending out more money than they retain? Investing in others is a wonderful way to spend money, but not when you cannot responsibly afford it; and not, when it goes to cushion the head of the organizations and deprives members or its people of genuine funds to help them.

Financing expenses and activities can take a large part of income to comfort a lifestyle. These financing expenses and activities can deplete income so fast that before a person knows, they will be paying $200-$400 a month in interest fees they cannot get back. Homes, vehicles, and student loans are the three primary reasons many people struggle to control their income. The high finance rates of long-term debt creates waste of money that a consumer can never get back. The only thing a consumer can do to counteract the high interest rates for the vehicle, home, or education they need to survive on is to create a financial plan for these high priced items.

Before you sign on the dotted line to commit to any interest bearing account, create a financial plan.
       I.          Are the interest rates higher than you want to pay? Is this item a “need” versus a “want?”
     II.          What are your plans for paying additional amounts toward the principle of the loan versus making only minimal payments? The contract states five years to pay off.
    III.          Can you afford to pay off in three years or refinance in a year by ensuring you can create an excellent payment history in a year?
   IV.          Have you researched the internet for problem solving tactics to decrease interest and the life of the loan before signing?

Financing is what turns the wheels of business forward in America daily. 

It is not just private citizens who finances. Businesses also do it every day. However, the differences between managing a home budget and a business budget is means of opportunities to get help based upon creditably and validity.

Consumers should be just as determined to use their income of home budgets in the same manner. To make smarter and wiser financial choices and to problem solve their money situations; don’t ignore them or just complain about them to do nothing.

Many financial managers of business spend hours, years, and endure many trials and errors to learn about money control, create financial wise plans, and to control money. We should be as diligent in our home budgets.

If our home budget of profits and losses were put on a balance sheet, would we balance? Would we be more negative than positive in our ability to control our money? Would our annual income spent show that we controlled our expenses, increased our investments, and decreased our financing expenses? 

Home budgets take first priority when controlling money. When we fail to take responsibility of our income, our income takes control of us. This is a personal problem that must be addressed.

This is hard. Money choices always are. However, the hardest lessons ever learned in life that carry the most value are those choices we make to do the right thing, at the right time; the first time.

Consider spending quality time daily to learn about your money situation. Stop viewing your negatives and learn how to turn them into money positives. No one can understand your money situations, but you. Only you can choose what you will learn to help your life. No one else can.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Think Before Spending Money

Think before spending money? Really? What type of strange concept is this? Consider the positive possibilities before condemning or failing to try this first. Many want more from their money than what money can be stretched to do. So before thinking this will fail. Consider the positive possibilities.

We will take a deep view into impulsive spending. Emotions and mental disorders can affect how we spend our money and what we do for recreation. Our impulses make us feel good temporary. But these impulses can have very negative and bad consequences in our lives. Failing to acknowledge who each of us are, fails our money too. Why?

What causes impulse control disorders? 

Some people can gamble with a set amount of money. When the money is spent or winnings occur, they can walk away. For others, the obsession produces a highly addictive situation that produces financial losses; over and over again. Some individuals can drink alcohol every day and never become an alcoholic. For others, one drink is too many. The best way to know if a hobby, recreation, or entertainment is becoming a dangerous addiction is to be honest about what you are spending and the facts of the consequences activities produce. 

Be honest with self. Put your profits and losses on paper. Create two columns. On the left of the paper create a positive column. On the right side of the paper create a negative column. Put your money consequences on paper in front of you to read to evaluate and analyze. When the negative side increases greater than the positive side; a life change must occur. Help and learning must be pursued or the cycle of negative effects will never end. The negative aspects of money we lie about is that we do not have enough. This is false. Most do have enough income to survive and thrive on when responsibly managing money. However, it is failure to see and acknowledge exactly what we are doing with our money that hurts us the most. We are not truthful when we cannot afford to do something. Most just spend it. This only leads to unfairly burdening others with the money problems you created.

Have you ever went “window shopping” with friends or walked the mall for exercise when it was raining outside? Did you feel bad because you did not have money to spend? Did you produce worry because you did spend and couldn’t afford too and now your electricity or water may get cut off because of it?  Did this make you feel depressed because you see all the nice things you want to own but have no way in your income to own it?
Why do we choose to get into these situations of producing lust, envy, jealousy, impulsiveness, and depression? 

Why do we compete or feel like we have to spend money with others to be accepted by them? What type of false and sad existence is this? To think we hurt our best friends because we went along with them; knowing neither of us, could afford to spend money we did not have? This is not real friendships. This is not real relationships. Money details more about our emotional, psychological, and abilities to be logical thinkers than we ever realize. Most will never factor in how emotions affect ability to spend and control money. But it does.

Failing to acknowledge impulsive tendencies we have; will not make them go away. Failing to admit our impulsiveness or submissive behaviors will continue to destroy the positive potentials our money has. Many are not equipped with emotional awareness, psychological understanding, and are never taught about learning to grow logical and rational decisions and choices. Many will only seek solutions for problems; after the horrible consequences have been done.

But what if we learned how these things affect us, before we suffered the horrible consequences instead? What if we invested a few minutes every day into learning deeper of who each of us are and how this impacts our abilities to spend and control money? 

We live in a global world of instant gratification. A world where we can fulfill anything we want because of the internet. The internet has allowed our deepest fantasies and illusions to be shared with others to come true. We can order almost anything with no thought of financial consequence. We can have secret affairs or sexual fulfillment with only a click of a web address or private email. This is highly convenient, but can produce morally wrong and financially irresponsible consequences and hardships. When we do anything without thinking of the consequences before we do it; then we are just an impulsive generation of selfish gratifiers with no thought of others. We never consider how our actions will affect others. We only think of self. No one deserves to be treated like this and no one should treat others like this either.

  • To think before spending is to acknowledge the consequences, before they begin.
  • ·        To think before spending, is to be aware of your budget in what you can afford to do and what you cannot afford to do.
  • ·         To think before spending, makes good discipline of self and gives you the ability to control your money.
  • ·        It stops the harmful and devastating emotional consequences produced by impulsive and reckless spending.

Make a financial devotion in your budget for three months.  Challenge to stop the emotional and psychological shopping trips or wasteful spending habits. Consider giving up $10-$50 for these three months. On average, this amount is what people use to eat out on, go to the movies, or shopping sprees monthly. With this money, instead, of buying or doing what you would normally do.  Here’s a goal to reach by taking this challenge and meeting these goals the next three months.

Delaying self-gratification to increase financial maturity and thinking before spending as a healthy habit.

1)     Choose one bill that you have the most discomfort with. (House, car, utility, credit card or credit account.)
2)     Use your recreational, hobby, or activity money to pay extra on this one bill.
3)     Send in this amount as a separate principle payment, use it to pay late fees or interest fees – with the regular payment.
4)     Instead of feeling sad because you are giving up something, consider what you are gaining.
5)     Preview the next month’s statement.
6)     Look at how the principal decreased. Look at how the balance decreased by paying a little extra toward interest.
7)     This is real. This is honest. This is not impulsive. This is thinking before doing.
8)     This is controlling money.
9)     Continue for two months.
10)  Total the benefits of the past three months. Doesn’t that feel pretty good now?

Most of us, do not want to stop and think of how we spend our money. Why? Because we have already established negative aspects of our money that controls us. Many have family or friends we borrow from and rely on when we get into money problems. We will spend on our money on our wants of movies, restaurants, or concerts. Then we stress those we financially depend upon when our utilities are not paid or we have no groceries in our homes.

Our priorities are wrong about money and our immediate role in how we spend our money.

Criminals choose to make crime choices to obtain materials of wealth they did not earn nor achieve honestly. These materials are possessions of no real value to them; just as they treat people, in their lives to have no individual value. Why?
Because the desire in criminals is to obtain through unlawful means which deters them from focusing on self. They destroy self and others to keep from starting over to build something new. They choose harmful choices instead. They seek gain when all they produce is destruction. It is easier to falsely believe that self-gratification is more important than responsible and accountable behaviors are. It is easier to falsely believe others are accountable to their choices created by their actions, but we are not. 

This is the clear definition of inequality. This is produced by self. No one else. 

Narcissistic and manipulative behaviors and personalities are geniuses in their own ways. They seek selfish goals. They create deviant plans that will only benefit them. 

When these behaviors and personalities seek to control others; they produce clones or spawns to carry out their criminal behaviors. These criminal masterminds reap the benefits, not their workers. They make their subordinates feel powerless, helpless, and useless to others. This is sad that humans will allow others humans to treat this way. 

For the intelligence criminals display are no different than any other emotionally charged individual who seeks to control others. The only difference between individuals of authority and a criminal is that criminals use others to commit their crimes. Powerful political people and managers produce profits. Even though, powerful and law-abiding people do not break laws they can still emotionally deprive people - just as the criminal would. This is emotional manipulation.

To be aware of one’s behavior, personality, medical conditions, and tendencies of good or bad is to acknowledge changes must occur to decrease the negative aspects of who we are to increase our positives. 

We look at homes thinking of the positive potentials that a paint job could do or new windows could make as an investment. We view vehicles of having this awesome feature or wonderful power. But yet, rarely ever, do we stop and gaze into our mirror to do the same to self. We spend so much time evaluating, analyzing, and constructing data of opinions about others around us; but the one person we fail to understand the most, is our self.

Money is a tool. Money provides the means to build a house, but it cannot make a new house, a home. Money can make us look good on the outside, but money and material cannot make us feel good about self on the inside. It is a duty each of us have to understand others and to understand self. When we realize our limitations or restrictions of what we can do safely and what we cannot do safely; this does not make us weak, but makes us stronger and healthier. Our positives increase greater than our negatives when we are aware of who we are and how we spend our money.

Money makes us high when we have more than we need. Money makes us low when we fear we do not have enough. 

But somewhere in the middle of every budget of income – no matter how large or small – is a happy and stress-free balance that only each can pursue, find, learn about, and apply. 

Money is meant to be controlled by people. Not money controlling the people. That’s a people problem. Not the money.