Life is such an eye-opener. When I look at life, I see my own stuff. My own happiness, my own problems, my own way of life. I get so accustomed to the way that we do things in our family that it’s always a bit of a surprise to me when other people mention how they do things in their family. I suppose we are all a bit jaded, but I have to tell you that something happened recently that really made me look at life a bit differently. My husband and I are best friends with two other couples. We are all very similar in our place in life and while we don’t all share the same tastes in the life or interests, we are all similar in many ways.
We recently had a pool party. When we have a party of any sort, we all pack up our beverages in our Yeti Coolers and bring them with. If we’re drinking beer, it’s in our Yeti Colster. If we are drinking rum and diet, it’s in our Yeti Tumblers. When I’m having anything else, it’s in my Yeti Lowball. We all have all the products, and we use them all the time. When someone who is not part of our particular group of friends walked onto the pool deck and saw all the Yeti coolers and everyone drinking out of their Yeti cups/colsters/lowballs, he made a comment that caused us all to laugh – and me to stop.
“You know you’re talking to people with money when you see all those Yetis!” We laughed; we all know we have a lot of them, but we love them. That made me think, though. I didn’t think it was much to spend $40 on a cup, but a lot of people do. When he said that he’s been wanting the cup for a while and was hoping it might be on his Christmas list from his wife, I realized that we are all so vastly different. Some people have their financial priorities together, and some people don’t. Now, I’m not saying he doesn’t, I’m just saying he made the comment that he simply is not where he wants to be in life at the moment because he’s working on getting his financial life in order. I respect that – big time. It made me think: How can people get their financial lives on track whether they are starting out or whether they are starting over?
Set A Goal
I once had a friend tell me that he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up, but he knew that he just wanted to be able to run through the drive thru for lunch and not wonder if he had enough money to pay for a meal and that he always wanted to have enough money in the bank to fill up his car when he needed gas.
I thought that was a little bit underwhelming, but he makes a good point. We all have financial goals in life. Mine is to pay for four kids to go to university and pay for three weddings that have to be pretty amazing and spectacular – and to buy four cars in less than four years for my kids. I just want to be comfortable my entire life. I like to be able to go to the store and buy what I need. I like to see something I like and order it without thinking twice. We all have financial goals; to pay for school, to buy a house, to live comfortably. Whatever your goals, you just have to make them a priority and it helps you to get your financial life in order.
Someone said something like “Like unlike anyone else today so you can live unlike anyone else tomorrow,” and I like that. You don’t have to have what other people have to be happy. Do you need a house that’s outside your budget so it’s as big or as fancy as a friend’s? You don’t; and I’m willing to bet that you’d be much happier living in a smaller house with a more affordable mortgage and the ability to travel and have fun than you would moving into something you can barely afford and living life with constant fear and worry that you cannot afford to live. Live smart – and live happy.
If you have it, get rid of it. If you don’t have it, don’t accumulate it. If you want to get your financial life in order, stay away from owing anyone anything at any time. If you have to have a mortgage, go for it. However, you don’t need a car payment and you don’t need to owe creditors. Avoid it – it’s how you maintain financial freedom.
The most important thing you can do to reach financial freedom and get your finances in order is to save. Put money away, and do not touch it. You don’t need to touch it; so don’t. It’s the best advice we can give you about getting your finances in order.
Bonus: Reward Yourself
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