When you are looking at purchasing a new item, maybe an item that is a little expensive do you take the time to think before you purchase it? Do you take the time to really think about how this purchase may impact my life?
I recently watched neighbors we had had living across the street from us for 15 years pack up their belongings. They had raised their children in that house. As I watched them pack it made me think, What is my security worth? What is more important than having a stable home and food to eat.
Just a Typical American Family
Now my neighbors are the typical American family. They had a house they rented. They purchased many things that at the time their budget would allow. They had two nice cars that were financed, they had a nice big motor-home that was financed and everything was going great for them.
They bought new big screen televisions, they had new furniture and their kids had new games, expensive games. They had everything they could want. Or so it appeared.
Then the economy took a huge hit. First it was the motor-home that was given back to the bank because they just couldn’t afford it. Next came one of the cars, then the next car, then the cable was turned off. It was sad to watch but the saddest moment came when they lost their home.
As I watched day after day them loading and taking their belongings to a storage facility I couldn’t help but to think, I wonder if they knew when they were signing those papers to finance those cars or that motor home it would ultimately cost them their security, their home.
What could they have done to have this story end differently?
A few ideas were swirling around my head as I watch the scene play out in front of me.
Live Below Your Means
Make sure you have a little each month left over and put it away in a savings account for a rainy day. Even if it is just $10 this month, maybe $40 the next month back down to $5 another month. Just make a habit of putting something away each month.
Keep Your Monthly Expenses Low
It is great to have a budget and have a plan for each dollar that comes in. By keeping your monthly expenses low it can help you stay out of financial trouble. If you are living right on the edge of balancing your budget and some months their is more month than money, consider cutting anything that is non essential. Cable, eating out, purchasing non essential items or giving up a hobby just for a season.
Downsize Your Outgoing Payments
If you are getting by financially but your debt load is just too high. Consider reducing your debt by selling some items. Take a look around and find those things that have value hiding in closets or in that storage facility you are paying money for each month. Use Craigslist or Ebay or just have a garage sale.
If you have two cars that are financed consider selling one and purchasing a car with cash. I know it won’t be as fancy or nice but it will be paid for and all yours.
Remember It’s Never Too Late
As long as you are alive, it is never too late to turn things around. Maybe you have made impulsive purchases in the past or made bad financial decisions. You can turn it all around with one decision to live differently. Each day you can make progress to your financial goals. You can do it!
What’s a purchase you made but regretted after making that purchase? Did it put your security at risk?