Here's a question for you. What's the
impression or image you have in your head when you think of someone who is a
"tightwad", living somewhat of a frugal lifestyle?
Does the stereotypical image of a old,
feeble minded miser, with dirty old overalls, worn out sneakers with a fisherman
cap pop up in your mind? :-)
That's ok. Stereotypes are hard to get rid
of. Especially the negative connotations sometimes associated with budget
All to often people assume frugality and
budgeting are for poor, low income families. Only the less fortunate have to
worry about these things, right?
First off, throw out all these
misconceptions. Wipe them from your mind. They no longer exist.
Instead, let's take a look at the bigger
picture. The purpose and reason for wanting to budget, conserve and lower your
All That Waste
In our society, it is very easy to get
caught up in all the glamour of the rich and famous. You know, all the fancies
in life. Isn't everybody supposed to be gorgeous, drive fancy cars, dine at the
most expensive restaurants and have beach front property to come home to
We have this image of the wealthy and all
the luxuries they spend their money on, and we sometimes try to replicate this
in our own lives.
More specifically, we don't want to be
seen as if we are financially challenged, so we spend our money the way we think
wealthier people do. We buy what they buy. Go out where they go. We spend our
money carelessly, without even giving a second thought about it.
It makes us feel good because we've
briefly made people think that we are wealthier that we really are. Sometimes,
we even trick ourselves into believing that we actually have more than we really
But in the end, we have no actual
wealth.No overabundant savings account. No well invested stocks to capitalize
on. No lake front retirement cabin to retreat to from time to time. Just our
pretend life that we've been living in.
So how does a person acquire wealth? Many
misinterpret the meaning of wealth. Wealth is not determined by how much you
earn, but by how much you accumulate.
Aside from inheritance (and luck), a
wealthy person will generally acquire money through many years of hard work and
discipline. And at the same time, compliment the hard work with regular saving
deposits and wise financial investments. It just isn't in their nature to spend
money haphazardly because that wouldn't be a wise investment.
Others spend all of their money on many
extravagances but rarely have anything left afterwards. Years of reckless
spending leaves little to celebrate about in the end.
You Make the Decision
Income level has little to do with whether
a person decides to budget their money and strive for future financial goals.
In other words, you'd be surprised to know
how many poor people do NOT budget their money and how many wealthy people DO!
It all comes down to the GOALS you have
for you and your family and how dedicated you are in achieving these goals.
Whether it be financial goals, career
goals, retirement goals, business goals or all of the above. Your goals answer
the fundamental question: What do I want to have (or be) in 5, 10, or 20 years?
Only you can choose what is labeled a priority in your life.
Do you want to conserve money, lower
bills, and start an investment plan? Or do you want a new suit every month to go
with pricey excursions to Vegas eight times a year?
Would you rather spend your time learning
how to invest in the stock market or possibly start your own home business for
additional income? Or would you rather spend the money you earn on a new deluxe
home entertainment center, relax and wait for the next work day to come?
Regardless of what road you choose, choose
what you feel is right for your situation and strive for your goals. All the
advice in the world can't force you to save money and budget your finances. YOU
have to WANT to reach your goals, period.
Only when you decide that your goals are
top priorities in your life, will you start implementing effective money saving
strategies and begin acquiring real wealth.