Does it seem like you are always broke? Advertising, subtle peer pressure and pride can work to drain off limited funds. Is God blessing you or are you running from His help? Tough choices arise. The following common sense, game plan can go far to keep money in the pocket. Rich people don’t follow the crowd. Think smarter. Think like a millionaire.
“If you don’t control your life, salesmen and strangers will be glad to do so.” – anon.
1. Repair and make do. Resist the temptation, the rush, to go for a new vehicle or house. Don’t go broke keeping up with the Jones. A lot of the Jones are broke. The average U.S family household debt is 16,000. Tatoo this on pocket-book: “if I can’t pay cash, I cannot afford it.”
2. I heard a financial counselor advise on TV yesterday that your biggest money maker is your income. Why give it to the car dealers and stores? You will retire without much reward for your years of labor! Why spend your income-making years working hard and retiring with nothing to show for it?
3. Sophia Bera writes on LearnVest.com: ” Zac Bissonnette’s new book, “How to Be Richer, Smarter and Better Looking Than Your Parents,” I don’t understand why so many people feel compelled to own cars they can’t afford. In it, he writes that the average monthly payment on a new car is $479, and that doesn’t even count the gas and insurance.
“Dr. Thomas Stanley, who co-authored “The Millionaire Next Door“ and wrote “Millionaire Women Next Door,” has been studying millionaires for years. In his research, he found that the most popular car make among millionaires is a Toyota. Bet you didn’t guess that one! Bissonnette found similar results–in his book he says, “Most drivers of luxury cars aren’t rich, and most rich people don’t drive luxury cars.” Ibid.
“I Still Drive the Car I Got at Age 16.I drive the only car I’ve ever owned, a 1997 Toyota Corolla I’ve had since I was 16. It was a used car when I got it, and it now has almost 200,000 miles on it. I’m hoping it makes it to 250,000! My husband bought a 1998 hail-damaged Honda Civic with 60,000 miles on it for less than $5,000. That was seven years ago, and he’s still driving it. Yes, he bought a car that was hail-damaged. But it’s been an extremely reliable vehicle. He paid it off in nine months and hasn’t had a car payment since.” Ibid.
“People forget about all the fun things you can do when you don’t have a car payment. My husband and I love to travel, and we choose to drive really cheap cars so that we can save money every month for a yearly vacation. We’ve been to amazing places all over the world. Last year we went to Thailand for two weeks, and we’ve visited Argentina, Italy, Mexico and Puerto Rico.” Ibid.
“I can’t imagine spending almost $500 a month on a car. The average American household, which makes about $51,000 per year, can’t afford to spend that much. Most financial experts recommend that you keep your car-related expenses (car payment, gas & insurance) around 10-15% of your net pay, but if you’re buying a $30,000 car on a $51,000 salary, then you could be spending around 25% of your net pay on car-related expenses.” Ibid.
“The next time you’re shopping for a new vehicle, ask yourself: Do you want to drive an impressive car, or do you want to be a millionaire?” Ibid. – Sophia Bera
Sophia Bera is a Certified Financial Planner® on the LearnVest team. She lives with her husband in Minnesota.
5. Eating out and convenience store snacks are expensive. Buy in bulk. Pack a lunch. Forget peer pressure. Ask God for self-control, discipline. You pay more to have it right now. Plan ahead. Think wholesale, bulk buying, not retail, hand to mouth purchases.
6. There are wonderful, hidden blessings in cheaper housing as well as older vehicles. Pride can cost you a lot of income. Don’t let your flesh jerk you around and make your decisions.
7. I prefer used but top quality items where possible. Better to have a super dependable, used car than a new one that is lower rated for reliability. I like Toyota or Honda cars.
8. Ask God to help you not to care what other people think. Be inner directed not outer directed. Peer pressure is very subtle, very powerful!
9. “You can dib-dab your money away or save it for the nice things in life.” -grandmother Kirtley. Start a regular savings plan. Put aside ten percent of income for future.
10. Avoids impulse buying. Wait. Pray and sleep on it. Is it a need or just a want?
11. Make out a budget and stick to it. Let your flesh know who is boss.
12. God’s Plan: if you give Him the first ten percent, a tithe, He will give you ninety percent. That is better than any loan company rates! Tithing shows faith in God.
Plan B: God says, “OK Christian, don’t tithe and see how well you do without my help and blessing. Learn the hard way.” (Mal 3.8-10).
If one is not saved, tithing will not bring him closer to God. He has a free gift for the person. . . . new life in Jesus Christ. Swap sin and guilt for peace and forgiveness. (Rom 3.23; 6.23; 10.13 Jn 3.16)!