Providing For Your Future

The only way for you to provide for your later years is to live substantially below your means. If you want to have any hope of achieving financial independence you must live far, far below your means. This is not a difficult concept to understand. Although it is very simple, few people do it. Because it is so simple, people tend to discount its effectiveness. The bottom line is this. There is no free lunch, no schemes by which you can get rich quick, no ship coming your way, no lottery with your name on it, and no alternative to plain, old-fashioned hard work.

In our culture, impulse buying is predominant. In years predating the present easy credit, you would walk into a department store, see an item you would like to purchase, and put a small cash down payment toward it and then pay it off monthly until the item was paid for. Once paid for, you took it home and began to enjoy it. Many today fear that without the newest cars, latest toys and exotic vacations, they are missing the train. They find out later that by buying these things, they risk being run over by the train; the fast charging, mounting-debt train that’s about to steamroll over their lives.

In our culture, credit purchases are the norm. Often, before an item has been paid for, it has been discarded. If you think you must have it all now or you cannot be happy, a paradigm shift must be made in your thinking. In our culture, going in hock up to our eyeballs is the normal thing to do. Our culture and society is all about promoting credit, spending, debt and a “I can have it now” way of life. Buy now, think it through later. Buy now, worry about payment later. Live for today, let tomorrow’s worries come later. Beginning a debt-reduction program almost seems counterculture.

Living above your means creates high stress levels. High stress levels affect your health, your spiritual life, your emotional health, your marriage and your financial life. Living within your means lessens this stress. Living below your means decreases the normal stress of life much more. Living far below your means gives you peace of body, soul and spirit.

You can build a huge nest egg for your later years simply by living below your means. Does it mean driving a car that should be abandoned in a junkyard? Not really. Does it mean eating oatmeal seven days a week and drinking only water? Not really, but perhaps that would help you with your weight-loss goals. It does mean monitoring your spending, watching your cash and accounting for every penny spent. It means making conscious financial decisions based upon need and stopping your impulse spending. It means waiting 30 / 60 days before purchasing, giving you time to come to your senses.

Tell me “your” story of providing for your future! Your comments appreciated!

Content © Rich Brott, 2011

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Reader Comments

I spoke on Sunday at Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, GA and when I asked the question, “What does paycheck-to-paycheck living do to you?” the IMMEDIATE response (I thought I was asking a rhetorical question!) was “Tears!”, “Stress!”, “Scared!”, “Frustrated!”, “Hopeless!”