Archive for February 2023

Breaking the Spending Addiction : A Guide to Reconciling Your Budget and Spending Habits

As it should be clear by now, our personal budget is a way of controlling our unlimited wants to match our limited incomes. We only have so much money to spend, save and enjoy.

But what if your budget just can’t accommodate your excessive spending? So much so that your paycheck doesn’t cover your spending, so you are forced to use your credit cards or borrow from others. Let us face it, this situation can’t last forever. Sooner or later, you will find yourself in deep debt, or worse yet, bankrupt.

What is the solution? How to force yourself to spend less and reconcile your spending with your budget? We need to be sure that we are only spending 100% of what we make or less, and not even 1% more than that. Let us go over a few proven and effective therapies for those who like-or are spending sick- to spend like there is no tomorrow:

1-Realize this is simply not sustainable: first, you have to admit and aknowledge that you can’t keep doing this forever and that you have to bring your spending under control and within your budget limit.

2-Budget for big and necessary purchases: if there is something that you absolutely have to buy, start budgeting for it well in advance

3-Avoid the trip to the mall: if the mall is where you spend your money the most, then stopping your spending is as simple as not going to the mall in the first place. And If this is easier said than done, then maybe go less? While the mall is here is a metaphor for any place where you spend with ease, the idea here is to be mindful of any place – including online shopping – where you can’t control your spending.

4– Track your spending: Keeping a record of your daily, weekly or monthly spending can help you identify areas where you are overspending and make adjustments accordingly. In other words, by finding hidden trends, you are able to correct them.

5– Find alternative ways to fulfill your wants, needs and
desires: Instead of spending money on entertainment, try finding low-cost or free alternatives that can bring you joy and satisfaction. For example, instead of spending money on movies, you can do it at home using Netflix or other streaming service, and even make your own popcorn and foods. It will save you a significant amount of money.

To effectively reconcile spending with a personal budget, it is important to admit unsustainable spending habits, budget for necessary purchases, avoid overspending triggers, track spending, and find alternative ways to fulfill wants and needs. By following these steps, individuals can bring their spending under control and within budget limits, reducing the risk of debt or bankruptcy.

Transform Your Finances: The Surprising Connection Between What You Eat, Think, and Who You Surround Yourself With!

What do the following 3 have in common?

-eating your fruits and vegetables, and avoiding junk food
-reading books and enriching your mind with positive thoughts
-socializing and connecting with educated and knowledgeable friends

If done holistically and on a consistent basis, these three will ensure the future version of you is a super one. One that is exponentially better than your current version of yourself. In other words, your personal development will be super charged and on overspeed when you do these things together and consistently.

You are one third what you eat, one third what you think, and one third who your peers are. In other words, to be the super version of yourself, surround yourself with people who are educated, wise and wealthy, eat healthy and exercise, and most importantly, think good and positive thoughts. We have all heard the adage that you are the average of the 5 people you most associate and surround yourself with. And while that is true, we can extend that to how we treat our bodies and minds.

What you eat

Eating healthy is a no-brainer and we should all do it. But what is lost on so many is how eating healthy – or unhealthy- can quickly compound over time. And before you know it, you will either wish you had started your healthy habits or be thankful you did. In fact, results shouldn’t take a long time to see. I personally vowed and worked hard on lowering my cholesterol and in less than 1 year, I managed to lower it by over 8%. Same goes with weight loss. Going even one week without junk food, while loading up on water, fruits and vegetables, helps me achieve weight loss that would otherwise take a lot longer. You can achieve even better and faster results by combining healthy food ritual with walking and exercising.

What you think

It is no rocket science, but being an optimist and positive person in life, will bring you greater happiness and life sanctification, which in turn lead to other positive cascading effects on other areas of your life. Make it a habit to intentional think happy, positive and wealthy thoughts. Think possible when presented with challenges and other daily life obstacles. As you do this more and more, it becomes like a programmed subconscious routine that will propel you forward when faced with any difficult challenges, instead of shying away from it. Like a lot of things in the human body and brain, as you continuously think happy and positive thoughts, you strengthen that brain muscle and in the future will automatically emit these positive vibes. As a crucial aspect of your personal growth and development, it is important to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for both what you have in the present moment and what you strive to attain in the future. By embracing this practice of constant gratitude, you invite more positivity, abundance and fulfilment into your life. That in turn will attract the things that align with your values and desires. And last but not least, it is important to enrich your brain and no better way to do that than with reading books.

Who you are surrounded by

A lot of you have heard the famous saying that you are the average of the 5 people you associate with the most. Associate with 5 people who are educated, wealthy, hard working, and you will likely be very similar in those aspects. The idea is that the people with whom we spend the most time shape our attitudes, habits, and decision-making processes, thus influencing who we are and what we become in the future. This highlights the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive and supportive individuals who align with our values and goals, as they can have a significant impact on our personal growth and development. It’s a reminder to be intentional about the company we keep, and to surround ourselves with people who will elevate us, rather than bring us down. And in fact, this is not only limited to friends but family as well. While you don’t have to cancel them out of your life, if you have a family member who is very negative and has a bad influence on you, try to keep your distance from them and don’t associate with them too much.

Let us add it all together

In conclusion, it’s clear that our thoughts, habits and relationships all play a critical role in shaping our personal growth and development. From what we eat, to how we think, to who we spend our time with the most, each of these 3 aspects has the power to influence and improve our lives in meaningful ways. But combined together and practiced consistently, they will give you a super version of yourself that is healthier, wealthier and wiser. By making conscious choices to adopt healthy habits, cultivate positive thinking, and surround ourselves with supportive and inspiring people, we can create a foundation for growth, success and happiness. So, take control of your life, embrace change, and start building a better version of yourself today.

Maximize Your Savings with Spare Change: A Psychological Trick to Avoid Over-Spending

When reading a financial tip or advise, we sometimes shrug it off and think that we already know about it. But knowing is different from applying.

This is the case with spare change and how they can help us save money, but it is still not obvious enough to make people keep them handy.

Having coins handy can go a long way in reducing your spending and in turn maximizing your savings. When you break a bill, no matter how big, chances are you will spend the leftover money faster than if the bill was never used. Having spare change on the other hand will help you avoid breaking up big bills. This trick is more psychological in nature but it works.

The thing we buy most often while at work or driving is probably coffee. And this is pretty much an everyday occurrence. If you save enough change, you could go days without having to break any of your big bills. Which means more money in your pocket.

If on the other hand, you need to buy something that will cost you a a dollar or two, and you have no change, you will have to break a big bill, like a $20. What will happen next, you are left with some change and smaller bills. Once the big bill has been broken, a psychological barrier has also been broken. Now that the bill is smaller, you are more likely to spend it. And as it gets smaller, you will be even more and more likely to spend it all, and so on.

Therefore, and to keep your bills intact, and not have to break a $50 for a $2 coffee, be sure to have as much change handy as possible. It is a paradox to think that having spare change can act as defense against spending your bigger bill and it is. Try it, and it won’t be too long before you get into a habit of not wanting to break your big bills and only use spare change for smaller purchases. 

Unleash the Power of Financial Efficiency: Cut Your Wasteful Spending, while Maximizing your Savings and Wise Spending

Money is something we should enjoy and use for good. It is not something we should stress about or cling to at all costs, otherwise, what is the point really? The idea is to feel good and express gratitude about your ability to spend on things you enjoy and brings you and those around you joy, great experience and utility. So how do you achieve this? It starts with being financially efficient.

Financial efficiency is a simple concept that is lost on many: it is basically your ability to stretch your money, where you are spending it on things that matter the most and bring you the biggest value, while reducing wasting it on useless things.

Peak financial efficiency is to maximize the gap between the two: spending money on things that give you the greatest value – be it joy, utility or other measures- while being ruthless with wasteful spending , be it fast food, unnecessary monthly subscriptions etc.

But problems arise when you are not even sure what is useful and what is considered wasteful and in fact may even mix the two, thus completely ruining the definition of what it means to be efficient with your money and finances. In that case, you need to do an audit of your weekly and monthly spending and decide on each item: whether it is something that you are using and can’t live without. Is it something that makes you happier? Does it make your life better and more convenient? How much does it cost compared to the utility you are getting back? For example, let us take a hypothetical monthly GYM membership that costs $60. On the surface, having a GYM membership is money well spent given the huge health and mental wellness benefits. But that is only if you are actively using your membership and going at least 2-3 times a week, on a consistent basis. Otherwise, if you hardly ever go – say once a month – then this otherwise great use of money turns into waste and you are better off eliminating it by cancelling the membership. Just walk outdoors instead.

On the other hand, if time with family means the most to you, then spending money on a Netflix subscription wouldn’t be such a bad idea, as you can watch and socialize together. At the end of the day, what is considered useful or wasteful is subjective and may vary from one person to the next. I may value having a car even if total mostly expenses is in excess of $500 while someone else may view that as total waste and would rather just take public transportation.

It is said – backed by research- that most millionaires achieved their status by being extremely efficient with their money. They reduced wasteful spending almost to a science, while turning the act of spending their money on useful things into a work of art. In other words, being financially efficient with your money will translate into financial stability and security in the long term.