Memo to Self: “I Suck When It Comes To Money”

Sometimes we ignore reality and just say to ourselves “la la la la la” whenever we are confronted with an unpleasant thought. It’s especially true when it comes to the way we deal with our money and personal finances. Tell the truth…do you suck at money?

If you suck at money, then it's time to change your financial habits once and for all. Read on for how to get started putting your finances back in order.

The blurting out of the “la la’s” and pretending everything is just fine is something that mostly happens when you’re age 9 (I’ve done exhaustive research here, so please believe me on this). Why? Well, that’s because when you are a kid you almost never have to bear the consequences of a bad money decision. Losing your lunch money on the way to school doesn’t qualify.

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The Importance of Money – Revisited

There are thousands of personal finance questions that people ask about and wish they had the answers to. For example, we all wish we had the answer to finding easy ways to make some extra money, don’t we? That’s a subject that every personal finance blogger has been asked about and probably offered dozens of different ways to do it. But besides finding new ways to earn, people search on the answers to many other questions.

The importance of money can be debated, but in the end, we all need it to survive in this society. Here's why it really is important.

Whether it’s earning extra money to paying off debts, getting the best deals when you shop, learning ways to budget your money each month, or stretching your cash, every question is important and needs some kind of valuable answer. The good news is that there are no shortages of personal finance bloggers that will offer their expert opinions. But, there is one very “cerebral” question that is asked of me constantly and it’s this one:

Why is money so important?

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How Personal Finance Bloggers are Reinventing the Wheel

Every single day of the week, over a thousand personal finance bloggers (many of whom are way more successful than I am) are read by hundreds of thousands of people. All of them, and you and I, talk a lot about what’s “really important to know” or “what you have to know” about your personal finance details to be “successful”. Yes, there are always some new ways of thinking about that, but there is one undisputable truth about your personal finances. That truth is easily identified and it is:

The most important rules of successful personal finance are the ones that just never change.

Personal finance bloggers like me are reinventing the wheel by bringing new relevance and perspectives to age-old truths.

Fundamentally Speaking…

The wheel has been said to be invented by the Sumerians around 3500 BC. But, there is evidence and also a historical belief that the wheel was first used around 12,000 years before that and was “invented” many times by totally different societies that had no contact with each other. That information is interesting because it reinforces my premise that once something is established and proven to be an item that actually works and works well to accomplish a goal (like the wheel), it just never changes.

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The Super Saving Tips Money Savings Challenge

Today I’d like to throw down some great money saving ideas to put on your agenda and “challenge” you to save! Some of these are old tested and true standards and some are a little bit off the beaten path, but sometimes we need to be reminded about the simple ways to save our money. I am going to take my own savings challenge and report back to you after the month of May. I want you to do the same and follow these tips!

This month, it's time for a savings challenge, and I'm proposing 7 different kinds. Choose what works for you and let me know how it goes!

Money Savings Challenges for You to Try

1. A no spending to and from work week

You may be thinking, “Gary, that’s just totally impossible!” Nope. Well you ask, “how is it done?” It is quite easy actually. First, go ahead and fill your gas tank up the day before you start this particular challenge. You’re going to need gas for sure, but by doing it in advance you can easily avoid the temptations of stopping by the gas station on your way to work to get a little pick-me-up coffee and bagel. Make a cup and a snack at home before you head out the door. Can you manage to put the spending on hold for just those five work days? You can most definitely do this challenge. I believe in you. When the work week is over, you just might want to start applying this saving tactic to your life every week. Do it and you can easily save $25 every week!

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Life in the Financial Fast Lane?

Smart people will tell you that the good things in life will just never come quickly or easily. When it comes to things like relationships, careers, fitness, and money, for example, those who are able to achieve the best results are usually the ones among us that are the most patient.

When it comes to your finances, you want to get in the fast lane to overnight success. But it's more important to know where you're going and how to get there.

Overnight success just doesn’t happen for everyone and that is even more so when it comes to your finances and financial well-being.

Of course, this makes sense, since if that wasn’t true, life would be way too easy and you wouldn’t have to work very hard for it. It would also mean everyone would be in a really great financial position in their lives and be traveling in the “financial fast lane”. Take a quick look around and you’ll see the reality of that. It just doesn’t happen that way for an awful lot of people.

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The BBBB Zone: The Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It’s a journey into a land of overspending. Your next stop: the BBBB Zone!

– (With apologies to Rod Serling)

Even the most frugal people have some area(s) where they tend to overspend. They just can’t help it and neither can you or me. It is unfortunately just a part of our human nature that we have some sort of weak spot and that means we can’t easily control the acts of excessive spending on some damn thing or another. For most of us, it’s limited and only slightly out of control, but for some people, it’s not. It’s money they spend that they either don’t have or will never have and yet they simply can’t prevent themselves from entering into the BBBB ZONE: The Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone!

We all have areas of overspending that lead us to the Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone. But it is possible to escape!

What Are You Telling Me Here?

Just about every well-intentioned personal finance writer will tell you that in order to be successful with your money and your spending, the very first thing you need to do (once you have an income) is to make a budget. Of course that makes absolute sense. When you have a budget you understand where your money comes from and where it’s going and you are allocating that money to real needs and requirements. The problem with that is that what you “require” may not be a good thing. If you’re spending money on illegal drugs because you “need” them due to an addiction issue, you can budget for them all day long and you aren’t exactly making any kind of good decision there. And that is besides the health and legal issues.

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Who Else Wants to Make Money Without Spending Money?

There is an old adage that “you need to spend money to make money”. The idea itself is certainly legitimate in many circumstances, as most business approaches require some capital investment to get rolling, whether it be buying product, creating a contract, hiring employees, or renting a space.

In an ideal world, you could make money without spending money. Here are a few ways to get started with little to no funds at risk.

However, having to spend money to start a business is risky! In fact, if you aren’t risking anything at all, you’re likely getting involved in a scam. I can attest to that because I was the victim of a big one of those back when I was in my late 20’s. Even though it was that long ago, I still remember every detail! Doing anything related to business is either going to risk time or money, no matter what.

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Will You Ever Escape From Your Financial Stress?

“Financial Freedom” is a term that’s often kicked around and discussed here in personal finance blogs, on TV and in books, etc., and it seems like it is a never-ending part of the chatter that only adds stress in your financial life.

There's a lot of financial stress out there, but is it possible to escape to financial freedom? And if it's possible, is it likely that you'll get there?

Financial freedom means that you get to make life decisions without being overly stressed by those decisions and their financial impact on your life. When you start to control your finances instead of being controlled by them, you begin the path to financial freedom and that is not any kind of get-rich-quick strategy.

– Dave Ramsey

But can you ever be financially free? Will you ever be financially free?

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