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Money Management – You Are Broke Because You Want to Be

How many times have you seen this "I Make $ 20,000 a Month Using …."? The internet is full of money making schemes. We are bombarded daily with spam email, popup advertising, Google AdSense ads and the like. It seems like 90{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} are announcing the next big Internet money making extravaganza. That or advertisements for porn. Either way, 90{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} of these are probably a waste of time and very likely a scam to milk every last dollar out of your bank account that they can. So why do these annoying tactics work? They must work right? Someone is making money or they would not be everywhere.

The real issue is WHY they work. All of us want to be financially free. We are all looking for the way out of our paycheck to paycheck lives. The problem is most of us never really take the time to first figure out why we live this way. Second, we fail to figure out how we really want to live. What is really important to us. We see the big house and the fancy car and we think "this is what I need."

I read an article the other day. It was about families making over $ 250,000 a year that they broke. They are afraid that the new tax laws are going to push them over the edge into financial ruin. I do not want to get into the new tax issues in this article. Whether it's fair or unfair is not the point. The point is that if you are making $ 250,000 a year and bringing in $ 12,000 a month how can you be broke? The answer?


I understand that the cost of living is high in many areas. I understand that families have obligations such as college funds and electric bills. I understand all too well. But I also understand that this is America. And in this country we are blessed with the right to make choices. If you choose to live in an area where your 1500 square foot house costs you $ 300,000 + it's your choice. If you choose to drive a $ 45,000 car it's your choice.

So what if you only make $ 40,000 a year? Or less? You still have choices. I have heard it said that the most expensive item in the world is an excuse. No matter what your income level you still have choices. Some of them may be difficult. Some may require more work. But you still have a choice.

So here is the key to financial freedom, actually there are three:

First, you must understand that you do not become wealthy because of the money you earn.
You become wealthy because of the money you spend.

If you spend less than you make you can become rich. Period, end of story. It may take you longer if you only make $ 40,000 a year but you can become wealthy if you spend less than you make. So you must first understand what you spend your money on. Down to the penny.

I challenge you to track every cent you spend for the next thirty days. I would bet that most of you would be shocked at the money you spend on things like eating out, snacks and other crap you really do not need.

Second, you have to decide what wealth is. Is it a big house and a fancy car? If so, you need to understand exactly what this will cost you. The average American does not understand the real cost of buying ststuffî. Here is a hint: If you are not paying cash for that new car you are paying too much.

Financing has ruined this country. Not because financing is a bad thing but because most consumers do not understand principal and interest. Once you understand that interest is an incredible force when it is working for you (in the form of investments) instead of working against you (in the form of mortgage payments, credit cards etc.) you can start to see that all crap you are financing is actually robbing you every month. Until you understand this you will NEVER be financially free.

For me wealth is time. I know how much my time cost. And what I am willing to pay for it. Surprisingly, once you strip away all the stuff that can steal your money and your time it is easy to see that financial freedom does not cost as much as you might think. For me it's much less than $ 250,000, much less. For you it might be more. Either way must understand that it is possible to become wealthy without these principles but impossible to remain wealthy without them.

The third thing you need is a plan. Now you know where you spend your money (or what you're throwing it away on). You know what wealth is to you.

Now you need to figure out how you can pay for it. More on this next time, until then I suggest you start with Rule 1 and stop the bleeding. You can do it. If you really want it!