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Learning A Financial Lesson

Saving money and knowing when to spend is a battle all Americans endure: young or old.

UNITED STATES—Finances, they are the one thing that I think all Americans struggle with. Rather you’re filthy rich or filthy poor; money has a way of getting underneath our skin. Everyday I’m learning something new about my spending habits and understanding the importance of budgeting. A few months ago, I managed to earn some unexpected money, and it went directly into the bank account.

I will acknowledge more than half of that money had to be spent on bills to help me get caught up on a few things I was behind on, as well as ensuring that I paid off a few debts. My goal with that money was to pay off as much debt as I possibly can and to continue to save, save and save. I will be the first to admit, saving money is hard. It’s not as easy as one would hope it to be. Why? Well, by nature humans are always inclined to want things. I mean I will admit I went at least 6 months without really being able to spend any money on myself, as it was all about bills and basic necessities.

So when a bit of money came my way, I felt I earned the opportunity to treat myself to a few things. Did I go out and splurge like crazy. No. I did have an open heart and give to those who had given to me. Did I feel I owed them something? Not quite, but I’m just a believer that you give to those when you can when they might be in need, but not be willing to inform you that they are. I did a bit of spring cleaning to say the least, to update my wardrobe and purchase a few items that were well needed. Now, I’ve reached that point, where I’m content with things. There isn’t much that I need at this point, just a focus on the basics to continue to live a happy and vibrant life.

I lot of people who know me are well aware, I’m not about going to the bank to take out money. I like going to the bank to deposit money. The more I place into my account the more secure I feel in the long run. Why? Because that is money that can be used later; that is money that can be used for unexpected expenses that pop-up (trust me, it will and it always happens). More importantly, saving money allows you to put into perspective that if anything sudden happened like a death in the family, loss of a job or some other pressing situation.

That’s very important in my opinion; I always want to be able to place myself in a situation where I’m able to cover my expenses 2-3 months in advance because it’s hard to live paycheck to paycheck, which is something I know plenty of Americans are actually grappling with. Why? Well, let’s be honest, it all goes back to the minimum wage. If ANYONE in this country thinks $7.25 is a reasonable income for someone to make and support themselves and their families, they are indeed full of ***. It’s impossible and it shouldn’t even be entertained, even though we have SO MANY politicians thinking otherwise. Well, how about you live on that wage for a month or two, hey, let’s go 6 months to a year and see how easy it is for you to survive without any assistance?

I’ve even started to save my spare change. Anytime I break a dollar and I have pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters left over, they go into a jar that I have. That’s money I plan to utilize for Christmas shopping at the end of the year. Might not seem like the smartest thing in the beginning to me, but money adds up over time. The biggest thing I’m learning about finances is just because something is on SALE it does NOT mean I have to buy.

It might be a stellar deal, but if I don’t need it, why am I buying it? Yup, it’s taken me some time to realize that, but I have gotten the bigger picture. Why spend, if you don’t have to spend? That is something we as Americans have to grasp with if we want to place ourselves in a situation where we have financial freedom and we’re in control of our money, instead of our money controlling us.

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