Over the past few days, we’ve reviewed some habits to get from living paycheck to paycheck to owning your own home. Below are some more habits you should consider altering if your long term goal is to build wealth. I think everything in moderation is okay but it is human nature and especially American nature to sometimes go a little over board.
11. Throwing Your Child a Huge Birthday Party
Your child will forgive you for not throwing them an expensive birthday bash. Children are as simple as you help them develop to be. I you keep their lives simple… why would they want the extravagant? I never understand the expensive 1st birthday parties… the baby has NO IDEA what is happening, it is simply an opportunity for the parents to have a party.
TRUE STORY: I know several people who throw their kids lavish birthday parties yearly so that their instagram/facebook/twitter is filled with photos/comments/likes yet… they are still renters and always complain that the market is expensive. Can you imagine how much you could save toward a down payment if you made the sacrifice for 2-3years? In addition to your regular savings, opt for a no party or low cost party. The money you save should go toward your down payment fund and NOT toward gifts There is a prize at the end of this sacrifice, I promise.
12. Shopping Impulsively
If you’re considering making an impulse buy, wait 14-30 days and ask yourself if you still want or need that item. You might even forget about the item completely, which pretty much answers the question for you. There is hardly anything in the world you need immediately (except maybe necessary food and water), Resist the temptation. If you do not need it… walk away. Always keep the big picture in the back of your mind.
TRUE STORY: To help me save, I put all extra cash (minus living/survival expenses) in a savings account that I do not have a card for and the bank does not have a physical branch (online only). If I wanted money… I had to transfer it into another bank’s checking account, this process took 3 days. The urge to purchase something dies when you have to wait 3 days to have the funds. It was my tool that helped me save $10,000 in a year and pay off my first car. You never realize your shopaholic tendencies until you start “rehab.”
13. Skipping Breakfast
Eating breakfast gets your day started on the right foot and can keep you from buying a huge, expensive lunch. Try filing breakfast foods, like oatmeal or eggs, which will likely keep your stomach (and wallet!) full. When you skip breakfast, you are starving by lunch time and become quite ravenous. This seemingly insatiable hunger leads to purchasing larger lunches and thus less savings toward your home.
TRUE STORY: There was a period in 2016 that I purchased breakfast everyday for my 2 children and myself (hangs head in shame.) This usually occurs during winter when it is cold and you crave the extra 10 minutes of sleep which then makes you late and breakfast has to be on the go. Easily, I spent $15/day that works out to $75/wk on BREAKFAST ALONE. Do not skip breakfast and DO NOT BUY breakfast either.
14. Paying Multiple Student Loans
Interest rates are still relatively low for student loans, and I presume mid range for credit cards depending on your score. If you have the discipline to not take on additional debt, it could be a good time to consolidate your debt. By consolidating student loans, you might even be able to lower your monthly payments and extend your repayment period. For credit card and other debt, pay attention to the interest rate. The goal is to utilize a balance transfer, consolidate debt and pay as much as you can OVER the minimum payment monthly. Generally, most cards provide 12 months interest free. Plan to pay off this debt within 12 months. note: your interest rate when the promotion ends, should still be less than your current credit cards.
TRUE STORY: I was able to pay down $5,000 credit card debt by consolidating. I saved on interest, that I would have paid out monthly AND I received a lower interest rate than my current card. I hen went to my initial card and stated I wanted my interest rate lowered because I have good credit and guess what… they lowered my credit. YOU HAVE TO ASK! They will NOT tell you this information.
15. You Focus on Saving More — But Not Earning More
Millionaires aren’t in the business of wasting money, but they also recognize the greater importance of earning additional income as a way to attain financial goals faster. “[Wealthy people] understand that while there is a limit on how much you can save, there is no limit to how much you can make,” Tardy says.
In other words, even though slashing your expenses by $50 or even $100 a month will boost your bottom line a little bit — raking in thousands more from a salary bump will have a much greater effect.
Invest your time more wisely by seeking out ways to earn more. An obvious place to start is by examining your current salary. If you haven’t asked for a raise recently, and know you’re delivering value to your company, schedule a meeting with your boss to make your case for earning more.
The key is figuring out what skills you have that can be of value to others and then determining how to charge for that value.
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Excerpts from full article.