What do we need to be satisfied with what we have or are all of our wants not enough when added up? Do we need to be at the end of life only to realize that all we’ve gathered is going to someone else? Or do we need to wonder why we aren’t making it when credit cards are due on a minimum balance because of a lack of priorities? Three simple questions and ten thousand answers!
Our life seems to consists of buying today and not saving for tomorrow because we have a fast food mentality towards consumerism which follows the theme of “I want it, and I want it now!” The result, as most of you can testify, is credit card debt that may take years to pay off and making you a slave to the one who holds your debt. Are you free? Think again. When you ask the bank for a $100,000 loan, do you get it in cash or numbers on a screen? And what is the difference in paid interest between saving and borrowing? And how do you feel when you finally realize that you’ve worked your entire life only to have nothing as the end closes in? Such are the facts of the life we live.
So, if we know these things then why do we live such wasteful lives and throw the hard-earned money away for trivia? Do we really need the newest smartphones or 4K TVs? Do we need the pricey gas grill or riding mower? We are being fed day and night consumer products, either through the Internet or television and images are put up and taken down at such breathtaking speeds to overwhelm the mind, saying, buy! Buy! Buy! But why do we need their products for the most of them are based on vanity or chemicals, or pride? Have we forgotten how to cook simple meals or do we need to eat exotic dishes from Thailand? Do we need all the luxurious items that are offered with the newest autos or will a simply outfitted vehicle do?
We have to exercise consumer discipline once again if we want to have the control over our financial disposition instead of being slaves to the lender. It would be a lot cheaper to buy five acres of land and build a simple home than to go into debt for a house on one acre with three baths and four bedrooms and so on. Today, most children expect their own room with the Internet and television readily available and are loath to share their “space” with others! In this case, self-centeredness is a guaranteed thing, and it shows up in our colleges and universities under the banners of “safe spaces” and Marxist ideologies in the post-modernists teachings of the liberal faculties.
The western countries are swamped with a surplus of consumer goods that offer everything under the sun for a price, and that price is your financial freedom. And when your financial freedom is stripped away, you become slaves to those to whom you owe, be it the bank, credit unions, credit card companies or the mafia, even to the government, i.e. taxes of every conceivable sort. And if you don’t pay? We all know where that will land you!
So what is hindering you from getting your financial house in order? A lack of discipline and a lusting for things that demands immediate satisfaction! I’ll use an example. Let’s say that I bought a small hunting cabin and land for $50,000, I put $10,000 down and borrowed the rest plus interest. The bank says a thirty-year mortgage and payments of $175.00 per month which comes to $63,000 plus interest. I say no, but will pay them $700.00 per month which is $8400 per year times five years which comes out to $43,000 with low-interest. All I have to do is live within my limits, and after five years, I own my home, providing of course that my taxes are paid! My numbers are only generalized and not fixed, but the point that I want to make is this, live within your means and turn away from the consumer lust that has crippled you financially!
Do you need a new truck or can you repair the older one you have? Do you need a slate roof or will shingles do? Do you need three baths and for bedrooms for a family of four? Does every room need its entertainment center? You need to set priorities and enact discipline within the family. Two boys can share a room just as easily as two girls and later when enough money has been safely put aside; you can always add an extra room although the taxes will go up!
Debt is not fun and having a multitude of credit cards only reveals your lust for immediate consumption! Learn to let them go! Cancel them and cut them into pieces and burn them! Exercise discipline and foresight and plan out your needs and wants instead of on the minute rash decisions that could very well cause you to lose your home in the long run! The world is based on buying and selling, a game of profits where everyone can be a winner as well as a loser! So don’t make it easy to become a loser, use the common sense that you were taught as a child or reactivate it!
You don’t have to stay in debt, only stop wasting the money on things you don’t need. Imagine that you are approaching a red light, common sense says to stop, but you are in a hurry and ignore the light and press down on the gas. The inevitable happens, and your luck runs out as you are struck by another car that had the green light. You will be called to accountability for causing an accident and breaking the law. Debt is the same way because there will come the day of accountability and you will stand to lose all you have because of a lack of patience.
I am only approaching this in a simplified common sense way and am saying that it’s the simple things in life that tend to give the greatest pleasures and fewer worries than the hoarding and worrying that comes from greed. Living simple does not mean that you are simple-minded or frugal in the extreme sense or living on bare essentials, it means to live comfortably within your means and stay close to shore instead of drowning in the deep. And when the evening comes, you’ll sleep better. Think about it.