Spend Less Than You Earn
It’s About Attitude
Your beliefs and feelings shape your attitude. Your attitude is the only thing in your life over which you have complete control. Read that last sentence again. Sure, you have influence over a number of people in your life, but absolute control? No. Your ability to make decisions gives you some control in other areas, but nothing other than your attitude—your thoughts and actions—is completely in your control. Before you can make the decision to take control of your money, you must be convinced and committed. Spending less than you earn isn’t something that happens to you. It is something you make happen. It is a decision. It’s the attitude you choose for how you will conduct your life and manage your money.
A Look at Income and Expenses
Years ago when I fell on my face before God in abject humility and remorse for how I’d spent my family into oblivion, I saw for the first time that my spending was the problem. It was out of control. The resulting debt was threatening my marriage, home, and family. Spending more money than we earned—even if it was just a little bit more—had a horrific cumulative effect.
Needs vs. Wants
Our basic needs as humans are few: shelter, food, and clothing. Everything else, with the possible exception of taxes and medical attention, is a “want.” But in reality, distinguishing a need from a want is not quite that easy. Living in a country where there is so much abundance and so many choices, a sense of entitlement can muddy the waters when it comes to what we want and what we need.
Ugly Attitudes of Entitlement
Most people, I believe, have an elevated sense of entitlement simply because they have no idea how fortunate they are. Face it: if you’ve never been hungry, never wondered where you would sleep, and never had to go without shoes, you’re thinking may be skewed about minimum creature comforts.
The Stuff of Entitlement
The rapidly growing self-storage industry in the US and Canada bears testimony to the fact that we have become so addicted to stuff and a materialistic way of life, with serious difficulty distinguishing between needs and wants. More than 10.8 million US households are paying a public storage facility, every month, to store the stuff they deserve and just could not live without. At last count, there were just shy of 51,000 storage facilities—more than seven times the number of Starbucks in the US.
If the income and spending lines on your personal Time and Money graph have switched places—you’re spending often exceeds your income—we will not assume that you’ve been robbing banks to pull off such a feat. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything illegal. Sadly, overspending becomes an acceptable way of life for some people.
We live in a world of easy credit that’s readily available and takes many forms: home equity lines of credit, 401(k) account raids, credit card accounts, overdraft protection, payday loans, and for some, the ever-reliable Bank of Mom and Dad.see more here amazon prime
Pray. As we move through the rules, you are going to learn that I am a person of faith. I believe that we are here by God’s design as stewards of all of the good things he has for our enjoyment. Talk to God about your situation. While I don’t know what you are going through, he does. He loves you and cares about your life. God will wait patiently until you come to the end of yourself and surrender your life and your will to his loving care.