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Great New Book – The 7 Untold Rules for Creating Black Wealth

The 7 Untold Rules for Creating Black Wealth
By Eugene Mitchell

The purpose of this blog is to help followers build a foundation for creating wealth, or to continue on the path to maintaining and keeping wealth they may already have.  If you are a longtime reader you know that we place great emphasis on budgeting wisely, controlling spending, and getting out of debt.

I just discovered this new book today, “The 7 Untold Rules for Creating Black Wealth,” written by Eugene Mitchell, Founder and Principal of E. Mitchell Consulting Group for Financial Literacy & Financial Services.  Check back here for the announcement of the launch of this enlightening book, or contact us directly at info@cwrtalknetwork.com.  We hope to interview Mr. Mitchell in coming weeks on our Internet talk network, The CWR Talk Network.  So, visit our website, check back at this blog, or contact us at info@cwrtalknetwork.com for more information.

Here is a flyer with information about the book:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Announcement

Know Your Money
Thursday – January 5, 2017

Important Announcement
By Donell Edwards

Thought for today:  Your best teacher is your last mistake. – Ralph Nader, American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney. (1934)

 

The Announcement

We previously announced plans as shown above for our Know Your Money Money Management Success Strategies Institute to begin on Monday – January 9, 2017.  Today we are announcing that the start of the KYM  Money Management Success Strategies Institute has been delayed to coincide with the launch of our new live Internet radio talk show, CWR World News, which begins on Tuesday – March 7th on BlogTalk Internet Radio Network.  We will announce the new date for the start of the KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute shortly after the launch of our talk radio program.

We are making this decision because utilizing the radio platform along with our KYM Blog and other resources will provide participants with a more diverse range of options and tools to develop or improve their money management skills.  Also, Financial Literacy Month is in April, and that is a time when we place great emphasis on personal money management through the KYM Blog.  Furthermore, we would like for this to be your program and delaying the start of the KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute will allow time for you to contact us and let us know what your greatest concerns are about personal money management and the areas you would like most to learn about.  Just send an email to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com, or use the comments section on our sign-up form from the sign-up tab on our KYM Blog.

 

Make This Your Resolution for 2017 and Beyond

We know that many people make resolutions at the start of each new year, and we want to encourage you, our followers, to make it your resolution to become more financially literate and astute in managing your money in 2017 and beyond.

Although we have delayed the start of the KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute, we still strongly encourage you to begin now to work on your resolution to improve your money management skills by doing two things:  (1.)  Subscribe to our KYM Blog if you have not already done so, and begin or continue reading the great content provided.  Just go to the KYM Blog, look in the upper left side of the blog and you will see “Follow Know Your Money via email.”  Enter your email address in the box provided, and click the blue “Follow Know Your Money” submit bar.  That’s all there is to it.  (2.)  Sign-up now for the KYM Institute using the sign-up tab on our KYM Blog to access and complete our sign-up form.  Make the resolution, and follow through.

 

Banking Savings Funds Planning Finance Money Concept

 

Why Are We Doing This?

Before you dismiss this idea and decide that the KYM Institute is not for you, and that you don’t need to make any improvement managing your money, allow me to share something with you.  If you have been following our KYM Blog for some time now, you already know about my background. If you are a new follower, or in case you may have forgotten, I write this blog and develop programs and promote financial literacy because it is personal to me.

I understand that many factors may contribute to a person having money problems, and that does not necessarily mean that person does not know how to manage money.  In my personal experience, I knew how to budget, but I KNOWINGLY made bad choices that resulted in over spending, late payments, missed payments, bad credit, and all of the other problems that come from making bad money management decisions.  Not because I didn’t know better, but because I allowed my desires to overrule my good judgment.

Some of my problem was the result of not being able to earn enough money to live the lifestyle I desired.  I’m not talking about a lavish, exorbitant lifestyle, I’m talking about just having a safe and comfortable place to live, a dependable vehicle and the resources to maintain it in good condition, and to afford the basic necessities of life; food, clothing, and healthcare.  So, instead of accepting the fact that I had to live within my means until I could get into a career position with a salary that allowed me to do the things I wanted to do, I ignored the voice of reason in my mind and made bad spending decisions.  So, having money problems is not always the result of a lack of knowledge but can involve a person’s judgment, circumstances, and sometimes their emotions.

Although I was at one time a prime example of one who DELIBERATELY CHOSE to make bad money management decisions that I knew would result in negative consequences, I worked very hard for a number of years and overcame my bad decisions.  I restored my credit, I got a career position with a major corporation where I worked successfully for over eleven years until I was a victim of downsizing.  I went back to college and graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and studied economics, money and banking, accounting, business mathematics, and managerial finance.  These courses all helped me to not only understand the principles of personal money management, but I also got a much better grasp of our economic system and Keynsian economics, which was very enlightening and helped me make more sense of the financial system.  I feel that all students should be taught economics in high school, but unless things have changed in the last several years, very few teach economics as a part of their curriculum.  If I had received a basic education in economics in high school, I truly believe that I would have determined to live within my means regardless of my emotions, desires, or circumstances.

That is why this institute is so personal for me.  I hope that by sharing my experience and knowledge, and with the assistance of some very special people in the finance industry, hopefully, I can help as many people as possible avoid the catastrophic money management mistakes and resulting consequences that I made.

 

Who Is the Know Your Money Money Management Success Strategies Institute For?

Yes, the KYM Institute is for those who have problems or need help money management.  But it is also for those like I was, who know better, but because of inadequate income, loss of job, long-term health issues, or who just lack the willpower to control their spending, make very poor money management decisions.

As I have stated already, managing money is not always about a lack of knowledge, it is often a lack of willpower.

 

We Want To Help!

Regardless if you are comfortable with your money management skills, or you feel that you may need some help or just want support to help you resist giving in to the tendency to make decisions about your money that make you feel good, rather than making decisions that are in your best interest, don’t miss out on this opportunity to work on your money management skills because you are too proud and think you can handle things on your own.

Sure, you probably have the knowledge and ability to manage your personal finances, but can you improve?  In all honesty, are there areas where you really need to make improvement?

Let us help you, so that you can excel at managing your money.  Sometimes all a person needs is a support mechanism, or a resource to measure or review decisions against before they are implemented.  Allow us to support you in these ways through our KYM Institute.

 

The Next Steps

If you are really serious about making constructive changes in your personal money management habits, here are the next steps you should take.  Sign up now for the KYM Institute using the sign-up form on our KYM Blog to ensure that you receive news and updates about the program and that when the program begins you receive all of the tools and resources that will be provided for participants.

To emphasize, we really want this to be your program.  Delaying the start of the KYM Institute will allow time for you to let us know what you would like to learn from the institute and what specific questions you have, or what areas you feel you need help with.  Do not delay, take some time right now and give this some serious thought, then send your questions, suggestions, or comments to us by email at info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com, or use the comment box on our sign-up form under the sign-up tab on our KYM Blog.

We strongly encourage you to participate in the institute, and we look forward to working with you if you do.  

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?  If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

 

Donell Edwards Publisher, Writer, Speaker

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media Group which includes CWR World News Talk Radio Show and CWR World News & Information Service, a daily online newspaper.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.  

To book Mr. Edwards to speak at your next event, contact:

Donell Edwards Enterprises
13111 W. Markham St.
Suite 116
Little Rock, AR 72211
DLEdwards@DonellEdwardsEnterprises.com

 

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Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial planner. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

Copyright © 2017 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Her Story

KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute begins Monday – January 9, 2017. Sign Up Today.

Her Story
By Dwight Harshaw, BBA, Personal Finance Counselor

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Recently, a story came to light in my hometown about a 27 year old woman who was cited for a misdemeanor sex charge. She was caught by an undercover detective in a sting operation targeting escort services. It was her first night on the job. How did she get there? She said she lost a second job, she was going through a bankruptcy, and her wages were being garnished. Her financial problems overwhelmed her and drove her to making an unfortunate decision, which destroyed her young career. I don’t know her and this is not a condemnation. I have great empathy for her. I am captivated by her story because-before she resigned-she was a high school algebra teacher, with a master’s degree, in her fifth year of service. What happened?

I don’t know any more than what has been publicized but in looking and speculating about her situation through a personal finance lens, I think she may have found herself in the circumstance that a lot of young people and people in general are in; they are besieged with debt. The average college graduate is nearly $20,000 in debt. (Source: Demos.org, “The Economic State of Young America,” May 2008) Many have fallen prey to the constant stream of messages (advertising) that are designed to persuade people to value things (depreciating assets, junk) more than money (financial security). Once young graduates get their credentials and jobs, they want the material accoutrements that they believe they should have. On top of school loans and credit card debt, they pile on more debt. And then, there are the ordinary living expenses of life to contend with. Before they know it, they find themselves in unsustainable financial predicaments. More attention needs to be given to the importance of wealth building, especially at the start of a career.

 

Stylish Woman Dancing with Martini in Hand

 

Wealth Building

Wealth building is simply being knowledgeable about money and making it work for you more than it works for others. To become a wealth builder, there are 4 things you should do. You should steer clear of new debt, establish an emergency fund, pay off your student loan debt early-if you have any, and save for your long term future.

 

Avoid Debt

The young lady is bankrupt and suffering wage garnishment. When credit is so easy to obtain, it is hard to be responsible. We use it to buy non-financial things that give us temporary pleasure. We buy expensive wardrobes of which the styles come and go; we buy new cars which lose value as soon as the deal is done; and we purchase things that we simply don’t need, but the debt on those things goes on, long after the usefulness and excitement is over. Credit should be used responsibly-never! Okay rarely. Debt avoidance is a virtue.

 

Emergency Fund

If she had an emergency fund, she might not have been faced with a decision that put her career in jeopardy. An emergency fund is a fund dedicated specifically for extraordinary immediate crisis needs; it smoothes out a rough financial time. Car repairs, job lost, medical bills, household maintenance problems or things that cannot be paid for with out-of-pocket cash qualify as emergencies. It should be a priority to fund it with at least 1 to 2 thousand dollars initially and with 3 to 6 months of your take home pay ultimately.

 

Pay off student loan debt

Some are fortunate to not have student loan debt when college life is over. If that is not your fate, I have this advice; pay your loans off as soon as possible. Double your payments or add an extra amount to reduce the total interest and time that you will pay on your loan(s). Be sure to follow the protocol of the lender for early payoff. The sooner you pay off your student loan debt, the sooner you can get on with building wealth.

 

Retirement

The money you save early on in your career will be the most valuable when you retire. The elements of time, dollar cost averaging, and compounding are a wealth builder’s best friend. Save to the maximum level in tax advantaged retirement plans offered by your employer. If nothing is offered or you can afford to save more, establish a traditional or Roth IRA and fund it to the max or with as much as you can. Ultimately you want to save at least 15% of your annual income for the future because the burden of providing for your retirement is on your shoulders. The money you save early will be worth more and be more useful in the years to come than the value of any consumer item you may buy today.

Her story is all of our stories. All of us have made unwise financial decisions. On a positive note she is young, smart, and hopefully ambitious. She will recover over time and this will all be a distant memory. Time heals. When you find yourself off track financially, get back on. To be a wealth builder, remember this; it is wise to pay with cash rather than with credit, have money set aside for a crisis, pay your debt off early, and save for your long term future.

 

About Dwight Harshaw: Dwight Harshaw is a personal finance counselor, realtor and writer. He has a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Finance with an emphasis on financial planning.

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Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Crazy Checks

Thought for today:  All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.  – Robert Southey, British author, 1774-1843

 

Know Your Money
Monday – December 5, 2016
Crazy Checks
By Dwight Harshaw, BBA, Personal Finance Counselor 

 

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

We all receive them, mailings from credit card companies that contain checks-that were not ordered or requested. I must confess that I have used one. I’ve taken advantage of a zero percent transfer fee, no interest offer-which is rare today-to pay off the balance of another credit card that I could have paid anyway. I remember it felt good initially but for months afterwards, it was a burden to pay the loan back. Fortunately I was able to pay it back within the designated time period and suffered no repercussions from using it. I was lucky. Many are not.

The marketers of debt do all they can to entice us to use their crazy checks. The checks can be used to pay off debt, make purchases, or deposit money into bank accounts. The credit card companies want to make sure that we have money to spend-up to a defined limit because they are not crazy-with strings attached. The strings or terms for using the checks are not hidden. There is a time period in which the interest charged will be zero or very low, provided that you make your payments on time. There is a transfer fee that is capped at a nominal amount. They are almost like regular checks, right? Wrong!

 

Man Holding Forehead --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

Many people use the checks, experience setbacks, and their terms change. A delayed or missed payment can cause you to pay more fees and high interest. It is all there in black and white in the terms and conditions, read it.

When you receive unsolicited checks in the mail from your bank or credit card company, tear them up. Using them is almost as bad as writing a hot check. They are not money substitutes, they are loans. They are a clever way for issuers to keep you in perpetual debt. It is too easy to overextend yourself. And when you are overextended you can’t build wealth.

 

About Dwight Harshaw:  Dwight Harshaw is a personal finance counselor, realtor and writer.  He has a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Finance with emphasis on financial planning.

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Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Confessions Of A Spendaholic

Donell Edwards, Blogger

Donell Edwards Publisher, Writer, Speaker

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First published March 14, 2014)

Know Your Money Special Feature:
Confessions Of A Spendaholic
By Donell Edwards

 

The MacMillan Dictionary defines spendaholic as “Somebody who is addicted to spending money.”  At one time to some extent that definition described me.  From a young age I felt deprived, although I was provided with a comfortable lifestyle and just about everything I wanted.  However, as a child, I compared what my family had with others who had more and I felt inferior.  I never discussed these feelings with anyone, and this thinking affected many of the decisions that I made in my life when I reached adulthood.

To me, being able to buy things and having lots of credit cards were symbols of success.  So many times I made purchases that I could not afford.  Needless to say, that got me into financial difficulty.  Most of the time I managed to survive without any serious problems, but eventually bad spending practices caught up with me.

While spending freely, I never considered the damage that was being done to my credit, and the resulting affect not having good credit had on employment opportunities, qualifying for a home loan or auto loan, and many other important aspects of life.

I was an angry young man because I believed that I had been denied many employment opportunities that I qualified for which had limited my income and my ability to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that I wanted.  I had developed a sense that I was entitled to more, that I deserved the things I wanted, and that when I got married and had a family that we deserved more.  So I retaliated by getting as many credit cards as I could and using them to get what I wanted and thinking that I would find a way to pay the credit card bills somehow.  I was reacting to my circumstances, which I felt were unfair, but it was the wrong reaction.

MP900149068 - Man Using ATM

I share this in hopes that anyone reading this who has similar feelings or thoughts may be helped to learn from my experience.  You see, although I was not necessarily addicted to spending, I was a spendaholic nonetheless because I knowingly spend money that I did not have by using credit cards excessively.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have a budget or that I did not understand how to budget, however, at that time my budget was based on hope rather than on reality.  Hope that I would get a better job, hope that I would be able to make more money, hope that I would be successful in business ventures that I started, and everything would be alright.  At the same time I was mad because I was in this situation and I felt life was unfair and I was reacting to my circumstances.  Whatever my reasons, they were wrong.

As I embarked down this road to financial self-destruction I was in denial and rejected the good advice I received from family and friends who tried to help me.  I would tell them, “You just don’t understand.”  Eventually I lost everything and had to work to reestablish my credit and rebuild my life.  All because of being a spendaholic.

Those experience in life taught me valuable lessons that I will never forget, and that I hope will allow me to help others by sharing the knowledge that I gained from having those experiences.  I know that spending can be addictive, but anyone who really wants to can overcome the addiction.  Just don’t let it destroy you before you take action.

Brave Souls Wanted:
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

Helpful Videos:

Buying vs Renting A House:  The Advantages of Each

Teaching Kids About Money

 

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https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

 

Check Your Credit Report

Guest Contributor – Tara Goodfellow, MBA

Tara Goodfellow, MBA, Owner Athena Educational Consultants, Inc.

Tara Goodfellow, MBA, Owner Athena Educational Consultants, Inc.

Mrs. Tara Goodfellow owns Athena Educational Consultants, Inc. a career consulting company that provides individual career related services such as professional cover letters and resumes, interviewing skills & mock interviews, networking & job search strategies, and career assessments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First published September 15, 2014)

Check Your Credit Report
By Guest Contributor Tara Goodfellow, MBA, Owner Athena Educational Consultants, Inc.

 

Take advantage of your right to order a credit report one time per twelve months from each of the three national credit agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.  To obtain the truly free reports, be sure to use Credit Karma   or annualcreditreport.com.  There are several other websites that state it’s free, but there are typically strings attached.  You can get your free credit report and helpful credit information at Credit Karma.  You may also log on to annualcreditreport.com, select your state from the drop down menu, and provide detailed and personal information, and select from which credit agency you’d like your report.

Working in Office Cubicle

When is a credit report used?

Typically, when you apply for credit, your credit report will be ordered and reviewed. In summary, this tells the potential lender your level of risk.  This is usually reviewed when you apply for a car loan, a cell phone, or a retail credit card to name a few. If you are not familiar with what is on it, you may be getting denied for reasons that aren’t accurate.

What can I expect to find on my credit report?

A credit report is basically detailed credit history. It lists your bill payment and loan repayment history, the amount of credit you have available, your monthly debts, late bill payments, and other types of related information. The information helps  lenders determine whether you are a good or bad credit risk.

How does my credit report differ from my credit score?

A credit score is one number that ranges from 300-850.  The most widely used model is based on a mathematical model created by Fair, Isaac and Company, and referred to as your FICO score. It basically ranks your credit risk. The number is based on a formula that analyzes your credit file information showing your payment history. It’s a tool used by lenders to decide whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service. Basically, how risky will it be for them to lend you money or credit? What is the probability you’ll repay what’s owed to them over time?  In general, the higher the score, the less risk.

Should I just order all three reports at once?

You can, and this might make sense if there’s a reason you want to compare all three.  However, if you decide to space it out a bit, you can make note of any changes without having to wait a full twelve months to notice additional or changed information.  Let’s say you order one today.  Go ahead and make a note of the date four months from now, and order from one of the other two agencies, and proceed with that pattern.

What if I find something that’s incorrect?

The process is pretty simple. If you believe something isn’t correct, notify the agency directly.  These options are available on each of the three main websites for TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.  Literally, the agencies make billions of updates monthly, so it is important to review each detail on your report and let them know immediately if something needs to be reviewed. You’ll be notified typically within 30-45 days with an update.  Or, if you dispute online, you can check your dispute status electronically.

I need to improve my credit report, should I respond to one of the emails I receive about promising to improve my score?

The short answer, NO. There’s a really good chance either you’re going to be charged a great deal of money to have an “expert” company do what can be done for free, and/or the company is not reputable.  If you do need help with your credit score, contact a nonprofit agency.  One listed on Equifax’s website is Money Management International (MMI).

Since I don’t have much credit, I heard I should open lots of credit card accounts.  Is this true?
It’s sometimes advised if you don’t have an extensive credit history, to open a FEW new accounts to establish credit. However, the keys to this are to pay them off on time.  Do not open accounts just for the sake of having accounts, and if you’re not responsible with funds, this can backfire terribly.  Even your student loans can help establish credit if paid on a timely manner.

Want to stop getting all of those “you’ve been pre-approved” offers?
Contact 1-888-5OPTOUT

Additional resources:
http://ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit.shtm

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Can You Live Without It?

Guest Contributor Lionel Shipman

Lionel Shipman Owner - Shipman Consulting

Lionel Shipman is the owner of Shipman Consulting, a personal and business finance-consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and businesses improve their financial outlooks. The primary focus of the firm is facilitating seminars and classes to educate, motivate, and empower people to take charge of their financial lives. The firm also offers one-on-one consulting services.

Please visit the firm’s website for information at  WWW.ShipmanConsulting.Com.

Email address: Contact@ShipmanConsulting.Com ; Twitter: @LShipmanSC

 

Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First  published September 17, 2014)

Can You Live Without It?
By Guest Contributor – Lionel Shipman

 

Can you recall some old love songs that included the words “I can’t live without you”?  The song talked about living everyday with that special person and the consequences of living without them.  Well, you can live without that special person, even though you may not want to.  It may be a huge adjustment but you can do it.

Can you recall a day when you were walking in your favorite department store desiring a certain pair of shoes?  As you casually decided to try on the shoes and take a stroll in them, you noticed that the shoes felt wonderful to your feet and the price was not bad. With the biggest smile, you looked at everyone around you as well as the sales attendant and said “I’ve got to have these shoes.  I cannot live without them”.

Well, that is the mentality that many people have regarding their spending.  It is the “I cannot live without it” mentality. Instead of people working toward getting their financial houses in order, they are casually spending on things they cannot afford or even need.  If there has ever been a time to spend carefully and manage your money, the time is now. 

I am not trying to promote fear; rather, I am aiming to instill sound financial judgment into the hearts and minds of people, especially when it comes to spending.  It reminds me of the biblical parable regarding the man who built his house on sand as opposed to rock.  When the storms came, the house built on sand crumbled and washed away; whereas, the man who used rock as the foundation, his house withstood the effects of the storm and remained intact. Well, many consumers’ financial outlooks are not only crumbling but are being washed away because of the “I can’t live without it” mentality.

Can't Live Without It!!!

Can’t Live Without It!!!

Check this out. Without using any names, I recall a couple of years ago a person discussing with me that paying off debt was going to be their main goal for the year. However, every month this person was spending and making unnecessary purchases such as dining at expensive restaurants and buying sporting gear, at the same time trying to justify their spending spree. This person’s actions implied that they just could not live without it.  Who cared that the charges were paid by credit card and were not paid off by the end of the month the charges were made?

Here is another example. My wife and I met a couple that ventured on a cruise vacation even though their home mortgage was in the beginning stages of foreclosure.  Granted, I believe taking a vacation is important.  However, when the mortgage or rent payment is due, a vacation can be postpone to a later date or one can consider taking a modified vacation by placing a beach towel on the floor, getting some snacks and a mixed drink, and enjoying a television marathon of vacation hotspots on the Travel Channel.  I know that sounds humorous.  But, what is the alternative?  Keep spending because you deserve it (new shoes, clothes, car, expensive vacation, etc.)?  Keep spending because everyone else is doing it?  Keep spending because it makes you feel good?  Keep spending because you have worked hard all year long?  Can you live without it?  Yes, you can live without it.

During my personal financial seminars, I always stress that everyone should enjoy life to the fullest.   However, we must control our spending and remove the “I can’t live without it” mentality.  Regardless of the discounts, rebates and percent-off offers, we (consumers) should not allow the “it” to control how we allocate and spend money.  Consumers should remind themselves that the “it” will no doubt be there when they are in a better financial position to afford it.  Don’t worry, the great sale in the department store will most likely happen again.

The “I can’t live without it” mentality reminds me of the cliché “keeping up with the Jones’.  When a neighbor or friend decides to purchase a new house or car, why do we feel pressured or obligated to do the same or better?  Why do we strive to live like our favorite entertainer or sports figure, knowing that our incomes are nowhere near theirs?

If consumers continue spending carelessly and allow the “I can’t live without it” mentality to lead their financial lives, they will be placed in a position where they will have no choice but to live without it.

© Copyright CWR Media, 2016.   All rights reserved.