Living Well With The Money You Have

Author and syndicated columnist offers straight forward financial advice for people looking to take control of their money

stuff. Take your sponsor shopping with you. Call her when you are tempted to go to that midnight shopping sale. By the way, ask yourself what it is that you have to buy that can’t wait until daylight hours.

Step away from the spendthrift. Many people have a friend or relative who loves shopping. Their mantras are “Born to shop” and “Shop till you drop.” This friend or family member can’t wait to tell you about some sale or the latest discount store opening. When it comes to shopping, separate yourself from the spendthrifts in your life because the high they get from spending can be infectious and dangerous to your financial health. This is the person who says to you when you go shopping, “Go ahead, treat yourself. You only live once.” “Don’t be so cheap.” “You work too hard to deny yourself.” These platitudes will not help you prosper. You can love spendthrifts, but don’t go shopping with them.

Clean house. If you want the best incentive to stop spending, clean your house. Go through every closet and cabinet and set everything out on the counter. Take an inventory. I don’t known about you, but I have the habit of buying things I already have at home. You know what I mean. You think you’re out of something because there’s so much clutter in your house that you can’t find anything. Whenever I do an inventory, it immediately kills any urge to splurge. I realize that I already have too much stuff.

Implement the two-year throwaway rule. If you haven’t used it or worn it in two years, throw it away, give it to charity, or take it down to the consignment shop, where you might make some money on it. If you do this, you are becoming serious about keeping assets that have value. You need to make room in your life for the things that really matter. And just because you have freed up some closet space doesn’t mean you should run out and shop. It’s a nice feeling to open the closet door and not have stuff falling down.

Learn to say “no” to your kids, relatives, spouse, sales clerks, and marketers–and mean it. Nobody can make you spend your money.

Now that you know where you stand financially and you have put in place some anticonsuming measures, stop accumulating stuff. Ask yourself this question: “Are my assets crammed into my house or a self-storage facility costing me money?”

Common definition of appreciating assets: assets that have the potential to increase in value and/or produce income.

Common sense definition: assets that you don’t wear or drive and that will help keep you from asking at age 75, “Would you like a shake with those fries?”

APPRECIATING ASSETS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Liquid assets: cash or other financial assets that can easily and quickly be converted into cash with little or no loss in value. Liquid assets include checking, savings, and money market accounts, and certificates of deposit.

Investment assets: assets held for their potential to

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