Simple Tips to Avoid Money Problems
Are you having money problems? You are not alone. A lot of people, worldwide, have the same problem.
While younger adults can survive it, seniors often find it difficult to wiggle around the problem. Because of age, they have very few options to mitigate the problem.
And it is ironic that it comes at a time for joy and relaxation; a time to travel or do something interesting, reflect, write a book, or simply put one’s feet on a chair and take things easy.
Instead, you are frequently stressed out not knowing how to pay your bills, buy nutritious food, or your much-needed medicines. You don’t go out to save on transportation money, nor socialize to avoid unnecessary expenses.
You become a pariah to your own self. Money problems often shut you off from the world, make you want to dig a hole in the ground and disappear. It robs you of the freedom of choice.
I know how it feels because I was in a very grave financial situation a few years back. It was tough; it made me feel suicidal. What kept me going then was my wife who encouraged me never to give up.
And I did not.
In hindsight, I find it kind of funny that in the depth of your despair, that’s when you see the light.
I suddenly realized that agonizing over money will not make the problem disappear; money will not rain down from heaven even if you cry buckets of tears.
It made me realize that if you look at money problems from a different perspective, you will find valuable lessons from your misfortunes – the silver lining behind the dark clouds.
I still have money problems but not as serious as before. And that episode in my life made a better person of me. It helped me, and it can help you. I
Here they are:
1. A good attitude about money:
Money is an instrument to sustain life, not life itself.
If you consider money the centerpiece of your life, you will forever be miserable because you will never be satisfied with what you have, no matter how large a fortune it is.
So use it to give meaning to your life. Use it wisely and prudently. It is hard to come by, and once it is gone for good. And if you are a retiree, replenishing it is next to impossible.
Howard Schultz said, “…I have never defined myself by my worth. I always try to define myself by my values.”
2. Live humbly:
I have learned over the years that pride ultimately drags you down.
There’s nothing wrong with self-confidence. In fact, we should all be confident with ourselves. But beyond that, when it becomes egoism, it is unhealthy – especially if your ego cannot be sustained or supported.
Live humbly. Humility has its rewards. Besides, after having reached this far, there is nothing to prove anymore, is there?
Henry David Thoreau said, “I make myself rich by making my wants few.”
3. Be practical in your purchases:
People often buy things due to peer pressure or because it is the “in thing.” They want to keep up with the Jones’s. Unwittingly, they get into serious money problems.
Don’t be like them. Buy things because they serve your needs and your budget. While some argue that expensive things last longer, you still have to balance the pros and cons before opening your wallet. There is no point in buying something that will outlive you.
4. Learn from your mistakes:
They say that life is a good teacher. And it never makes a mistake – if only people heed its lessons.
Your financial problems are not caused by somebody else, or that you were born under an unlucky star. They are caused by the things you did in the past. So don’t ever do them again.
Heed Bill Gates’ advice when he said, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it’s important to heed the lesson of failure.”
5. Make a budget and stick to it:
Another experience I learned over the years is that the best way to get into money troubles is not having a budget.
No matter how small your financial resources are, have a budget. That is the only way to account and control your expenses. Without it, you will never know where your scant resources went. You will never know if you’ve bought all you need.
If Thomas Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital Management, has a budget, shouldn’t you?
He carries a list when he buys his groceries and will only carry the amount to cover them all. He says, “You couldn’t spend money you don’t have.”
It may soon foolish to talk about saving if you have barely enough to last a month.
If you keep to your budget and exercise restraint in your spending, you can. It may be difficult, but it is a smart thing to do to cover unseen emergency expenses.
Set aside for the rainy days any amount you can squeeze off your budget. Over time, it can buy a loaf of bread or a box of milk.
7. Sell a service:
If you have reached this far and still healthy you can earn a few dollars by selling a service.
If you have money problems, it would not be a bad idea to sell your skills to people or organizations in need of it.
There is nothing to be shy about it. You need extra cash, then go out and earn it. Besides, a lot of people are already into it, they created the work-from-home industry.
Money problems among seniors cannot be taken lightly because of the magnitude of the problem and its repercussions.
It can lead to physical and mental health problems put a strain on your relationships and can cause family breakups.
While it can be argued that your money problems have their roots way back, but it is up to you to stop them from spreading before they choke you to death.
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