Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

It’s New Sponge Day!

Ok, it’s not as exciting as it sounds.  But it makes me happy because it is a monthly reminder of how I saved money and how I learned patience.  Let me explain.

About a year ago, I needed a new kitchen sponge – a simple 2-sided sponge (one spongy, one scrubby).  I had been buying the generic brand at Wal-Mart for 97 cents and making it last as long as I could.  I did try to buy 2 at a time because the less I go to Wal-Mart the better.   About this time, we signed my daughter up for 6 free months of Amazon Prime (a deal for college students).  One day I was doing some comparison shopping and found a 21 pack of the Scotch brand of sponges for just 63 cents per sponge.  That was a savings of 34 cents a month, I got the brand name and I didn’t have to go to the store every month to get a new one.  And with this, I could have a new, clean sponge every month which was great for my OCD.

See, I told you it wasn’t very exciting.  But when you have a savings mindset, every penny counts.  Today, when I opened that new sponge, it was just a reminder of the money that I had saved.

A savings mindset will not make you wealthy in and of itself, but it will definately contribute to it.   Many people focus all of their energy on savings.  Others, focus all of their energy on bringing in more money.  But it is having a great balance of both that will bring you wealth.  Building wealth is a lifestyle not just a diet.  And like a diet, all the plans out there for building wealth will work for a short time, but in order to sustain, you must make lifestyle changes.

After I had my aha moment 19 years ago, I didn’t just become debt free over night and start building wealth.  As a matter of fact, I would pay off a few credit cards and find myself using them again.  The reason was I didn’t have the right mindset.  I was taking the actions but my mind, and as a result my habits, weren’t changing.  When I realized this little gem, my finances starting changing dramatically and have been ever since.

Whether it is sponges, toilet paper, paper towels, or anything else you find a way to save a few pennies on, celebrate the savings because by saving money you are building a savings mindset and that along with increasing income will bring you to where you want to be – building wealth and reaching financial freedom

For more about how Debbi got out of $200,000 worth of debt as a single mom making $10,000 a year and to learn everything she learned in her journey, check out her best selling, award winning book “The ABC’s of Personal Finance” wherever books are sold and in ebook form on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, & Google Play.  

Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

The Biggest Myth About Needs

dd_01_filetWould you describe this steak as a need or a want?  Okay, that one was easy (it’s a want).  But what about a pair of jeans or shoes?  Or even a washing machine?  Or, the best one, a cell phone?

Each of the items listed above is a want.  Yes, a want.  A need is something that you must have to live, to survive.  And nothing I listed above falls under that description.  We actually only need a few things in life.  We need a roof over our head.  We need food in our bellies.  We need clothes on our back.  However, we don’t need a 2,000 square foot home with granite countertops.  We don’t need steak.  And we definitely don’t need multiple pairs of shoes, jeans or tops.

I had trouble with this one.  I would convince myself that I needed everything that I had – that I just couldn’t survive without them.  God taught me this lesson in the form of a washing machine.  One day my washing machine broke down and I had no way to fix it or replace it.  I was just starting my debt free journey so I didn’t have the cash to pay for a new one – or even a used one – and I wasn’t going to use a credit card.  So what was the answer to my conundrum?  I didn’t need a washing machine.  I knew this because my grandmother didn’t have one for many years and she survived just fine.  (She was my example on my journey)  So I hand washed my clothes for several months until I could save up for a new washing machine.  Was it easy?  No.  Was it annoying?  Yes.  But it was worth not mortgaging my future for something I didn’t need.

The biggest myth about needs is what actually defines a need.  You see, you can have anything you want, but you must meet your needs first and then go after your wants.  If you are homeless, you shouldn’t have a cell phone.  If you are behind on your mortgage, you shouldn’t be eating out.  When you understand the concept of needs versus wants, you will prioritize differently and make better financial decisions knowing that you can live without something for a while.  And a side benefit to embracing this new understanding is you will realize how truly blessed you are.  You not only have your needs met, but you have most of your wants as well.  And if you are on your wealth and financial freedom journey now, it will motivate you to make choices that will move you forward even faster.

You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything.  Life is about priorities and choices.  Make sure your true needs are always met (they are for most of us) and then prioritize your wants based on your finances and future goals and dreams.  And please don’t misunderstand me or the point of this article – I have a cell phone, a washing machine, a nice home, and I eat steak.  But I have also gone through times in my life where I didn’t have those things and I lived just fine.  Never mortgage your present or your future to obtain or do things that fall in the want category.  It’s not worth it.

Have a blessed and prosperous week!  ~Debbi

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