In times where our investments are shrinking and inflation may be an issue, what can we do to make sure we can get rich? Stop spending on things we can't afford.
In my time working in a bank, I had access to privileged information on people's spending habits. I only looked at this when customers were flagged as “problem” customers. This happened when people were late on their credit cards or regularly overdrew their checking accounts.
What I found would not shock you. Most people who had problems did not have income problems. They had spending problems. Live within your means and you will be happy. Live beyond them and you will be stressed. Live beyond them with a partner and your relationship will be stressed.
You might say, “Well, you think its easy to spend less.” No I don't. But I know that it is vital if you are having spending problems. Anyone with over 50% of available revolving credit used has a problem. At the rates cards charge, you spend far more paying off that trip to the mall than you gained from it.
How do you spend less? Just stop. You don't need Starbucks. You don't need new shoes. You don't need to go to the liquor store. You don't need to go to a casino. You don't need new clothes when you have a closet full of perfectly good clothes. You don't need to buy lunch every day.
Those things alone would have saved so many people so much trouble while I was in banking. I am sure the problems faced today are similar. I am not saying to never do these things, but cutting them out can save a lot of money. If you do a Starbucks breakfast and go out to lunch every day, you are spending an extra $300 per month (conservatively) that you don't need to. Put that toward credit cards and they will be paid off in no time.
My First Step To Stop Worrying About Money: Stop Using the Credit Cards (If you are not paying them off in full every month)
Image by Smithcam.