Blooming Boomers

October 6, 2010

A HUMBLE LIFESTYLE

One thing I am blessed to have in my marriage is a husband who has the same view on money that I do.  Having been married 36 years, this has helped tremendously in keeping our relationship strong through the ups and downs that life has to offer.

Both my husband and I are fairly conservative in our approach to finances. This is good, because we have never had the means to be extravagant anyway. We are happy to live a humble lifestyle.

Here are a three very basic ideas that come to my mind when I think of financial advice:

1. PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
I used to think this was hard because there was only so much money in a month. But then I learned the powerful principle which allows this to happen easily:  Make it AUTOMATIC.

I guarantee that if you set up an automatic withdrawal from your income to go into whatever fund you have designated for this purpose, you will find it to be practically painless.  You will not miss it, and the money will grow systematically over time.

A basic emergency fund is a good account to start with. A wise goal is to stash away three to six months’ income. When this is funded, you have peace of mind that, if and when unexpected expense comes up, you will have the resources to cover it. Once the emergency fund is in place, go on to funding other accounts.

A good book to read on this subject is New York Times Bestseller, The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach. He speaks, not only of the power of making it automatic, but the power of beginning this EARLY in life. Whether or not you start early, though, it is never too late to begin making it automatic.

2. SPEND LESS THAN YOU MAKE.
In this day and age, credit lures us into all sorts of bad decisions when it comes to money. While using a credit card can be convenient, my husband and I make a point that the balance MUST be paid off each month, or we no longer use the credit card. (If you are already in a bind with credit, go back to the previous post where Sandy gave tips on how to whittle down that debt.)

Though it may be unusual, my husband and I try to pay cash for our vehicles. Coinciding with this, we generally buy good used vehicles, rather than new, because we have learned that the value of a new vehicle drops 20% once you purchase it and drive it off the lot!

It is good to have as a goal paying cash for whatever purchases you make. This is common-sense financing and the principle is backed up by a number of financial experts.

Suze Orman has a segment on her TV show (and on her website: suzeorman.com) called “Can I Afford It?” where she talks through the financial condition of the callers, and whether or not they have the means to purchase what they want to buy.

Dave Ramsey has a call-in radio show where he gives on-the-spot financial advice. Fans who follow his principles call in to enthusiastically shout, “We’re debt-free!” and Dave and all the radio audience celebrates with them. Check out his website: daveramsey.com for “Seven Baby Steps to Financial Peace.”

3. GIVE BACK.
No matter how little we have made over the course of our lives, a principle we have followed is to tithe (give a 10th) of our income back to charitable organizations such as our church and various missions. This can often be set up automatically as well, but there is joy in being spontaneous at times and giving over and above what is expected. We believe it all comes from God anyway, and He has blessed us to be a blessing to others.

YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
As you read this and think about your finances, has anything in particular come to mind that you know you need to do? Feel free to comment with your ideas!

THE FREE E-BOOK
We are celebrating our 100th blog entry! Sandy mentioned in the last post that we have a free downloadable e-book to send to those who subscribe to our blog. It is a simple book of quotes from The Message.To receive your FREE e-Book first click subscribe, then e-mail us at bloomingboomers@gmail.com and put FREE E-BOOK in the subject line to receive your copy in pdf form. If you are already a subscriber, just follow the e-mail instructions! Thanks!

Sherrie

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2 Comments »

  1. Sherrie,
    This is great advice and worth following closely. My husband and I have been married 42 years and have gone to a seminar with Dave Ramsey. We are getting on the right road and our goal is to be debt free also. It’s hard to change a lifetime of bad habits but WE ARE DOING IT!!!
    Thank you for your blog. I appreciate the advice and insights.
    Pat Howard

    Comment by Pat Howard — October 7, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    • Congratulations, Pat, on having the goal to be debt-free. It is never too late to get on the right road with good habits. It’s all part of encouraging your life to full bloom! Thanks for the comment.

      Comment by bloomingboomers — October 7, 2010 @ 10:16 am


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