Monday, August 3, 2015

What Does Success Mean To You?

As I was lying in bed I couldn't help but think about what success is, what it means to me and how we as as Americans define success. I couldn't help but think about a conversation I had a couple weeks prior with an old friend. The way she defined success didnt sit well with me. She defined success as having a mortgage she can't afford, a new car every year with a payment that she couldn't afford ( really if you are financing a car you really can't afford it let's be honest), and a recent refi to make her new house better ( move over Joneses). And heres the biggie. She slaves away at a job she hates five days a week... This is success??? Living for the weekend? Buying a beautiful house that you never use and having a family you never see. Is this really what auccess is to most of us? To me it's not. If you are happy, healthy and you have your bills paid and food on the table you are more successful than a lot of others I would say. I think we really have lost track of the important things in life. We are so consumed with accumulating stuff that we forget to enjoy that stuff we worked ao hard for. Are we working to live? Or living to work? I guess another reason this was running through my mind was becuase of Dave Ramsey. You know, the financial guru that teaches Financial Peace University? Well he was saying so many Americans are working ao hard for their money yet we don't know how to make our money work for us. This is what we need to learn to change our lives. If we learn to do this we can work less and enjoy life more. So basically how this worka is tthis. If you don't have the cash for it... You can't afford it, so don't buy it! Easy right? Well not really, but it can be if you change your perception. What I mean by change your perception is....stop trying to keep up with the Joneses!!!!! The Joneses are mot going to make that car payment for you. Stop trying to impress people who don't care. Worry about your life, your financial goals and your own definition of success. I think this lesson has taken me some time to learn myself. It really took going through a divorce, living as a single mom with two boys under four and no help or financial support from my kids' dad to realize this harsh leasson. I need to cut costs and only spend money I actually have. No credit cards! No car payments! I now live within my means. Not that I didn't before but I did have a car payment and used credit cards from time to time. I don't even buy furniture on credit now. I buy nothing on credit. If I can't buy it then i save up for it. But otherwise I don't need it. Its more important to pay yourself by saving than to pay a bank interest. Duh, right??? You would think that would be a no-brainer. Why they don't teach finanical planning and credit to high school seniors is beyond me. I'm sure that would have changed so many peoples lives. Anyhow back to my point. My finances look a lot different. And I can honestly say I am happier and feel a hell of a lot wiser. Funny how divorce does that.😃 I have now cut my budget in half These are the only things I now pay for.... Rent Food Gas Utilites Cable ( this one is going bye-bye soon going to comcast and netflix for movies and t.v) Car maintenance Insurance only liability Misc household expenses Misc healthcare amd beauty products (hello Dollar Tree) Clothing (i have a couple friends that own thrift stores and i exchange clothes with friends So this one has been cut way down i would say $60 a month Kids clothing about $60 a month some months more like this month which will be back to school shopping so atound tjis time and Christmas more like $200. My set expenses are less than $1000 a month which I feel pretty good about. The rest there is some wiggle room. I will be doing some more posts on saving money after divorce as well as saving and earning more as a single mom. 😀

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