“You might get 85 years on this planet, don’t spend 65 paying off what you can’t afford.” By Cait Flanders

Where exactly was this wisdom when I was 20? I am sure it was out there, but it sure wasn’t inside me. Whatever you do, find a way to put some money aside. Make it untouchable, if you have the willpower to do so. Amazingly, my Millennial nieces and nephews have understood this and they are able to save for what they really want. They also don’t seem to be addicted to consumerism. Ok, I can’t really blame this on everyone else. I enjoyed a great many things in my life so far, and I’m sure many more will come. So, I can start again right now. Save in every creative way possible. 

Now, I have a friend who I see as a human monkey wrench in the machinery of life. He learned a very long time ago the that a penny saves does not equal a penny earned. He even has an ingenious equation to prove it. It starts with his asking you to. Consider. The common belief about a penny saved… It goes something like this… 

With this belief. You need to make two pennies to save one, right? The middle part is a little dizzying, to be honest. But at the end of the day, he’s figured out that money doesn’t have the value it claims to have and he lives a predominantly barter-driven lifestyle. He gives his services and asks for the services or products the other person has in return. Somehow, he always ends up much higher ahead. He’s never been in debt throughout his 56 years on the planet and still manages to always give first, take big risks, learn from losses, and bounce back with more profit every time. Ok, sorry, this is a way too vague example. You’ll have to wait for the biography I’ve been slowly convincing him to let me write about him! 

In a nutshell, be pragmatic in what you spend your time, money, energy, emotions, etc on. Have an intention and goal for the outcome. Put a little money aside for rainy days. Get into the habit of asking yourself: “Why do I need this?” Really answer the question and you will probably break your impulsive spending habits. 

What do you really need that you can’t afford?

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