I think it is extremely important to budget your finances and not spend more than you actually have. So many people choose to live outside their means by spending money on frivolous, overpriced items. Materialism has become an addiction, with millions of people around the world charging on credit and racking up exponentially increasing debt.
I'm not implying it is wrong to take out a loan for something like a house or a car, but simply that it is stubborn and childish to refuse to buy anything besides designer jeans that cost 100 dollars. (Even 30 dollars is way too expensive in my opinion).
The only reason society insists we get secure high paying jobs is to support our extravagant, superfluous, high priced lives.
There are so many people living paycheck to paycheck. So many people living in poverty. Busting their ass 5, 6, even 7 days a week at a job they hate. And yet they have a brand new 50 inch TV every two years, buy cars brand new (which depreciate in value by over 30% the moment you drive it off the lot), wear $500 sunglasses.
People complain about their poverty, and yet they only buy designer clothes, spend countless amounts of money on gossip magazines, get the latest phone every year and buy new computers when they could just reformat and upgrade for a fraction of the price.
Do you really need to go to Starbucks and spend $4 on a 10 cent coffee? Do you really need to spend a $1.50 or more on water that is virtually free. Fill up a water bottle and bring it with you. Stop being lazy!
The truth is that life is easier when you aren't lazy.
People are on welfare who have 4 pairs of $200 dollar Nike shoes, have an Xbox, a Playstation 3, a Wii, and a computer. They eat out for 2 to 3 meals a day, everyday, if not nearly everyday, and go out to the bar to spend 30 - 100 dollars or more on drinks 4 times a week or more.
Is it any wonder?
We need to budget ourselves, and we need to live with greater humility. We need to sacrifice going out every day of the week and learn how to have fun without spending all of our hard earned money for a few laughs. We need to cut a few inches off of our television sets, or better yet, throw the damn thing away.
We need to be more creative!!! We need to stop being so lazy!
The best things in life are free. That is not an outdated truth, that is just plain old truth! Go for a walk. Buy a book used for 50 cents and...read! Write a story. Instead of joining the 90 dollar gym, go for a run and do some push ups. Instead of buying Versaci sun glasses, buy the knock offs, no one will ever know. And if they find out, who the hell cares! You have more money than them. You are better off. You are smarter and more sensible!
Cook your meals at home. Grow a garden. Find delight in the simple things in life. Fuck the bar! Grab a six pack of beer and sit in a field with some friends and have a chat. Or make some tea at home and have a profound philosophical debate. Make your own wine.
Refuse societies pressure to adopt the sickness of instant gratification.
Be creative!! Life does not have to cost so much!
And last of all, save. Just because you have money doesn't mean you have to get rid of it immediately. Save it. Make a goal. Have many goals! There is nothing wrong with having some money to fall back on. Living paycheck to paycheck only leads to anxiety, which leads to more health problems, which leads to a more expensive life! Save some of it!
I know it's hard with an endless onslaught of advertisements everywhere you look, but the moment you stop giving in, it becomes easier and easier!
Be creative. Think outside society's norms.
Here is a link to Claire's blog and post about budgeting. We have both always been into saving our money and looking for more affordable though still amazing alternatives to what life offers us. She created a budget which has greatly increased the ease with which we are able to keep track of our spendings, spending habits, and saving goals. I use it everyday. It can even be used through Google documents(which she links directly to) so that you can access your budget spreadsheet from any device that has internet access! We even use it as a shared budget to factor in shared costs like rent, food, utilities, and various odds and ends.
It has been said that most relationships end due to financial disagreement. We have never had a fight about finances even remotely.
Try this budget out. It works so well, does all the math for you and is basically an automated way to control yourself and keep your budget in check.
Again, here is a link to the budget.