I was chatting with my friend and I asked her what she was in school for. She says she wants to be a financial planner for young people. Well she said a lot more and I'm generalizing it but she wants to help people re-learn the rules of money and how to spend it.
This lead to us talking about how people have entitlement issues and spend money because they feel like they deserve it. They feel like they work hard and deserve something nice. So people spend big chunks of their income on things, things that get old and lose value. I'm guilty of this too, I spent my 20's enjoying a nice salary and spending it on stuff. Things I eventually donated because I got tired of them. I literally put over a $1000 worth of sneakers in a bag for donation when I decided I was over my sneakerhead phase. I've spent hundreds of dollars on watches that never get worn. I'd like to think that now that I'm older I know better whats a good use of my money but I still fall into the traps.
Take for example my on again off again desire for a new car. See I want a 2011 Jeep Cherokee. My math puts the car note at about $600 a month. Now in my head since I was paying $750 a month in child support for 6 years I'd still be winning right? btw I relate all costs to me paying child support now. $400 a month on gummi bears?? That aint shit to what I WAS paying. $300 shoes?? chump change...
Anyway I COULD afford the car but you know whats cool... saving money. $600 is still a lot of money and more then I've ever paid for a car note. My current car is fine, its 10 years old but it runs great and still looks fine. I don't NEED a new Truck I just want one. I want to stunt on these hoes lol, I want something shiny and new. I feel like I deserve to have something new after all the BS.
I DO deserve a new car right? I've been good, I go to work everyday I should enjoy my money.
The thing is its a dumb move. I KNOW better, I've taught myself better. I've seen person after person fall trying to live the "good" life or keep up with other people instead of building a foundation and accumulating wealth. We want to live like stars, we want the nice cars and expensive shoes. We want the world to know we made it. The thing is the richest people I know live like they are broke. They could give 2 shits if you know they have money. They don't spend a lot on clothes and cars. They save money above all else. They live broke so they can be rich. They view money different. I'm working on living like I'm broke, stretching every dollar and reversing my thinking that I deserve nice things because I can afford them.
Its a mindset really, you have to change your definition of wealth looks like. I always felt like I'd rather be the millionaire next door then the one high on the hill. I'm simple like that, expensive things are nice but I'd rather have the money in my bank account. Its about retraining yourself about whats important. Thinking about long term happiness instead of short term. You have to tell yourself that you don't "deserve" something for working hard because your SUPPOSED to work hard. You work and get paid, that's all you deserve.
It starts young too, my daughter told me she "deserved" some candy because she had a good day at summer camp. My first thought was ITS SUMMER CAMP!!! everyday is good! but then I realized she thinks she should be rewarded for everyday stuff. I had to explain that being good was expected and I wouldn't be rewarding her for what I expected her to do.
That's what its really about. Teaching myself that I don't deserve Cherokee because I've only done what was expected. I deserve it when I can pay cash for it. I deserve it when I can take a month off work unpaid and just drive around in it. Right now all I deserve is to collect my paycheck and pay off some debt that I accumulated while buying stuff I felt like I deserved in the past.
On another note I'm posting over at www.cookinwithdave.com again.