Do you realize that every dollar you spend is a choice? You can choose to spend your money on one thing or another, but not both.
This seems obvious, and I’d wager that some of you reading that first paragraph are scoffing a bit and thinking, “Well, duh!”
Then why don’t we live like that? Why do so many of us run around buying stuff we can’t afford by taking out loans and credit cards? How many of us live “paycheck to paycheck” because we’ve overextended ourselves by getting a new car loan, maxing out credit cards, or simply not getting and staying on budget?
I’m not griping at you, I used to live that way too! I’m just here to make you think!
You see, each of those purchases were choices, and we were either choosing to invest in our future in some way or trading the best choice for what we wanted in the moment. That new car payment was a choice to take on a debt rather than buying a used car with cash. That house payment was a choice to live in a certain neighborhood. That vacation put on credit cards was a choice to have fun now and dig ourselves into a little deeper hole rather than be patient and put off the trip until there was enough cash on hand.
I understand that sometimes life happens—such as major medical expenses—but we need to make better choices so that when emergencies come we’re better prepared to face them. Every time we make a choice to take on debt rather than save and prepare for emergencies is a moment when we’re deepening risk.
You name it—student loans, mortgages, credit debt, car payments, and more—all of them were choices we made that pre-determined where our dollars would go.
Make Intentional Choices with Your Money
With each dollar we can choose to:
- Spend it or save it.
- Give it or blow it.
- Choose one opportunity over another.
- Let an opportunity slip away or make an intentional choice.
- Invest for the future or use right away.
- Pay a monthly payment or pay down debt.
- Save for our next vacation or pay off the last one.
- Use it within a budget or spend without a plan.
How are you choosing to use each and every dollar you make? Are you on a budget where you give every dollar a name? Are you making intentional choices with your money or just sort of surfing through life without a plan?
It’s never too late to start making wise choices with your money. Make a plan (budget) and start today!
Also published on Medium.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.
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