The importance of personal finance when it comes to achieving your dreams of homesteading and self sufficiency can't be emphasized enough. Without a plan in place, you will never be able to get out of debt and save enough money for your land.
That's why one of the first steps in becoming self reliant is to take a good hard look at your finances - what's coming in and what's going out, to find out where the money's going and how you can do things differently to cut down on costs.
You may be surprised to learn that more money isn't really the answer. More money helps, but with most people, the more money they earn, the more they spend, getting even further into debt because they don't know how to budget.
You hear about it all the time: big celebrities earning millions and then going into bankruptcy because they spent way too money on clothes, jewelry, mansions, fast cars and tragically, drugs.
The sad truth is, if you can't manage the income you have now, you likely won't be able to manage it when more money comes in.
So start right now, right where you are.
Carry a small notebook with you and write down everything you buy, every day for a month, and then carefully consider your expenses. Are you buying coffee every day? What if you made it at home instead and brought it with you? Or you could buy instant, flavored coffee for a fraction of the cost.
What about eating out? Not only is fast food bad for you, it's also expensive. Consider cooking from scratch at home instead and then taking your lunch every day. The thing about money is, it's never inactive; either it is working in your favor or against it. Learn to control your spending, or it's going to control you.
Tragically, most of us are never taught the importance of personal finance in school, and that's a crime. Instead, most of us have been inundated with a media blitz since we were children: buy that new toy, and it will make you happy; make sure your clothes are of the latest fashion.
It wasn't always this way. According to Dave Ramsey, author of the book, Financial Peace, only two percent of all American households had debt at the beginning of the twentieth century. Today only two percent are debt free.
We live in a must-have-right-now society, thanks to too much easy credit. The problem with a credit card is it makes it too easy to spend too much and wind up with a bill that is too high to pay off all at once. To avoid this, make a pledge to yourself and your family that you will wait at least one week before making a purchase of anything apart from the normal food you buy at the grocery store.
While waiting that week, look around and see if you can acquire the item in a less expensive way. Can you wait a few weeks? Can you find one that is cheaper? I often volunteer at a thrift store where amazing bargains come in daily. Oftentimes you can find items for a fraction of the cost if you are willing to wait and look for a bargain.
How things are going in your life will have an impact on your finances in subtle ways you might not imagine. Obviously an addiction will affect your finances in disastrous ways, but poor life habits can also have a negative impact.
If you live in clutter, you may find yourself buying more than one of the same item simply because you can't find that hammer. I always tell my children that cleaning is a lot like a treasure hunt; you find all kinds of useful things you forgot you had.
The importance of personal finance can't be overstated when it comes to achieving your dreams. If you sit around, waiting for your ship to come in, you will likely be sitting there for years. Instead, take action. Learn to be wise with what you have, you'll soon be out of debt and on your way to successful self-reliance.
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