I think most people create huge, out of reach goals like, “I need to have $1,000,000 in the bank by the time I’m 40.” A great goal, obviously, but I think that may be going about things the wrong way. What if we took that type of goal and switched it around? What if we first started by setting a goal we can control and achieve now? What if we make our goal to have the lowest possible bills every month?
My new goal is to have my monthly expenses under $2,000 a month. It’s that easy. Think of all of your current bills and expenses. Throw in all the money you spend at Starbucks, fast food, mortgage, insurance, car payment, taxes, yadda yadda. How much do you realistically spend a month?
Think about it, if I only spend $2,000 a month, that’s $24,000 a year. At 10% interest, I only need $240,000 to break even. If I worked a 40 hour a week job all year, I’d only have to be paid $8.67 an hour to break even. There are an awful lot of easy to get jobs that pay that much in my area. Wouldn’t it relieve a lot of stress from your life if you knew exactly what you would have to make a year to not have to worry? Everything above that amount being extra for investing or anything else you wanted to do?
The only way to do this is by paying off your debt. Get rid of that $1,500 a month house payment as soon as you can. Get rid of the $400 a month flease or car payment. Brew your coffee at home, get a job that has free coffee, or do like my friend did and get a part-time job at Starbucks so you can get your coffee for free, or at a discount, while getting paid! I turned off my way overpriced $70 a month DirecTV and signed up for the $10 Netflix deal. I get TV shows or movies in the mail almost every day and I have $60 a month being automatically deposited in my stock account. That’s $720 saved a year right there, not to mention the $40 PPV’s that I used to get.
Most people spend $2000 a month in car payments and mortgage alone. That’s insane. Concentrate on paying that stuff off! Get those bills out of your life and bring your monthly expenses down to where there is no need to worry or stress about affording to live. When we get old our medical bills will be as big as Cramer’s ego, so by saving now and creating a huge nest-egg, by lowering our monthly bills, we won’t worry how we’ll pay for those things in the future. We’ll have plenty of cash lying around.
Think long-term by addressing the short-term. Address something that you can change now, today. Make your goal budgeting a monthly spending limit that’s below what you currently make and do everything in your power to get to, and stay under, that goal. Pay off the credit cards, get rid of the car with the bling-bling that you use to show people how ‘rich’ you are while the bills stack up. Get what you need, pay if off and roll in the extra money you’ll have. Imagine if your only bills were your utilities, gas, food, clothes, insurance and property taxes. If I figure out what my bills would be without my house payment, I’m looking at about $1,200 a month, including my property taxes split across 12 months. I think I could make $1,200 a month for life collecting aluminum cans if I had to. Once you see your bills that low, it sure takes a load of stress off. Then, instead of worrying about bills, you can worry about your slice on the links. I think I’ll take the rest of the day off and go play golf, it’s in my budget.
Invest in peace…