Spend less than you earn.
Invest the difference ... shrewdly.
Pay an advisor if you wish.
But learning how to do it yourself will likely pay you well.
I posted about the best lessons we've been taught.
But spending LESS THAN YOU EARN has figured prominently in our own personal "strategy" over the years. (We've "ear-marked" the money we DIDN'T spend for INVESTMENT, you guys).
The prevailing opinion is that you have earn MORE money to get ahead. I think that's baloney. You need to set a thoughtful, realistic WEEKLY budget and you have to STICK TO IT!
Monthly budgets are bull-hit. Most people are too financially inept and too UNDISCIPLINED to deal with the reality of a 4 WEEK ACCOUNTABILITY. lol. Personally, I'm appalled at the financial ineptitude of people, (and I couldn't care less if their stupidity sends them down the sewer) but IF too many of them go down the sewer there's big trouble waiting for the rest of us.
I'm pushin' 50 and many of my friends have, over the years, "busted my ass" about living with "room-mates", eschewing expensive "conveniences" (cable TV, cell phones, etc.). Truly, such things are CHOICES. If those choices don't "work" for you (fit into your budget), don't make them! THIS household wouldn't care less... so it makes no sense for us to pay for them! (we read when there's nothing on the "free" TV channels).
My husband just quit smoking for the last and final time 5 days ago (he was diagnosed with the beginnings of emphysema at age 35 this past week).
We both sat down today and figured on a calculator how much in the last 15 years we would of had had it not gone up in smoke - between $9000 to $10,000 and he was a frugal smoker (no name brands, generic only and roll your own if you have to).
Just think what we could have done had we invested that money - the habit over the years worked out to be about a $50 - 75 per month. It would have been worth a whole heck of alot more then 10,000.
Maybe enough to of remodeled our whole house or paid a quarter of our mortgage off.
Moral of the story is that small lifestyle changes can really add up.
"Moral of the story is that small lifestyle changes can really add up."
You bet!!! And sometimes you can improve your health in the process!
Rather than double jeopardy, that looks like a double bonus, to me.
Plus, if you live in northern climes in winter where rules that forbid smoking inside of buildings apply, avoiding the teeth-chattering experience of standing outside for several minutes to smoke a few times daily.
Plus, if you value your kids' best health opportunities, doing the same when you go home.
And in the car en route.
Not my idea of fun. Apart from the stinginess.
Plus, gonativegal, there'd have been even greater value, while you were paying off the mortgage earlier, had you started a hobby of learning at least some things about how money works.
While using part of the saving to pay down the mortgage earlier, you might have chosen to use part of that savings to build an emergency fund, for it sure feels good if you have a major financial emergency, e.g. mechanical failure on your car, to be able to pay for the repairs with cash rather than using high-interest credit cards to cover the bill (and maybe a rental to get to work while yours is being fixed).
After you'd made the last mortgage payment, that would have meant that you could have continued to save and invest in ways that would make the asset work better: getting a better rate of growth, getting tax advantages, including deferrals and lower rates of tax.
I offer my thanks to your husband for his wise choice to quit smoking. I hope that when cravings come, he can keep strongly in mind the many advantages that go along with keeping that quit intact.
He can quite likely find some wise advice, support and empathy on the forums at www.quitnet.org, should he choose.
If he'dlike to come here, or on the Kitchen Table forum here, where there are many participants and some really good friendships, plus support in times of trouble, he'll be welcome.
Good wishes to you through the coming days.
Greetings again, folks.
I wonder how gonativegal's husband's resolution to quit smoking is going?
Emphysema is a bad news game - especially when one is a smoker.
I've written them hoping that his quit is intact.
And hoping that, if it is not, that he will soon quit again.
Perhaps some of you would like to do so, as well - sometimes it helps to know that one has a number of people hoping for success in quitting that addiction ... especially when one is coping with emphysema.
Good wishes to all of you for increased financial freedom.