Let’s cut to the chase. For whatever reason, you’re broke. You may have medical bills. You may be out of work. You may have spent four glorious days at a casino (and lost). Maybe you outspent yourself on Stuff.
Bottom Line: It’s time to bring all things financial under control and in the process, enjoy some self respect. We’ll keep this simple. After all, we’re minimalists.
- CREDIT CARDS: you only need one and it’s for EMERGENCIES only. Never, ever use it unless you’re desperate.
“Desperation” (as defined by Merriam Webster): 1: loss of hope and surrender to despair 2: a state of hopelessness leading to rashness
- NEED VS WANT: It’s easy to be sucked in by friends, family, advertisements, political-correctness or an old-fashioned tendency to hoard. We’re all tempted by Stuff we don’t necessarily need, but, Boy Howdy, we want it badly. Make a list. Two columns. Need vs Want. ‘Nuf said. Only YOU know what you can do without. Now, DO WITHOUT IT until you’ve saved a little pile of pennies in order to pay for it. (It’s fun to fill one of those tall Chianti bottles. Once it’s full of change, treat yourself to something awesome).
“Hope and faith goes hand-in-hand, because without hope there is no faith. The same goes with want and needs; without any wants, there is no need to have a need.” ~ Temitope Owosela (“The Audacity of Progress”)
- SHOPPING: When you shop, make a list and stick to it. Impulse buying will kill ya financially. Save coupons and use them, but be careful. Coupons can sometimes entice you to buy something you don’t need or even want. Stay out of the future while shopping, unless you’re buying bulk quantities of things you use regularly.
“Shopping: I like to walk down Bond Street, thinking of all the things I don't want” ~ Logan Pearsall Smith (American Writer, 1865-1946)
- EATING OUT: A $7 lunch five times a week adds up to $140 a month and over $1600 a year. A $20 dinner twice a week is $40 a week, $160 a month and nearly $2000 a year. Can you justify it on your budget? Start taking your lunch to work and learn to cook for the “end of the day” meal.
"I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give." ~ Julia Child
- START SELLING STUFF: Take your time with this part. Make an inventory of the Stuff in your house. Whatever you haven’t worn or used in the last 6 months should be placed, one a time, for sale on Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist once a week. It’s a cheap and profitable new hobby!
"All right, let's not panic. I'll make the money by selling one of my livers. I can get by with one." ~ Dan Castellaneta (voice of Homer Simpson)Guaranteed GMAT 70+ score improvement or your money back with Economist GMAT Tutor