A lot of people complain about needing more money to live, but the truth is that many people have enough money to live quite well if they would stop wasting it. I occasionally buy storage units when people have defaulted on their payments. It’s similar to what you see on Storage Wars on TV. It amazes me that people would rent a unit to store the junk they put in those units.
I recently bought a unit that consisted primarily of bags of clothes, a flat screen TV and a Christmas tree. When I plugged the TV in I found out the screen was cracked. The Christmas tree had a price of 39.95 on the box, and the clothes smelled moldy from being in plastic bags in the unit. I do not know the situation of the people who owned that unit, but the money they paid to rent that unit was wasted. They could have thrown all that stuff away, sold it at a yard sale, or donated it to an organization and been money ahead.
People go to rent-to-own businesses to rent furniture, computers, appliances, and whatever else those places offer to rent. That is a very expensive way to get items for your home. If a person makes all their payments they will pay far more than they could have bought the item retail. I understand people being on a tight budget, but any of those items could be purchased used. The last washer and dryer we bought I purchased at an auction for $200.00. The washer and dryer were like brand new. It would make a lot more sense for someone struggling financially to purchase used and save up the money to pay cash to replace it with new items when needed.
For years I carried credit card debt until I finally realized how much money I was wasting each month in interest payments. I began listening to Dave Ramsey and purchased his book The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. That’s when I learned how much my credit card was actually costing me. We began working very hard, following the steps outlined in his book, to eliminate that debt. Because of my excellent credit, our interest rate was low. Some people are paying 18-21 percent interest rates which costs them even more money. That interest they are paying is wasted money that is suffocating them financially.
Many of our money problems are due to our inability to put off pleasure. We want to drive a new car, but since we don’t have the cash to pay for a new car we finance one for seven years almost ensuring that we will never have the cash for a new car. Young people today often want to live in the same type of home in which they were raised forgetting that their parents probably started out in something much smaller that they could afford. Rather than doing the same, they take on a mortgage that they cannot afford and become house poor. We want a new pair of shoes or a new set of golf clubs, and rather than save up to buy them we whip out our credit card and go deeper in debt.
As long as the economy is strong and you don’t lose your job and nothing unexpected happens and you don’t get sick, etc., etc., etc. you find ways to manage. But, what happens when the economy tanks as it did in 2008? What happens when your company gets bought out by another company that does not need your services? What happens when a medical emergency happens? Like in 2008 people lose their homes, they file bankruptcy, they lose their cars, and they have a financial mess on their hands that might take years to overcome.
Last year our church hosted Financial Peace University to help people who were struggling financially. When the class ended a few weeks later we heard some incredible success stories from those who went through the class. We plan to offer it again this fall.
If you are struggling financially you are the one who has to make the necessary changes to regain control of your finances. Whether you attend an FPU class in your area, read Ramsey’s book, or follow some other plan that will get you back on track financially you are the one who has to make this work. I am so glad we began taking the necessary steps a few years ago to turn our finances around. I just wish we had done so earlier in life! Don’t wait any longer. Stop wasting your money. You work too hard to waste it.