We spend our entire lives functioning around an ideal that, for the most part, serves us quite well. In general, we crave stability. We want healthy, reliable relationships. We want solid connections with our family. We want to be our healthiest selves. And we are conditioned to thinking that the ultimate stability centres around our financial wealth. This does not necessarily mean that we think we need to be rich to be happy, but we generally believe that financial stability of any kind will make us happier. In some respects, this is true. Having financial stability gives us one less thing to worry about, it relieves the stress of having to choose between paying bills and putting food on the table. For those of us who are lucky enough to have achieved financial stability, it is often lost on us just how lucky we are. Even so, financial stability still comes with the necessity of being able to make smart financial decisions.
Making financial decisions is not always easy, and quite often there is a misconception that organising and maintaining our finances is not only difficult, but complicated. Quite often what occurs is a difficult balance between what we expect and what we receive. This is where people trip up and become confused. This is where there is room for improvisation. Our maintaining finances does not have to be a difficult task, nor is it one at its core. Realistically, the difficult part about organising and maintaining finances is the frame of mind. There are those who spend as they receive their income, without paying attention to where their money is going or how much they have left. And then there are those who budget and reap the benefits. The only real difference between the two is the mindset they each have when considering their financial positions.
We are given access to amazing feats of financial technology like free credit cards, but we must be willing and able to use them wisely (or suffer the consequences). Having such available access to such incredible financial benefits can give some people a false sense of security. Despite being aware that they must pay off these credit cards and such, some individuals treat them as free money, and often end up having to pay additional fees to pay off the cards as they go. Here is where you can make the difference: active choice. Credit cards are fantastic. They are not the problem at all. Your spending is. Getting paid more in a certain month does not have to mean that you spend more.
Instead, try putting that extra money into your savings account and treating it like a bonus for your next holiday or your super. Do the same with your credit cards. When you spend something using your card, put money towards paying off the credit card bill when your next paycheck comes in. It really is that simple. If you have money to spend on a pair of shoes or a new book, you can just as easily put that money into your savings. Regarding their finances, people often feel affright when they are dealing with their finances. That general idea that finances are complex to understand is simply untrue. All it takes is some time and attention to detail. What many people do not understand or fail to realise is that taking control of their finances does not necessarily have to mean cutting things out.
It is so much easier to take control of our finances than we think. Making a simple goal to save $1,000 a month can be all it takes to plump up the savings account and give yourself a more stable financial standing and future. Our entire lives are, in one way or another tied to our financial stability. From the peak of our careers, to settling down into family life or travelling the globe, and even into retirement, we are always surrounded by the innate sense that we need to be making more money to be able to save any of it at all. There are many aspects of life that we are unable to control, but our financial circumstances are not one of them (in most cases).
Our lives are somewhat wired to be centred around the notion of stability in all aspects of life. We want so badly to have personal, physical, and financial stability that we can get carried away with the concept and not the reality. Financial stability, for instance, gives us a sense of content in that we do not need to worry about making difficult decisions based on necessities (for example, choosing between paying a bill and putting food on the table that day). Even when we are lucky enough to achieve a sense of financial stability, there is still the unyielding reality that more money does not necessarily make these questions go away. Even with financial wealth under our belts, we must learn to make conscious, smart decisions about our money so that we can continue to enjoy financial stability, as opposed to watching it wither away.