A recent study from ACNielsen revealed that about 1 in 4 Americans say that they do not have any spare cash. No wiggle room. No room for an error. No room for an emergency. No room for life to happen.
Question: That new car – is it worth being broke over?
Question: That student loan – is it worth the degree you will receive?
Question: That furniture – is it really so important that you could not save up and pay cash for it?
Question: What would you be able to do if you had cash available to you?
I just completed reading the story in ESPN The Magazine (June 19, 2006 edition) about PGA Tour Pro John Daly. He states that when he showed up to St. Andrews for the British Open Major Championship in 1995, he was in debt almost $4,000,000. He states, “The only way I’d been able to keep my head above water was to turn all my quarterly endorsement income over to the casinos (his debtors), and then run myself ragged by playing all over the world for appearance fees and doing too many corporate outings, all because I needed the money to feed the beast. The British Open saved me. Not because of the winner’s purse – it was only … $200,000 back then. But when you throw in the bonuses from all my sponsors, I took at $1 million-plus haul away from the Old Course. All that went to the casinos.”
Paycheck to paycheck even when making millions. It is a VERY SIMPLE math equation.
INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO
OUTGO needs to include savings for emergencies and otherwise unexpected financial needs. If not, you will continue to live paycheck to paycheck.
Living paycheck to paycheck robs you of your ability to dream. It shoots down hope. It leads to depression and despair. It can lead to a feeling of inadequacy. It will force you to turn to debt when any small issue arises. It drives a wedge between husband and wife – between parents and children. It leads to increased stress and high blood pressure. It prevents people from following their dreams. It paralyzes you.
You may think I am overstating this, but I don’t think so. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have stared hopeless persons in the eye. I have heard the despair in their voices. I used to live paycheck to paycheck and was in debt up to my eyeballs. No more. There is no house, no furniture, no car, no vacation, no investment scheme, no student loan, no … NOT ANYTHING that can ever get me to live paycheck to paycheck again. Life is just way too short to spend all of my time worrying about how I will pay this month’s bills.
Make a commitment to change NOW!
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I am going to attempt to put together my definition of financial peace. If you have other thoughts, please send them to me or comment on them below.
– n. a condition where one does not have to continuously worry about their ability to meet their financial obligations; they have financial peace
– adj. a position where one is financially set; that couple has a financial peace mindset
– n. a financial position that allows one to pursue doing exactly what they were made to do regardless of its income potential; because he has financial peace, he is able to pursue his dream of being a major league baseball player even though he never even played high school or college baseball
How did I do?