Challenge Of Living Within Financial Means

Monday, September 10, 2012, AM | Leave Comment

Doing research to publish a post for my blog, I came across an old article in New York Times. It has a story of a couple who were facing the “challenge of living within one’s means“. It’s an interesting article about how the two lived outside their means. Believe it or not, between the two of them, they were making $250,000 a year. I think that is an excellent income for a family of four.

You can lead a comfortable life on that income if you want to, without any financial anxiety. The couple in the story did not want to.

I remember in one of the debates between Barack Obama and John McCain, Mr. Obama said only 4% of the families in the U.S. were making $104,000 or better. That means 96% folks who had income were making less than that amount.

Median household income in 2012 dollar has come down to less than $51,000. That means half of the 96% population make more and half less than that.

So in my opinion, $250,000 for a family of four is a lot more than the family in the story give credit to themselves. Either they are ungrateful and thankless people or they are just pure stupid who don’t have any concept of the value of money they make.

It’s not hard to live within your means…

Some people have all the “luck” to be able to go to college, get a degree – in case of the family in the story – in one of the disciplines of Information Technology (IT). They start making money and start having families.

However, instead of living within their means and enjoy life – especially when they are pulling in such high salaries – they always worry about bills, credit card bills, mortgage and such.

I think that is a shame. My family of four, making less than one-fourth of income of that family, have always lived debt free. We pay our bills on time and in full by the due date, even though we use credit card a lot, all the time.

The article states that…

“Switching to a lifestyle based on your actual income is more challenging than it seems, especially if you have been relying on credit as an income supplement.”

“The maxim to tighten your belt implies that self-discipline is the solution, but our financial brains are not so easily tamed.”

I have been saying this in my posts that borrowed money is not your money, whether that money you get from the credit card companies or some place else. You are renting it. You gotta give it back and mind you, on time so that other people can use it too.

That’s exactly what happened to the banks. They gave, gave, gave. They didn’t get it back. Nobody gives a damn to return that money. Granted there are hardships but why borrow for something you don’t need, you can live without.

And when you borrow for something you don’t actually need, you damn make sure that you return it to the owner and on time so that other people can use it when they actually need the money.

In a Nutshell
We all must learn to live within our means. And that’s how we can live financially worry-free.

Read the New York Times article in full – challenge of living within one’s means.

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