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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
How to Stop Living ON a Financial Bubble



We've all heard the term "living IN a bubble." However, the financial status we as a nation are in is quite conclusive that most have been living ON a bubble.  Let me explain.  If you are living in a bubble you are protecting your finances and making sure you are doing everything you can to foresee the future…lately it has been quite fuzzy to see what the future holds…or is it?  What if the same rules could apply whether the economy is good or bad?  That is the difference I'm going to explain and hope to shed some light on.  What you could be doing to help shield your finances rather that have them burst like a bubble under you. 
 
The national market of commerce doesn't just encourage us to have bad spending habits they have been great at enticing us.  If you have been financing almost everything you own, then you have been sucked in to living on a bubble.  What they don't help you see is that purchasing items you can't afford at the time and then having payments towards those items takes your focus off of saving money for future expenses.  It makes you think and feel that if you want "it" nothing is stopping you.  Unfortunately, that's an all too common of mistake most people made in the housing market.  People thought they could afford so much more and banks encouraged them as well to finance more than what they could pay.  Sure if you only have a house payment it might not be bad, but when appliances, yard equipment, furniture are added to the mix of items you need when you buy the house the finances get overloaded at a quick pace.  Then, after all those items add up to extra monthly payments, gas prices skyrocket, groceries prices go up to record levels.  How can you afford everything now?  Did I mention the credit cards that need to be paid off to help assist you adjusting to your new mortgage payment, higher grocery bill and larger utility bill?  Right about that time the car needs repairs or Christmas comes and there is no money in savings to foot the bills.  This is right about the time when you feel the security you thought you had in your finances burst like a bubble underneath you. 
 
It's a horrible feeling when you realize that most, if not all, your financial status had no merit to it. It was just a bubble inflating the good feelings of "Sure, we can afford one more thing, just finance it!"  Your sense of financial stability all of a sudden has no bubble underneath it, no cushion for the fall.  You've just been another victim of the false sense of financial security.  Why do you think it is costing so many their peace of mind?  Then with the job insecurity on the very top of all the financial woes the situation can make one feel very desperate and panicky.  They wonder who can make it in financial times like these…how do some seem so unaffected? 
 
The truth is some are not affected much by the economy, good or bad.  In fact they are in a position that bad financial circumstances in the marketplace is a great time for them to save even more money because they can take advantage of the "good buys" out there.  For instance, my husband and I bought a brand new vehicle and paid it off less than a year.  That was our stepping stone to buying another brand new 2000 vehicle that we paid off in 3-4 years.  We determined to keep those vehicles ten years.  We still have them and are looking forward to getting a new vehicle this next year.  The way the auto industry is going we are very happy that we are going to get a great vehicle at a great price.  We will be saving up money to pay for most of it when it is combined with the sale of the vehicle we currently have.  Hence, this market is great for those living in the bubble. 
 
Business and individuals have had the attitude "all or whatever I want, no matter the cost" which started in the strong economy.  All are  failing miserably financially.  I think it is a great time to take advantage of the free course in the school of hard knocks.  Simply starting to pay off your bills and quit making new ones would be a good start.  While you have a job, use it to your advantage instead of putting you in a false sense of security.  Instead of greed (if I want it now , I'll get it now) use your good sense or learn how to get some.  Put yourself IN a financial bubble by doing things the right way and living within your means instead of trying to live on the bubble where there are no boundaries and the security is false.  The bigger you inflate that false sense of security, the bigger and more painful fall. 
 
Six things you can start doing to secure your financial future, no matter what the market is doing around you: 
 
  1. Pay off bills instead of making new ones.
 
  1. Be willing to sacrifice something that is costing you way too much.  Hanging on to something because it gives you a false sense of status or stability is not reason enough.  Necessities are not luxuries and luxuries are not necessities.
 
  1. Understand that you can put money into savings.  Think of how fast your saving would grow if you could put what you owe on financed items or credit cards in savings.  If you have a few months of pay in the bank you won't have to panic so much over your job.  It will make you feel more secure as a person and on the job.
 
  1. If you can't afford it, wait till you save the money up and you can afford it.  Be your own lending bank.  If you pay yourself back with interest to your own account you will be appalled at the amount of income big corporations are making on your interest.  It's no wonder they are hooked on there lavish lifestyles and need a bailout! 
 
  1. Learn the right way to handle your finances now so you won't be in the same mess in the future.  Study how to do it right, make it your goal to be a wise consumer. 
 
  1. If you keep doing what everyone else is doing, you're going to end up like everyone else.  If you're doing what you should be doing you'll find success that few find. 

posted on: 3/11/2009 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances


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Discuss This Post


by Army Girl on 4/1/2009 9:21:34 AM:

Hi, nice post. I found myself in pretty deep debt after I bought my house 3 years ago- just like you mentioned, I needed furniture, lawn supplies, fencing, repairs...the list started growing and so did my credit card debt. I realized too late that it was out of control when I could only make minimum payments, and even then it was a stretch. I was very close to financial disaster. Being a reservist in the Army, I volunteered for a deployment and with the extra money (not that much extra, just a little, but it was enough), I was able to start paying off my smaller debts, then snowballed the money into my larger debts. By the end of this deployment I'll be almost debt free, with only about a thousand left to pay on a credit card, which is easily manageable. Drastic times require drastic measures sometimes. Just wanted to say hi and nice blog, and agree with you.

by Online Payday Loans on 5/1/2009 6:23:38 AM:

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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy


by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:

www.systemize4u.com


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.


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