Every year the same three new year's resolutions surface over and over. One..want to lose weight, become trim AND fit. Two, have a little more fun and stay connected with family and Three...do a budget and learn to live not with the juggling of Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards. I hear it, read it, and get bombarded with broadcasts that give how to talks to get out of a mountain of debt. People pay debt settling services, buy books and watch self help books for their spending addiction. I knew a college friend who said her dad and mom always were on the brink of financial disaster growing up. He was a lawyer, mom a teacher and together pulled down a healthy take home stack of currency. But they spent it as fast as it came in, so it became a way of life. Kinda like, if you have checks left in your holder , there must be money in theire to cover purchases. I know when I asked her other than a car and mortgage, how about not having debt, she looked at me like it was a national american right to live a step from bankruptcy's door. She is doing her part to stimulate the economy I suppose. Eat, drink and be merry. If all else fails, have a heck of a ride cause you only go around once and maybe maybe Uncle Sam will have a safety net to catch you. Or you could always live with your kids.
I know a broker who when he need a little motivation about the mid winter time to belt tighten one more knotch, he would go out and buy a very expensive car. The worry about making payments fueled him to force himself to have self inflicted financial pain to take his job more serious. In a small town, that expensive car does not help you business and make people happy for you. If you have a better car, new ride albeit saddled with 300 more payments, the locals are not happy. Do well....just don't do too well or get too far ahead. Unfortunately, learninng at an early age to hang onto money, is an art form of survival. It is the best thing you can teach your children to take with them to instruct their kids, your grandchildren. I remember my oldest daughter Elizabeth at age 9, after a hard week in the potato fields going with me to Walmart. She picked up an item that cost $3.60, eyed it, put it back on the self and said "Dad..that's not worth six barrels of potatoes" . She quickly consider the exchange of how hard the work to pick a 165 pound barrel of potatoes was for the 60 cents youth get at the end of the day per barrel. Just handing a child $4.00 and turning them loose in a Walmart would not be the same exercise. They spend it and enjoy the momentary thrill. They may not take care of the item and it's often forgotten a half hour later. Like the happy meal toy from the fast food shacks. But have the child earn the same $4.00 and you see a child suddenly evaluating whether to let go of their own money that easy. Suddenly a light bulb comes on and an effort to get the best deal on that item if they deem they really really need and want it comes into play.
Good luck with that debt load if you have one. There is a difference between frugal and cheap. Frugal is not wasting a resource...it does not mean you don't spend money on yourself. Its often better impulse control to know you have the savings to buy it, so you could. Or you decide to do a little more research on whether that item or service is the best deal. You are all business people right? Good luck touring the facility looking for slack in 2008 in your homes and businesses. Wise use of money is an attitude and choice. In northern Maine, the live within your means from days of living on family farms is common place. You learned to hang onto money because there were years when you did not make any due to crop failures, capital improvements, poor timing in investments. Two dollars is a lot of money if you have none. It became a game to get one more year out of that piece of equipment or using your noggin to come up with better ways to get the job done with what you had to work with. This as opposed to trotting down to a dealership for brand new equipment or parts you could not afford.[houlton+maine+real+estate,mooers+ realty, aroostook+county, new+years+resolutions, saving,budgeting,spending]