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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Financial Confessions

Financial freedom involves being honest with yourself and others about your financial situation. If you avoid taking a good look at your saving and spending habits then you risk falling into a downward spiral of economic despair. If you pretend that you have more than you really do then you put yourself in a position where you can fall into the trap of living beyond your means simply to keep up with the Jones'. Almost everyone has some guilty pleasure that is preventing them from reaching that pinnacle of prosperity that defines their own economic success. The longer you keep your financial situation in the dark, the more you allow yourself to sink into the abyss of economic destruction. It is time to gain control of your finances by facing your situation head on; thereby, successfully destroying any roadblocks that stand in your way to prosperity.

Because I walk the walk and not just talk the talk, I am going to share my own financial confession and subsequent wake-up call. Yesterday, I drove to work ($14 to park), bought Dunkin Donuts for breakfast ($6.49) and ordered delivery from the local pizza place ($10 after tipping the driver). I spent a total of $30.49 in one day simply because I was being too lazy to walk to the train or prepare my meals at home. Now what if this were typical of every day (and I'm embarrassed to say that it is more often than I would care to admit), then I would have spent over $600 every month and that is not even counting the gas money I eat up by driving.

Now let's look at the other option. My monthly transit pass is $86. Last night I purchased instant oatmeal packets, cereal bars, a box of teabags, cold cuts, cheese slices, a loaf of bread, Miracle Whip, a family pack of chip snacks, cookies, and a box of Capri-Suns for a total of $36. Combined with my other groceries already in stock at home, this should last me at least 2 weeks so we can safely say $72 worth of groceries for just breakfast and lunch would get me through the month. $72 in groceries plus $86 in transit is equal to just $158. So if I did the smart, responsible thing and both took the train in to work as well as brought in my meals, then I would save well over $400 every month which can either be put away in my savings and other investments or redirected to pay off credit card bills, loans and other expenses that are accumulating interest.

So I ask you, what is your financial confession?

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