People have asked me so many times over the years the following question. Is there a "secret" to building your net worth? Perhaps there is since so many people sabotage themselves with debt. Perhaps too few people know the "secret" and that is the problem.
Do you want the truth? The number one way to build your net worth is to be content. It is no secret that people who are happy with what they have are content. They don't spend their days shopping for every little thing they see in a mall, ordering from catalogs, the internet or television shopping networks. They don't bring chachkies home from vacation. They don't need to go out shopping or to dinner many times a week. They are content with what they have at home and they have no desire to waste their money on things they don't need.
They would much rather spend their money on the necessities of life. The necessities are housing, food, basic clothing, health care, transportation, and a vacation once a year with their family. Sure they love having a computer, a cell telephone, cable TV and few other luxuries. No one should be denied luxuries if they are debt free and have built a nest egg or at least an emergency fund. But most people who have debt buy the luxuries even though they can't afford them and they don't have an emergency fund. Many have spent their lives without even a dollar in a savings account.
However, content people don't spend all of their paycheck every month or worse yet spend more than their paycheck every month. They know that spending more than you make every month is digging a huge hole that is hard to get out of without a lot of work. It's a house of cards and those cards will fall unless you take action.
Do you think that people who have a lot of debt are content? I would think not. With debt comes stress! They are always worrying about how they are going to pay your bills. Some even have to worry about how they are going to pay their property and school taxes on their home every year or even their mortgage. They are worried that they will lose their home. This kind of stress is not good for your health. Wouldn't you rather be content?
Being content leads to wanting to save for your future. Content people contribute to their 401K plans and IRA's. They save for their children's college educations. They know that their tomorrows will be bright if they build their net worth.
If you have debt, it is very hard to do these things. You must pay off the debt first and then start from scratch building your future. Because your future will be here before you know it. Life goes fast!
I understand that many people have built up debt because of medical bills. I understand their plight. I also know that many people lost jobs due to the downturn in the economy and they lost their homes. I also understand and feel for them.
But most people with debt have only themselves to blame for their plight. They played or are still playing the game of "keeping up with the Joneses" even though that game hurts their bottom line. I have news for you, the majority of the Joneses are most likely in debt up to their eyeballs and they don't care about your bottom line. You should! Some people just keep buying and buying because it makes them feel good. They believe their things define them. Things don't define you, your actions do!
I am writing about being content today not to shame anyone. I am writing to make you wake up! Start a plan to pay off your debt. Become content with what you have and start digging out of your hole. I would be lying if I told you it will be easy. But nothing in life is easy. When your debt is paid, start building your nest egg. I don't care whether you are 20 or 60. It is never too late to start!
If you want a better life for yourself and your family without stress, start being content with what you have. Turn off those commercials on TV or at least ignore them. Throw those catalogs in the recyclable bin. Ignore the deal sites online. Stay out of the mall. If you have to shop, always go with a list, get what is on it and get out. Don't browse!
Make your meals and your coffee at home. It's cheaper and it's healthier. Stay home and enjoy it. If you are content with what you have, you don't have to leave your home. Hubby and I are very content and love being home. By being home, we are not spending money not even on gasoline. If you feel you must get out of the house, do something free like go to a park, visit a friend, go to the library and read or check out a book on cutting costs, or go for a walk. Make a game out of how many days you can go without spending a penny! Make a game every month of tracking how much debt you have paid off. Make it fun instead of the drudgery of wondering how you are going to pay your bills. Put the work in and you will be rewarded with a stress free contented life. And that my friends is what I want for all of you! Do everything you can to get rid of that debt starting today and your net worth will increase month by month. Your stress level will decrease and you will be a much more contented person.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor a psychiatrist. I am just giving you my $ .02 worth of advice.