There are two words that I have always hated. I always have to catch myself and make sure that I am not using them. I hate to hear other people use them. To me they are an excuse that doesn't hold much merit. The only time I can tolerate them is if there is a medical issue. By now you probably know those two words. They are: I Can't.
I can't do that. I can't save any money. I can't cook every night. I can't clean the house. I can't find frugal food. I can't learn anything new. I can't live off a budget. I can't organize my home. This list can go on an on.
When I hear these words, I cringe. I want to scream but "You Can". When I hear I can't do that, I hear you say but I don't want to. When I hear that you can't save any money, I hear that you don't want to try etc., etc.
In today's world, there isn't anything you can't do unless you are medically or mentally challenged. With google and You Tube, you can learn how to do almost everything. We live in such a great informational world. No longer do I have to go to the library and bring home books and research what I want to do. I can do it with the push of a button. There are so many things that I have learned with these sources.
Hubby and I have always been DIY people up until Hubby has had recent back issues. Back issues that prevent him from doing certain chores. Most of them I have taken on except for the outside work. Fortunately, we never used the words we couldn't save money. The savings is what helps us afford the help now. But most things we can still DIY and if we don't know how to, we learn via the internet.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard the words I can't save any money. I would be rich! I can't save any money is an excuse. What the person is really saying is, I don't want to give up anything to do that. Every one can save some money every week. I don't care if you make $18,000. a year or $100,000. a year, you can save money every week. Back when we weren't making much money when we first got married, we started saving $10. a week. It was not easy. There were so many things that we could have spent that extra $10. on. We did that faithfully every week and we did not ever touch that savings account. When we felt we could save more we challenged ourselves to save $15. a week, then $20. then $30. then $40. then $ 50. etc.
If you feel your budget is too tight, find a way to save $1. a week, then $2. a week and keep upping it until you are comfortable. Once you start looking for ways to save, you will be amazed at how much you can put away every week. But you have to want to. If you aren't willing to give anything up to save that money, then you are saying I don't want to not you can't. I can't is just an excuse.
I am sure that we have all seen people who made or make $50,000. to $100,000. a year or more who say they can't save any money. They buy things on credit because they feel they deserve them and get themselves into major debt. We see magazine articles or stories about these people all of the time. Their biggest whining is about how they can't save any money so they can't get out of debt. Yet, they aren't willing to give anything up. They buy monthly gym memberships, go to the movies weekly, eat out 2-3 times a week, buy stuff every week that they don't need, send the girls to dance lessons, send the boys to camp and I could go on and on. But you get the idea. None of these things are prohibitive but not if you have no savings and are in debt.
I have seen so many people in my lifetime who go out to dinner every week because they say I can't. I can't cook is a really big excuse. I couldn't cook when I got married either but I learned from cookbooks that I borrowed from the library. Today you can learn from the internet. If you are going out to eat 2-3 times a week it isn't because you can't cook, it's because you don't want to. Try to turn off that TV program at night or stop spending time on meaningless gaming and instead research something on You Tube or google something that will save you money in your kitchen whether that be a new recipe or how to save a buck on your shopping.
The one that I hear all of the time is "excuse the looks of my home, I don't have time to clean". I hear I don't want to clean because it isn't a priority. Everyone is busy today but I believe that everyone can take the time to spend 30 minutes a day picking up, cleaning, or doing laundry during the week. Then you and your family can pick one room a week to pick up or clean for an hour on the weekends. That keeps a home pretty clean. Schedule those chunks of time out every week and your life will be less stressful because you and your family aren't living in a mess. Do the same with getting organized. Take 15 minutes while something is cooking to clean out a cupboard or drawer in the kitchen. Steal minutes of time here and there and eventually everything will get organized.
For some reason and especially at social gatherings where it seems to come up, I hear food is so expensive. I am spending $700. to $1000. a month for my family of 4 to eat. I want to ask what are you eating? Where are you shopping? Do you have an Aldi's? When I ask if they have looked at what they are eating and what alternatives they have for buying food cheaper, I hear it's impossible to spend less. In other words they don't want to. They don't want to take the time or they don't want to learn. I want to take them shopping next week and teach them so that they can save $200. to $500. a month.
When people are in debt, they usually do not have a budget or they don't stick to it. When I hear I can't live off a budget, I hear we don't want to or I know that their budget isn't working and it needs to be recalculated. If you can't live with a budget, you will never get out of debt.
The one I really hate is hearing I am too old to learn anything new. I hear this from people who are 30 something right up to 60-80 year olds. What you are really saying is I don't want to be bothered learning anything new. I will be 70 years old this year and I can truly say that I have never stopped learning nor will I ever stop learning. If I can learn something new every week, you all can to. You just have to want to.
Learning is the reason that Hubby and I live so well in retirement. We learned from before we even married with the choice of education we chose. Then when we married, we spent a lot of time learning about finance and the stock market. We learned what jobs paid what and what jobs had what benefits. We didn't get where we are today without researching everything. That is how we made the best choices for our family. Hubby took promotions when they would benefit us. Our family was always at the forefront of our decisions. Hubby turned down two substantial promotions when they would have uprooted our family. One would have sent us to New York City and one to another large city in NY. Both would have not been to our or our childrens' benefit. Could we have made more money if we had gone to either place? Yes, lots more money! So you see we didn't always just take the money into consideration, we took what would be best for our family into consideration. We did not believe that living in these cities would be best for us. We researched housing, other costs of living, and schools and said no. We did this each time knowing that he might never be offered another promotion but that turned out not to be the case fortunately.
As we had to make a repair in our homes or maintain our cars, we researched and did it ourselves. Hubby taught himself everything that he knows to this day by researching and learning. He did all repairs, all maintenance, all electrical and plumbing in our home. This just didn't come natural to him. He sought out the knowledge. Anyone can do the same.
So the next time you hear yourself say I can't, stop and really think about what you are saying. What can you do to change that? I do that every day when I don't want to clean, when I don't want to cook, etc. The way you think about those things will affect your bottom line.
Sorry if this is so long but due to unforeseen circumstances, I wasn't able to post yesterday. Hence the long post today.
I want to remind all of you that I may be on jury duty starting on Monday. I will find out tonight and if I am called I will let you know. Those days that I am serving, I may not be able to post. We will see how long those days go.
I hope all of you have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and a terrific weekend. We will be celebrating St. Patrick on Sunday evening when my daughter in law and grandson fly back from a trip to Disney World. She surprised my grandson this week with a 4 day timeshare trip. My son stayed back because he had to work. Fortunately our snow storm stopped about 2PM the last day and they were able to fly out that night to Orlando.
A P.S. to Chris: As you are trying to catch up on all of my blog posts, I am trying to catch up replying to all of your wonderful comments. I have not forgotten you. I am replying to as many as I can each day.