Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Have you ever heard that saying that money can burn a hole in your pocket?   Although you can find many different meanings for this expression, over the past decade I have seen spending run out of control on a personal level.   Eating out using to a perk for most families, and now an $80 meal during the week is the norm.    Picking up a luxury item only happened on special days like holidays or birthdays, but now people buy them whenever they are in the mood.   We have been conditioned over the past decade to always make sure we get the BEST!   Of course, why wouldn’t any of want the best if we could afford to buy it with our hard earned money.

Credit cards have given many people power.    When you have money in the bank you feel like you have power.  With just a swipe of your debit card, you have the power.   Yes, because you have money in your pocket (or credit that feels like money) you feel like you can have all of the fancy items that the wealthy people have in America.     You can go out tomorrow and sign yourself up for the nicest car.   You can go downtown and get the most luxury dinner.   You can book yourself the best room at your next vacation destination.  You can get yourself the coolest new pocketbook, or that top of the line set of golf clubs.

Here’s the deal.   You can do anything with you money, but this doesn’t mean you should do anything with your money.  Paying down your debt doesn’t feel all that exciting because you can’t do anything with it like a technology gadget.   However, you should pay down all of your debt.    Saving for retirement doesn’t get the juices going especially when your 401k plan has a low starting balance.   However, you should being paying yourself first and put dollars away for your future.    Having money sitting in the bank today earning nothing as your cash reserve could easily set off that forest fire in your pocket.   However, you should sit tight because you’ll need that money for a rainy day.

The things that are most important to do with our money often involve having delayed gratification.  This is a term most people don’t even recognize anymore in a society that thrives on instant gratification.    Just ask yourself next time you are going to make a purchase these following questions.  Do I want it?   Do I need it? Can I truly afford it? Is this really going to make a difference in my life?    Be your own Smokey The Bear and don’t let your money burn a hole in your pocket.

Written by:

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc

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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Hey!

My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

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2 Comments

  • June 10, 2011

    I personally want to pay off all of my debt, invest lots of money now, and generally live below my means so that I can do all of these things one day and not have to rely on a credit card to do so. Nor will I feel guilty about living that way when I know that I’ve earned it and have done the smart, responsible thing first.

  • Tim
    June 23, 2011

    It is not what you make, its what you earn and not losing that money. you need to make sure you invest in your self and your business.

    Also the stay away from stocks, the highest performing assets, is you and venture capital or private equity.

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