Step #2: Stop Over-Spending

Guess what?! You can read all the finance books in the world, and go to all the investing seminars, and buy all the fancy budget apps and tools, and more. But unless you have learned this one thing, it won’t amount to a hill of beans.

You have to stop spending so much.

Far too many of my generation don’t even know what it means to budget.

The majority of guys spend more on their trucks and phones every month than saving for their future family. They don’t have a plan for how to buy a house and provide for a family on their current income since most of it gets spent immediately.

Way too many girls don’t even save anything, because they assume that they don’t need to save for the future. They don’t even consider putting away a portion of their money instead of spending it all. When they want to buy something, they do. When they want to travel somewhere, they go. When they want college or courses or missions trips they sign up whether or not it will drain their bank account (if the money is even there).

Now, obviously, the above statements are general and not true of all young people. But in general, it’s more this way than that young people are frugal, wise, and goal-oriented with their money.

“It’s not your salary that makes you rich. It’s your spending habits.” -Charles A. Jaffe

If you live in American, you have the opportunity to be rich, and you don’t have to be making six figures to do it.

Too many people live with the mentality that they have to make more money in order to save. They think it’s only “rich” people that invest in mutual funds.

People think the more money they make, the more money they will have. It’s simply now true. There are broke people making millions and financially prepared and secure people making a very modest amount. What’s the difference?

It IS NOT about what you make.

It’s about how you spend.

Here are two practical tips to start cleaning up your spending habits TODAY:

  1. Write down everything you spend. (this will come in handy later when we talk about budgeting.)
  2. Think about one unnecessary thing you spend money on, and cut it out for at least a week. A few ideas would be music downloads, clothes (hello girls!!!!), coffee, or going out to eat. Don’t worry, you’ll live without it!

Thanks for all the comments and feedback, ya’ll! Know that I read every one and keep filing away your ideas and questions as I continue with this series. Let me know if you have a specific question or money topic you would like to see addressed. 

-Allison

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12 Comments

  1. This is really good, Allison! thank you!
    I’d also love to get your thoughts on this, and you may already be planning to address this as well in future posts, but how do you think one should handle spending for gifting for family and friends? 🙂

  2. Great point — our financial state is effected greatly by what we spend! Thankfully, I hate unnecessarily spending money (just ask my mom!) 🙂 However, I was in a dilemma recently. I had saved up quite a bit of money with the plan of purchasing another instrument. Music is one of my gifts and I believe God has made it clear that teaching music will be in my future (now, I could be wrong, but right now, that is where I think He is leading). But as I got closer to my saving “goal,” I started wondering if it would be wiser to just save it for more “important” things in the future (car, college, etc.). But then again, investing in an instrument could also be a huge help in the future if I teach music. But the more I thought about it, the more that I felt that I should just keep saving my money. I can pray and wait on the Lord for an instrument, and hopefully find a good used one for a better price than a brand new one I could barely afford 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement to be wise in our spending!!

    1. That’s a great story, Grace, and I think you’re very wise in this. Many girls who are frugal go wrong here because after saving they dump the majority if their money into something they might later regret. One idea I would give is to save a portion every month that is not to be touched and then also have an instrument fund.

  3. Thank you so much Allison. It is such a blessing to be able to read about this. It is something I have been convicted on recently and by reading this it has helped me know there is hope. God bless you and thank you again.

  4. Thank you, thank you for addressing this. I was so happy when I saw that you’ll be blogging about budgeting later! Yay!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!