It’s always important that we’re the ones who are in control of our lives. If we’re going to live the best life possible, then we can’t expect other people to lead us to wherever it is we want to go. They’ve got their own concerns to worry about (chiefly, how they can make their own dreams come true); we have to look out for ourselves.
This applies to more specific areas of our lives, too, especially the ones that can have a significant impact on the overall quality of our lives, such as money. While we think that this is something that comes down to personal responsibility, all too often, our financial situation involves other people, to a degree that ends up harming our bank balance.
Below, we take a look at some examples of how other people affect our financial situation, as well as offer some advice about how you wrestle back control.
Other People Spending It for You
Don’t worry about spending your money; there will always be other people who are willing to spend it for you. Things like group birthday presents, weddings (especially those overseas), nights out for celebrations and so on can all add up to a pretty penny, and put you in something of an uncomfortable situation. You don’t want to turn down your friends and family, but the truth is, you also don’t want to have your money committed for you. And so you shouldn’t. Whenever you’re invited to something that’ll cost you money, ask yourself if you would choose to do of your own accord. If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t feel too bad about telling your friend that you can’t afford it. When it comes to financial matters, the only one you hurt by keeping up appearances is yourself. You have your own plans for your money, don’t let other people spend it for you.
We should perhaps be a little angrier than we are. If you take a look at income growth over the past few decades, you’ll see that the vast, vast majority of it has gone to CEOs and other company bosses. The general worker has received next to no wage growth — indeed, in real terms, they’re now earning less. Of course, you can’t overhaul the entire system (though give it a go), but you can improve your own personal situation. If you haven’t received a raise in some time, then approach your boss, and ask for you. If it’s justified, then they’ll probably be open to the idea. They say that in order to control your own finances, you need to start your own business, but this simply isn’t realistic for everyone — and it’s not like it’s unreasonable to ask for more money anyway. Stand up for your right to a better wage.
Paying Other People’s Bills
Life can always throw surprises at us. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad. One such example of a bad surprise is when we’re involved in an incident that severely affects our financial situation. We might have to pay for costly medical treatment, or take time off work, for example. It’s bad enough that these things should happen, but it’ll be even worse if we have to foot the bill if it wasn’t our fault. If this happens, you’ll be paying the bills that should, legally, be paid by someone else. Give your case to a firm with over 25 highly rated attorneys, and you’ll have an experienced team on your side. You shouldn’t have to pay the financial cost of someone else’s error; fight your corner, and work toward getting justice.
Giving It Away
It’s bad enough to have money taken from us, but it’s worse still just to give it away. Yet this is something that many of us are all too guilty of, especially when it comes to the services we pay for. We have a habit of getting the best subscription package available when really, for our needs, a mid-level package would suffice just fine. This usually happens with a cellphone, home internet, and cable packages. It’s always worth investigating what you’re actually paying for — you might find that you could happily drop your level of service without doing any harm to your lifestyle, yet give your bank balance a significant boost.
Everyone laughs at old fashions, yet follows so religiously the new, so said Henry David Thoreau. It’s worth tallying up just how much you’re spending on new clothes, phones, and other trends, and seeing if it’s something that you can really afford. It’s quite liberating to decide that you’re no longer going to be subject to whatever’s hot — you’ll find that no-one else really cares, and that you don’t need to spend anywhere near as much.
And Falling for Advertising Tricks
Of course, it’s easy to recognize trends; it’s more difficult to spot advertising tricks. Advertising works especially well because it puts an idea in your head, and then makes you think that it was your idea all along — and of course, the end result is that we end up spending money. The next time you have an impulse to buy something, try and take one step back, and figure out whether it’s really something you want to earn your cash on. You might just find your desire for the item actually wasn’t that robust in the first place.
Your Past Self
Ah, our old selves. If only we could go back in time and drop a few knowledge bombs, we might have been able to avoid making some big mistakes. For example, many of us are carrying the debts of our old self. We’re not in charge of our money — that punk kid we left behind years ago is. If you find yourself with debt, work hard to put it behind you. No matter how bad it might seem, there are always ways out of debt — and when you’re living debt-free, it’ll be you that’s in control, not your previous self.