Today’s blog post title comes from the book, The Road Less Traveled, by Scott Peck. I’m putting a financial spin on his title. There are many financial roads you can travel. The most traveled road in today’s society involves carrying credit card debt, HELOC – home equity line of credit, and just being neck deep in debt. The financial road less traveled involves those who do the following:
- Live on a Budget – too many people don’t have a clue where their money is going month to month. If you don’t tell your money where to go, you will wonder where it went.
- Save up and pay cash for vacations – too many people in our society fund their vacations with credit cards and lines of credit.
- Save for Retirement – 52% of Americans have less that $10,000 in their retirement funds. This will not cut it. Americans are living longer lives. Social Security benefits could be less for the next generation. Not preparing for retirement can create a shipwreck when you reach retirement age.
- Being content – Our society’s marketing strategies are always pushing us to spend money on the next new gadget. If what you have isn’t broke, don’t replace it. You must learn to live within your means. You must say no to adult peer pressure. There will always be someone who has more than you. Know what a need is. Know what a want is. Spend only on needs. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Teach your children about money – It is not up to the schools to teach your child about money. You are your child’s primary teacher. Your values are caught more then taught. You need to teach your child about spending, saving, and giving.
- In summary, you need to know what financial road you are on. If you find yourself following the crowd and saying yes to impulse purchases, you are probably on the road most travelled. You don’t have to stay on that road. You need to control your money and not let it control you. You need to live by your own values and not those of others.