I was taking a bike ride with my son last week when I got the idea to write this article.
My son is very inquisitive. He asks me a lot of questions regarding why I do things, or why I don’t do things, etc. Because of this, he has built his knowledge base and is pretty smart. Of course I am bias because I’m his mother but we’ll forget about that right now :)
On this bike ride, he was talking about everyone in his school having the ear pods. He knows that this particular item is a status item, an item used to claim status or blend in. I thought that it was funny that a 12 year old can figure out which items are bought out of necessity and what items are bought to “fit it,” or to claim your financial status to the world.
I must admit, I did not really put that much thought into things like this at his age. It wasn’t until I was an adult, when I re-evaluated my financial budgets and my spending habits that this idea came into effect. When I became self aware of spending habits, monthly income, and making changes that greatly benefitted my household I saw a nice difference. Hopefully this will work for you as well.
When taking a look at your finances, the first thing you should take a look at is what comes out of your wallet. Why was that purchase made? Some times, a lot of us spend money on things that are fun or make us feel good. If you get an emotional high from making purchases such as food, clothes, or new furniture, chances are that high is temporary followed by feelings of sadness shortly after. You may want to look at this behavior as a coping mechanism. If continued, it may be destructive to your bank account and life earnings.
The key when looking into purchases is figuring out which items were bought for necessity, fun, or status. A status item is an item bought to show off your financial status or because it was a popular item at the time. Like my son pointed out in our conversation, the status item in question was bought to fit in with the crowd. This is really common when speaking about middle school kids. At that stage of development, kids want to fit in with the crowd and prefer the company of friends and peers as oppose to parents. Sorry guys, we aren’t cool no more.
Items that were bought out of necessity are very common items that you really don’t think about purchasing because, well, you need them. Some examples are groceries, gas for your car, laundry detergent, or the glue for your kid’s project. These items are necessary, but they do come out of your wallet and should be looked at.
When you think about your source of income how do you feel about it? How do you view yourself when you are creating income to support your family and lifestyle? These questions are very important as the answer directly affects how much money you will generate in the week, month, or year. If you are unhappy at your job, chances are that you will not pick up additional hours and will not look for new opportunities in your vocation. In order to increase your income (which everyone wants to do), you literally have to change your perspective. You need to view yourself as your own employer. You are the boss, and you have a skill set that you are rendering in exchange for money. So you need to act like it. This is especially true when you work in professions such as a nurse (wink, wink) or as an auto mechanic. Get your side hustle on! The potential to earn money is everywhere you go. Don’t waste it.
When looking to change the state of your finances, you need to do a few things that were pretty much all mentioned here. Here’s a recap with some additional goodies:
Everyone wants to increase their income. I don’t think I have met one individual that would turn down a solid million because they were all set. Sometimes it’s better to self evaluate in order see where you can make changes and improve on what you already have. Take the time out to evaluate how you spend your money, how you feel about your income, and make minor changes. It only costs a few minutes of your time versus another year of wasteful spending.
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Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.