We talk about budgeting a lot. (Obviously — this is a personal finance site.) And if you’ve looked at even just a handful of budgeting articles, you know that there’s no absolute set of categories that are “essential” spending, beyond paying for shelter, feeding yourself, and taxes. Everyone has their own opinion in regards to non-negotiables; reading about personal finance is interesting simply because no two people share the exact same budget. (Mary explored this idea in her awesome roundup about summer splurges this week.)
I loved J. Money‘s second pick this week, in regards to reducing your “have to’s” — another way of saying essentials. One of the ways to reduce what you simply have to have is being honest with yourself. I loved this section in particular:
Choosing one thing is saying no to another. We are finite beings with limited time, energy, and resources. When I was listening to the mothers on the podcast I mentioned earlier, it was obvious that they were feeling the pressure to choose between their startup company or their families, and that pressure is real.
I feel it every day. But the beauty of life lies in its finitude — everything is fleeting, so everything is more precious. Living in light of that reality helps us to choose what matters most in each moment.
In other words, you have to value your own time enough to say no to the things that don’t matter — and yes to the things that do. This isn’t just good financial advice; it’s good advice for every aspect of your life. Be sure to read the whole piece for more inspiring little nuggets of wisdom, and check out the rest of this week’s awesome picks below!
1. The Real Reason We Buy Stuff! — Budgets Are Sexy
“Have you ever met anyone who buys stuff they hate? Who willingly goes out of their way to blow money just because they see someone else doing it? I haven’t, yet we’re always talking about these ‘Joneses’ out there…”
2. 5 Ways to Reduce the “Have To’s” in Your Life — No Sidebar
“Adding more and more to our list of ‘have to’s’ is killing us. Because if everything matters, then nothing matters.”
3. OMG… I Might Be a Cheap Ass — Apathy Ends
“One of my friends threw away a perfectly fine outdoor patio furniture cushion because it was dirty…I told him to throw it in the washing machine and see if that would work (it would, it was dirt that splashed up from the patio) and he glanced at it, said ‘Nahhhh, I am just going to toss it and get a new one. Don’t tell my wife.'”
4. What’s a Better Way To Be “Paid Dividends” Than To Actually Be Paid Dividends? — Mr. Free At 33
“My portfolio will send out over $11,000 in dividends this next year whether I save any more money or not. In fact, I could stop saving for the rest of my life, yet I’d still eventually become a millionaire.”
5. Paying Cash for Our House is Only Half the Story — Montana Money Adventures
“I need and want less than the average person, because I need and want MUCH more than the average person.”
6. The F.I.B.E.R Movement — Retire Before Dad
“What I’m pursuing is financial independence before early retirement. F.I.B.E.R… I’m starting my own money movement to reach financial independence, then early retirement, and pairing it with a healthy daily intake of 35 grams of fiber.”
7. How Bad Do You Want It? — The Frugal Farmer
“If you’re having trouble reaching your goals fast enough you might want to make a list of what you will and will not sacrifice…Decide what is most important to you.”
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