Britain is a nation of borrowers with the latest figures showing that the average household has more than £11,000 outstanding in unsecured credit of one form or another: loans, credit cards, store cards, overdrafts and so on. If you are struggling with your finances, it’s worth remembering that many others are in the same boat and, as a result, there is plenty of help out there.
The struggle continues for small businesses looking for credit lines and investment. Startups can maximise their chances of success by paying close attention to their business plan.
What does 2015 have in store for businesses looking for funding?
There are many names used these days in order to promote payday loans from payday advances to bad credit cash advances. No matter what name is used, the truth is that these are really advantageous. After all, you are offered the money that you need in order to deal with unexpected money problems in under 24 hours and you can repay the loan safely at the next paycheck, perfectly covering financial gaps that sometimes appear.
Do you ever ask yourself why you’re frugal? Why is it that you think about finance more than the next person?
It’s an interesting question as many people have had to be frugal at one time in their lives then are unable to let go of the frugality even after the absolute necessity has passed.
Every few weeks I’ll lean in to my wife and whisper, “If I were to die tomorrow, I’d be a happy man.” It freaks her the hell out (and rightfully so) but it’s a reminder to her, and more importantly to myself, that as of this day in time I have enough.
I have enough love. I have enough things. And I (almost) have enough money 😉 It’s a pretty powerful thing to realize.
When you truly have enough you no longer spend energy or time chasing stuff in hopes they fulfill you. You still desire things like, say, millions of dollars or a 6 pack of beer/abs, but you know deep down that you don’t *need* any of that to be happy. They’re just “wants.” You’re thankful for what you have and you count your blessings for it – everything else is just gravy.
My friend Donna summed it up perfectly in a past article of hers:
“I have everything I need and some of what I want. How many people get to say that, and to mean it?”
That line has stuck with me for over a year and a half now. How beautiful it is to realize such a thing! How many people do we know who’s genuinely satisfied with their lives and not forever chasing fulfillment? And faux fulfillment at that? She later went on to divulge her income and why she’s now fineliving off $36,000/year instead of $85,000/year, and it’s an interesting read if you ever have a few seconds to check it out.
So how do you become content with a life so financially driven and fast paced? By taking the time to look around and acknowledge what you’re thankful for right now. It’s a lot harder to want more when you realize just how much you already have.
For example, here are the things that first come to mind when I stop and do this exercise myself:
- I have two beautiful boys
- I have (one) beautiful wife
- I have a roof over my head with furniture and internet and electricity to keep me warm
- I have tons of food and running water to keep our bellies full
- I have a job I feel gives me purpose
- I have a nest egg of money that’s (knock on wood) growing
- And I have a beating heart and a pulse
That last one’s pretty important 🙂 But how often do you stop and consider that? How many people do you know who will never get more time here on Earth? If you were to die the second you finished reading this sentence, would you be passing on with a smile on your face?
I don’t mean to get all sentimental up in here, but these are the things we often overlook in the midst of our chaotic lives. We’re constantly chasing that “next thing” whatever it is and rarely take a few moments to soak in everything we’ve accomplished so far. When we hit $1,000 in savings we want to hurry up and get $2,000. When we pay off one credit card we want to hurry up and pay off the second. As soon as we get a promotion at work we want to go for the next one! All noble feats which of course we should always strive for, but we also need to be better about relishing what we have nowand give ourselves pats on the back too.
Here, I’ll give you 15 seconds to pause and think of one beautiful thing in your life right now. Close your eyes if no one’s watching and really concentrate on it. How would you feel if it were gone? How much better is your life with this thing in it?
I sometimes have these moments in life where I’m walking down the street alone and then all of a sudden feel this warmth of pure joy wash over me. As if to remind me to slow down for a hot minute and remember what living’s about. I don’t know where the heck it comes from or why it occurs when it does (it only happens every 3-4 years), but in those flashing seconds I’m the happiest I’ve ever felt. And then wonder if I’m about to be scooped away and lifted into the heavens, haha…
The point of all this, of course, is just to remind you that things aren’t so horrible all the time.We will have our $hitty days and things that’ll happen to us we’ll never quite understand, but we’ll also have a ton of joy and accomplished dreams come our way that we could never have imagined as well. In short, we have to do a better job of being thankful for what we have *in this moment right now* while we still have it ‘cuz Lord knows what our future holds.
So, if you’d allow me, I’d like to carry on my tradition of freaking people out and let you guys know that if this is the last time you ever hear from me on this sexy blog here, know I am one happy (and thankful) mother budgeter. And I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive, and genuinely nice, group of readers. I’ll try and email y’all from heaven.
This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.
While it wasn’t a dark and stormy night yet, an ice storm was coming. The last time we’d had an ice storm, we were kidless, and we lost power for five days. The romance of sleeping in front of the fireplace quickly cooled off along with the temperature in the house. If we lost power again, 39 degrees just wasn’t going to be acceptable with two kids.
That’s why my husband took a trip out to the shed to get our generator ready to combat a potential loss of power.
Except he couldn’t find the generator. After a few minutes of brainstorming (Did I put it somewhere else?), he called someone who frequently borrows our stuff.
“Your generator?” said The Borrower, “Yeah, when you were out of the country last year, I let somebody borrow it. I’ll give him a call.”
And then a few minutes later, The Borrower called back. “There is a small problem. He has the generator, and it works. But … he thinks it’s his. So best of luck to ya. ‘Bye.”
So my husband made a second phone call. Sure enough, the other guy thought the generator was his. But the strange thing was that he thought it had been his for years. This is an old friend of our family, so we decided to preserve the relationship and ignore the problem pf the questionable ownership of the generator. The ice storm didn’t materialize that time or any other time during the long winter. Crisis averted, relationship preserved.
But winter’s coming again. “We really need to have a generator before winter hits,” my husband said recently. He priced a new one. A new generator will set us back $700.
Seven hundred dollars. Seven hundred dollars has a way of making me irritated with the whole situation all over again.
There are so many things wrong with the story I have shared. I feel stupid that we haven’t really addressed the issue, perplexed that this happened with someone we’ve known for years, and just plain annoyed that we don’t have a generator. And let’s not forget that we didn’t even lend it to someone in the first place. In fact, the only good thing about it is that it provides me with some blog article content because it inspired a question: Do “nice” people finish last financially?
I am sure if you look back at your life, you can remember scenarios in which you spent money when you didn’t want to, or you gave money when you didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to, or you bought some Tupperware at a friend’s home party because you wanted to be nice.
My hand is raised.
When you’re too nice
I’m a recovering nice person. I actually try not to use “nice” when addressing any behaviors of my children. I don’t say, “Be nice to others” because it reminds me of a doormat who has issues with boundaries and other things. When you’re too nice, you may spend money you don’t have to help someone who may not even need your help. Instead, my word of choice is “kind” or “kindness.”
Differentiating between the two words has made a huge difference to me.
See, before, I wanted to help people. Maybe I tried to help them by giving them money, or buying something for them, or buying something from one of the home parties I hosted. Many times I spent more than I should have. And when I did that, I sometimes felt stressed. And when I felt stressed, I became resentful of the person I had wanted to help in the beginning. Doesn’t that sound messed up?
Can you be generous without being nice?
I still want to help people. But now I help them without any feelings of resentment (unless someone gives away our generator … sigh).
1. The first step is the most important. You must realize that you can make a huge difference by staying within your budget so you can give more to the things you really want to support. Does it really help someone if you buy a Pampered Chef gadget that you really didn’t want so they could get $5 more in free products to pick out? But if you don’t buy the $40 gadget, you’ll still have $40 instead of spending $40 on something you didn’t really want or need in the first place.
2. For myself, I keep running lists of things that I want. Maybe it’s a magazine subscription. When a niece or nephew send me information on a school fundraiser that includes magazines, I look at my list. If there is a magazine I want, I will order. If not, the information goes into the trash. Same with invites to home parties like Tupperware or Pampered Chef. If I haven’t been wanting to buy something, I just don’t go at all. I don’t feel a bit guilty or resentful.
3. I have found that consistent support of a handful of charities has been helpful. I know that if I spend budget dollars in other places, I won’t have enough to support the causes that I am really interested to support. That helps keep my focus on what’s really important to me.
4. Just say “no.” As I get older, I appreciate openness and honesty more than ever. My friends and family still love me, even when I say no to certain things that I don’t feel align with my spending values.
Be generous; just don’t be nice
I believe that being generous is important. I have experienced the generosity and kindness of others more times than I can count. So be generous!
But be generous because you want to be, not because you feel you have to be. If you feel resentful of someone else for something you chose to do, you probably are being too nice. And that should inspire you to look at yourself honestly and ask what needs to change.