If your outgo is more than your income then your upkeep will be your downfall.
A sure way to disable yourself financially is to spend more than your income.
If your income is $2,500 a month then you can’t spend $3,500 a month and come out ahead.
An old friend used to say, “You can’t borrow yourself rich.”
We have “wants” and “needs.” Needs must always outweigh wants. We need food and shelter, transportation and basic utilities to survive.
A person with a small income has severe financial pressure and must live on a strict budget. The person who has a lot of income still must determine a budget. The principal is the same for the person who has more income. Your outgo must not exceed your income. If you are earning $9,000 a month but spending $10,000 you are going to end up in financial trouble.
With a very low income even the very basic needs become a luxury. Keeping the house warm or cool is a luxury. Buying good or healthy groceries are difficult. Buying gasoline to go to work is expensive. If you have access to a credit card, the pressure is great to put basic living needs on the card but the exorbitant fees and interest of credit card companies begin to quickly intensify your financial burden.
Your choices are few when it comes to good household budgeting. Let’s look at a lean budget. Let’s say your income is $2,000 a month. You can afford the following: $500 a month in rent, $250 a month in utilities, $250 a month for a used car payment and $150 a month for gasoline. This gives you $850 a month to buy food on and buy basic auto insurance. You will have to go through your state medical insurance program and apply for “free” state health insurance because you can’t afford to buy health insurance. You also have to figure out how to make more money. You have to work hard where you are and do good so you can get a better paying job. Or, you must gain additional income through a second job. With surging inflation facing our country this makes these numbers an intense strain. Consider living as close to your job as possible to save on transportation costs.
If your income is $5,000, $10,000 a month or more, your strategy is easier. Your main goal must be to not buy a house or a car that stretches your income to the max. You don’t need the stress. Budget so you can afford to take a vacation or have a play day. Life is short! Enjoy it along the way. How you budget and spend your money can make you financially unstable or you can live with a feeling of financial security.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books including Uncommon Sense. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.