Saturday, October 6, 2007

Make it Last

We have all read about how the $3 daily latte will end up costing you half a million dollars in 30 years. There was a fantastic article on frugal living at Digerati Life recently which showcased a family of 7 living well on $35K per year. An article or two is published everyday on effective debt management or frugal living. I agree with all this advise but wonder does it work?

It did not work for me till I made some fundamental changes. The biggest and most effective change was - lifestyle change. In other words I had to change how I lived and how I dealt with money. Money did not become the center of my universe but financial well being became an integral component of my life.

What did financial well being mean to me?
When I made financial well being a core component of my life I started to pay more attention to how I interacted with money. I started to learn the terminology, how money works, how my life is affected by money, what I want, what I have, what are my financial goals, what are strategies for achieving financial independence etc. From being a sporadic ping pong game where I was trying this technique today and jumping to another cool idea tomorrow - I started to take a deeper approach towards money.

Don't Chase a Fad - Change Your Lifestyle
As your financial maturity increases, adopting good money practices will became a part of your life. Frugal living is not a fad - it is a way of life. When you get it - you live frugally everyday. Similarly investing, debt management and money management become regularly visited components of your life. You invest and manage debt everyday. Every financial decision is part of a bigger straetgy. You evolve and refine the strategy but it is integrated into your life. Fads don't last - lifestyle chanages do.

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