I’ve spent a ton of cash over the years. I believe I’m much more responsible with funds than I used to be, or at least more conscientious about where my money goes. Here are three revelations I’ve come to have about money.
Owning A Home Increases Wealth
For years, I was reluctant to buy a home. All I could think about was the costs. Mortgage, insurance, property taxes, maintenance, decor, projects, etc. All I was money leaving my pocket on an on going basis. The book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, taught me that owning a home was a liability. When I was renting, all I did was pay the rent and that was that. If anything went wrong, I called the office and it was taken care of. My only job was to get them their rent on time.
Of course, life happens, and you get married and have kids. The wife naturally wants a home, so you buy one. It’s not all as bad as I had imagined.I have a place to raise my kids. A place to call my own and do pretty much what I want to it (assuming the taxman and bank gets their money right?).
After a few years of being in my own, my home is worth more than what I’ve paid for it. This is called equity and it builds slowly over time through paying down the mortgage and market forces. I can see now that it builds wealth. A home is where the majority of Americans store their wealth over the long term and a great way to build up your net worth. The hardest part of it all was coming up with a down payment, but thanks to certain government services such as FHA, you can get into a home for only 3% down or so. Weigh your options, and get into a home in order to build your wealth!
Having Cash Reduces Stress
This was the biggest lesson I’ve learned the hard way, multiple times. Plainly said, having cash in the bank reduces a ton of stress. There’s no worrying about paying your bills or how you’re going to handle an unexpected expense. This is why your first $1,000 saved is important if your trying to get your financial life together.
After that, it’s building the emergency fund to 3 months worth of cash. The emergency fund is designed to handle major issues that may pop up. The $1,000 fund is hold you over in case something happens while you’re trying to pay down credit card or student loan debt.
Cash is king. Sell what you have to sell. Work the extra work. Do what you have to do to make sure you have some cash built up and watch your stress levels go down a few notches.
Experiences Trumps Material Things
I’ve given and received expensive gifts over my lifetime. What I’m striving for now is to channel those material things into experiences. Do I give me wife a fancy $1,000 purse? Or do I book a couple of tickets and a hotel somewhere and go for a little trip? The world is a big place and if you make it a priority and research way to travel on a budget (I am), you can travel to new places and experience new things.
Circus, concerts, museum shows, dancing lessons, etc. These are memories you can bring years from now. I rather have that over some fancy item that’ll get sold on eBay or stashed in my closes in a few months after getting bored with it.
You can give your favorite niece or nephew a new toy for his birthday, or sign him or her up for swimming lessons. Finding ways to give more experiences instead of material items is more thoughtful and beneficial in the long run in my opinion.