Embrace Abundance

One of the tried and true tenets of personal finance is frugality.  Either through penny-pinching and coupon clipping, or through budgets and smart spending, we aim for frugality.  We choose to be frugal either because we have high debt loads, or because we just want to save some money for some purchase.  In short, we’re reacting to a scarcity of some resource.  In the case of many of us, that resource is money.

Through scarcity, we find ways to make things last longer, or stretch further.  We find ways to turn something raw into something useful.  Scarcity teaches us to be resourceful; not only with our money, but with our food, clothing, supplies, our whole world.

But, sometimes we get so wrapped up in embracing scarcity, and learning from it, that we forget to also embrace abundance.

Sometimes we even participate in abundance, but only because we claim that it’s the scarcity that’s the driving force of our action.

Today, forget scarcity.  Embrace abundance.

Embrace Abundance

Just for a day.  (I think you’ll want to do so longer, but start with a day.)

Embrace the things in your life that are abundant.  Embrace the abundant opportunity to partake in the last few days of summer and go to the park.  Swing.  Play with your children.  Or pets.  Or friends.

Embrace the abundant knowledge that you have in your local library, or through services like PaperbackSwap, and learn something.  Read a book. (Even if it’s strictly for pleasure.)

Embrace the abundant joy that you have in your family.  Break out the cards or board games and enjoy their company.  (Even the one who’s ruthless at Monopoly. )

It doesn’t matter what it is.  But, don’t do it because of scarcity.  Do it because there’s something in abundance that you want to enjoy.

What do you have in your life that is overflowing in abundance?  Embrace it.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Wealth

Guaranteed to Keep You Poor

There is way too much propaganda on the web about living frugally, cutting expenses and eliminating debt. I think this movement came about because of so many people using credit irresponsibly and inappropriately borrowing against home equity to finance vacations. While it is moronic to have credit card debt, the right type of debt is good and can make you wealthier. This is one of the ways that rich people think differently than poor people. The mathematics of earning and spending are this:  you can only reduce your expenses to zero but earnings are unlimited.  Therefore, where should one logically place their attention to have more money: to reducing expenses or maximizing income? To have your focus on expense-minimization is guaranteed to keep you poor.

Stupid Spending vs. Frugal Living

That is not to say you should not eliminate stupid spending, credit card debt, the BMW you cannot currently afford, etc. But to have a “frugal living” goal as the answer to your money shortage is not the answer.

“But it is so much easier to minimize expenses than earn more,” you say. That is true but only if you think that way. When people who think like poor people want to buy something, they may think, “I can’t afford that.” A person who thinks like a rich person says to himself, “How can I afford that?”

How Rich People Think

Change Your Wealth

Note that I am defining rich people and poor people not by how much money they have but by how they think. You may recall the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith. In that movie, he was poor most of the time. But he always thought like a rich person. He had reduced his expenses to near zero by living in a subway station and realized that was not the optimal way to live. His principle rich person thought, that anything is possible, was a prerequisite for him to become a person with a lot of money. You may know that this story is not just a nice happy-ending story – it is the true account of Christopher Gardner .

How you think is not your fault. You have inherited the scarcity mentality of our culture . Most people in our culture think like poor people and that’s why the top few percent have a concentration of the wealth. Notice that there is a bank on every corner in our country and each has a window sign urging you to come in and borrow their money at a very low interest rate. Yet, you think that money is scarce and hard to come by. Do you recall the dot-com boom? That era was earmarked by companies with no products, no revenues and no earnings easily able to raise billions of dollars from investors who couldn’t wait to get in line. So you see, money is abundant and only in your thoughts is it scarce.

There are plenty of formulas for making money. But before you implement the tactics, make a decision to think like a rich person. Once you do, reality appears very differently and the probability of success is greatly increased. Here’s how to think like a rich person.

Train Yourself to Think Like a Rich Person

Your Current Thought Your New Thought
I can’t afford that Let me write down three ways I would be able to afford that
I need to spend less I need to earn more
My job does not pay me enough In what ways can I be of value to people who will pay me?
I don’t have the education/smarts/motivation to be rich How can I offer my talents, skills and action to others in a way they will find valuable?
If I had a few more dollars, I would buy….. When I get together xx dollars, I will INVEST in….
Money is scarce Money is abundant and flows to my commitment and action to provide what others value
Times are tough/the economy is weak Never have there been so many people on earth free of poverty—people have more desires and more ability to pay for them than ever before

 

Editor’s Note: I think that more of us need to change the way that we think about money, and, by extension, we can decide to change your wealth.  It means having more than a budget for saving, but a budget for spending and investing that sets you up to increase your earnings and wealth.  You can change your wealth.

Why I Bought My Baby Stuff Used

I had my first baby last June, and I probably bought one or two small purchases new. The rest was all second hand. I’ll also let you in on a secret, but please, don’t tell anyone I know. I returned about 90% of my baby gifts and bought stuff for our new home instead. I know; it is a bit shameful. However, I did tell everyone I know that we didn’t need anything for the baby, and that resulted in getting about six sets of baby washcloths and several newborn clothing sets.

Now that my baby is almost a year old, I can say that I am very happy that I bought my baby stuff used. Here’s why:

I Made a Profit on My Used Goods:

Get this, not only did I save a ton of money from buying used baby items, but I also made a profit on majority of it. I bought all of my daughter’s clothing from newborn to six months and majority of my equipment from a wealthier mom of two daughters. She was also very sweet and threw in a ton of free items because I was buying so much from her. For all of the clothes, I paid $110. There was about 200 pieces, if not more. So far, I have sold 80% of the clothing and have made much more than $110.

Many other items I have sold for what I bought them for. Basically, I was able to use the baby items for free.

I Don’t Feel Bad About Stains:

ABought my Baby Stuff Useds I said above, I bought a lot of clothes from the wealthy mom. There were some very nice outfits in them, and I received a lot of compliments on how I dressed my daughter. However, I am not very good at laundering or keeping messes contained. A lot of pieces were stained once my baby girl started eating solid foods. Not only that, but my dogs chewed up several pieces of her clothing too. Now, if I had spent more even $5 a piece for each outfit (which is fairly cheap in baby world), I would have been devastated at how many pieces were ruined. However, since most of the clothing was free (after adding in the money I made back), it was easier to just let it go. I instead used the pieces as baby wipes to further save money.

I Don’t Have to Store Anything:

I don’t know how many more babies are in my future, but I do know one thing. I don’t want to store several baby items to use for the next baby. If I had bought everything at full price, I would have the guilt to save everything so that I wouldn’t lose my money. However, since I bought everything at 60-90% of the original price, I am able to sell the item for most of the cost. I also know that when the next baby comes around, I will be able to find the same used baby equipment for the same prices.

Don’t forget that every square inch of your home that is devoted to storing stuff is costing you money in some way or another. Plus, who doesn’t love having a cleaner, clutter-free home?

I Don’t Have Buyer’s Guilt:

Buyer’s guilt can happen to a lot of new parents. You buy that awesome looking Bumbo seat for your baby only to find out that they don’t like it or that it only keeps your baby happy for one month. For example, I bought a Prince Lionheart bebePOD Flex Baby Seat used for $8. On Amazon.com, it is $34. My baby used it for two months. So basically, my weekly cost to use this seat was $1 (though, this does not include the fact that I will sell the seat for profit or cost). If I had bought it at full price and used it for two months, it would be like paying $4.25 a week. I would rather treat myself to a Starbucks latte once a week with the money saved.

One more example; I was set on breastfeeding and pumping for the baby. However, for many reasons, it didn’t work out for us. I would have felt even worse knowing I spent $260 on the breast pump. Instead, I paid $120 and sold it for $70. My cost was $50 for six weeks of pumping, or $8.33 a week. Considering it costs about $15 a week to rent a pump, I think I made out on top.

I am very passionate about buying used items, especially for my baby. Baby items are so pricey, so I loved having top of the line items that were still in our budget. Also, let me just quickly mention how much better used items are for baby’s health and the environment. Used items don’t give off that new chemical smell and used clothes have already been worn and washed a few times and contain less harmful chemicals and toxins too. Think twice the next time you shop for your baby.