Myth #4. Live Below Your Means

This one always makes me think of my grandparents. They went through the Great Depression and Dust Bowl and were extremely frugal with their money. Whenever I would get paid for working on the farm it would be “don’t spend all that hard earned money,” “you should put some in your savings so you don’t spend it,” “use coupons when you buy…” Which is all good advice but focuses on limiting your means. As a young kid it was always a let down to want a name brand toy and getting the generic-Happy-Meal-looking copycat. As a responsible person – it still sucks, except the toys are cars and houses and boats and dream vacations. Robert Kiyosaki says there are four expenses that keep poor people poor: taxes, debt, inflation, and retirement. So to live below your means requires paying those four things every month from your solo source of income, then cutting items out of your budget to “get ahead.” Why not raise your means? Why not buy assets that buy your liabilities? Instead of cutting back who you are, become more than you are. Budgets are restricting and look back, whereas strategies look to the future of WHAT CAN I DO? A lot of professional advisers will ask you, “what will you need to retire?” How about “What do you WANT to retire?” Or “put your money in the bank” or “put it into a mutual fund”…where you can get taxed again and the value is deflating. I’ve read many articles about how important self-talk is for changing a mindset or outcome. If you have to say,”I can’t afford that” or “that’s not in the budget” you probably feel a little held back. The mindset change is “how can I afford that?” For example, if you want a free cell phone payment, buy something that pays you that much a month rather than go to the smallest plan each month and count your data.