What Are Your Hints for Success?
Financially, the best advice I’ve ever heard is from Suze Orman (who I normally don’t find offers very useful advice). She says “Live below your means and within your needs.”
From Struggle to Security
When I first started off living on my own and working for a living, I wasn’t very savvy when it came to finances. I worked a job that barely covered my living expenses…in fact, for the first few years, I’m not even sure I was meeting all my expenses without buffering with credit cards.
I probably should have recognized that I couldn’t really afford the apartment I was living in and should have probably rented a less expensive place or found a roommate to help with the cost.
But that job was a great starting point for my career, so it turned out to be worth it. As my income started to grow over the years, so did my lifestyle and my savings.
In fact, for about the first 10 years of my professional life, I very much lived paycheck to paycheck and every time I’d get an increase in pay, I’d expand my spending to use up most of my income.
Somewhere around the age of 30, I was able to reach a point in my life where I didn’t care to increase my living standard any longer, even though my income continued to increase. That’s where I realized how important it was to live below my means, and sock away any excess into 401(k)’s or other savings or investments.
I remember when I first got to the point where I had 3 months of non-retirement savings in my account as a buffer in case I lost my job. I remember when I got to the point where I could pay all my bills when they were due, and not worry that I didn’t have the funds in my checking account to cover them. I remember when I realized that I could buy the groceries I wanted and go out to restaurants once or twice a week.
Some of my friends seemed to increase their standard of living every time their income went up. They’d get a new car or upgrade their house or build a swimming pool or throw lavish parties or find fancier and fancier restaurants to eat.
I got to the place where I really enjoyed my standard or living and stayed there the rest of my career while I watched my retirement savings grow. I’ll be forever grateful that I figured this out early enough.
What’s the best advice for success you’ve ever received?
I added two more hats to the craft show inventory and started my latest Koigu masterpiece.
The hats are pretty standard and I can bang them out quickly, so eventually, I’ll have a number of different hats to choose from at my craft show table.
The Koigu project is using the pattern stitch my the Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf pattern, but I’m doing it in the round to make an elongated cowl. The two colors of Koigu KPPPM I’m using are looking incredibly rich and beautiful…I’m LOVING how it’s turning out.