Six Little Spending Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Financial Freedom

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Six  Little Spending Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Financial Freedom
by: Bruce Hokin
Can't seem to get ahead financially? Debts piling up? Maybe you're making some of these mistake unknowingly. These mistakes listed below will help you understand where you may be going wrong and how to get back on track quickly. You can be debt free.
Mistake 1. Living Beyond Your Means
This is the real cause of your worry and stress. If you are spending more than you are earning, whose money are you spending? It's the credit card provider's or the bank's. The cost of this money is interest. 
The way out – Make a Commitment to yourself only to spend within your income limits. Maybe you could increase your income (or cash in) by applying for more skilled positions, selling some of your unused articles or assets. Is the second car really a necessity? What about working out ways to make your hobby pay for itself? 
Why not find ways to reduce your spending? How much would you save each year if you decided not to have the daily coffee shop coffee? Why not make your work lunch each day rather than buying it? Commit to only buying the necessities. 
Mistake 2. Paying Off Less Than the Full Credit Card Balance Each Month
Get this debt under control and your life will be much easier. If you are like many others and only pay the minimum balance each month, the interest on the interest makes those purchases oh so expensive. 
The way out – Find ways to put aside more money to apply to the credit cards. It will take time to reach this goal. However, if you don't make a start now you may never pay them off. This situation did not occur overnight and neither will the solution. But, by diligence and commitment you'll get there. 
Mistake 3. Not Really Knowing Your Financial Situation
Before you can set meaningful goals and develop savings strategies you need to know your financial situation now. The best, proven and tested method by far, is by developing your own personal budget. This is not hard to do. Please don't give up now. Just follow these simple steps:
The way out – 
a)Find your latest credit card statements. Write down all the unpaid balances.
b)Are there any other unpaid debts (not home or car) then include these balances as well.
c)List out your (or family) monthly income. Only the amounts "brought home". Include all types of income.
d) Work out your monthly spending. List out where all the money goes. Don't leave anything out.
e) Minus the monthly spending total from the monthly income total and review the answer.
This will give you an initial idea as to whether you are living within your means or on borrowed money.
Mistake 4. Continually Adding to Your Debt
If debt has got you into this situation it is critically important not to add to the state of affairs and thus make it worse.
The way out – cut up the credit cards, keeping only 1 for emergencies. Don't buy on impulse. Ask yourself twice or three times before you buy anything "Do I really need this?" before you hand over your hard-earned money. Don't buy at the height of the fashion or fad. Commit to never paying full retail for anything. Get it on sale or negotiate a lower price. 
Mistake 5. Spending All Your Income
It may sound OK to spend any money you earn but there are risks attached to this strategy. How are you going to pay for emergency items? What about major car repairs. What about major electrical appliance replacement? Are you going to pay for these on credit? Bad idea! How are you going to save for a substantial deposit on the next car?
The way out – Once you've prepared your budget you will clearly see what you need to do to put some income aside for other needs such are emergencies and repairs.
Mistake 6. Spending Without Caring About Your Future
Unless you are planning for your future and financial security, you cannot be really happy. There are always worries lurking in your mind about how you would survive in a financial emergency if you have no savings. It can be very rewarding to see how quickly your savings multiply over time with only a small investment each payday.
The way out – Take stock of your life and realize that tomorrow won't look after itself. It needs your attention. Keep some funds aside to put away for your retirement, children's college costs, emergencies, holidays and major purchases.
Avoid these 6 spending mistakes and you'll be well on your way to financial freedom. Guaranteed.
Source: Free Articles
About the Author
Bruce Hokin has designed a simple budget tool called "5 Steps to Freedom Personal Budget." It is based on his extensive background as a qualified, experienced accountant, manager, consultant and financial adviser.


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The Greed Trap

This is a story normally used by motivational speakers to inspire people to let go of their old perceptions.  Alternatively, it could also be used to show how greed could be used to tie up or trap people.

There is a kind of monkey trap used in Asia. A coconut is hollowed out and attached by a rope to a tree or stake in the ground. At the bottom of the coconut a small slit is made and some sweet food is placed inside. The hole on the bottom of the coconut is just big enough for the monkey to slide in his open hand, but does not allow for a closed fist to pass out. The monkey smells the sweets, reaches in with his hand to grasp the food and is unable to withdraw it.

The clinched fist won't pass through the opening. When the hunters come, the monkey becomes frantic but cannot get away. There is no one keeping that monkey captive, except the force of its own attachment. All that it has to do is open its hand. But so strong is the force of greed in the mind that it is a rare monkey which can let goy

You know why the monkey gets trapped? Because of its greed. Because his greed won’t allow him to let go of the rice and take out his hand, the monkey remains trapped, a victim of his own greed, until he is captured; forever a captive of his greed.

Would this story be also true of people?
It is true of most of us too. Certain desires, ambitions, and biases keep us trapped.  Just like the monkey, all we need to do is "open our hands",  let go of ourselves, our attachments, and be free. What do you think?


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The Alarm Clock

alarm clock, bought from IKEA
An Alarm Clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The alarm clock is only useful if you follow what you wanted it to do for you,  that is, to wake up as soon as it rings. How you react to an alarm,  especially if  you personally set it,  is a reflection of your personality.

Designed to Remind Us to Wake Up

An alarm clock is designed to make a loud sound at a specific time.  These types of clocks are used to awaken people from their night's sleep or short naps.  They are sometimes used for other reminders as well. To stop the sound, a button or handle on the clock is pressed; but most clocks automatically stop the alarm sound if left unattended long enough. A classic  alarm clock has an extra hand or inset dial that is used to specify the time at which to activate the alarm.

With modern technology, digital gadgets have added the alarm functions to their capabilities. So alarm alerts are now standard features of  wristwatches and cellphones.  Many cell phones feature built-in alarms that do not require the phone to be powered on for the alarm to go off. Other cell phones feature the ability for the user to set the tone of the alarm, and in some cases music can be downloaded  to the phone and then chosen to play for waking.

But the way man interacts with the "alarm clock" remains the same, as when it was first used – to warn people about certain thing sthat they have to do once the alarm sounded.

So here the gist of the message I am trying to convey today:

We set our alarm clocks to a certain time before we go to sleep. We  want to wake up early enough so as not to be late for work or for our early morning rituals.

But waking up and starting to prepare for work or commencing our morning  routines are two different things.

When the alarm rings, we immediately push either its stop  or its snooze button.  We do not want to get up: we either want to go back to sleep or we just like to stay  in bed.  In some instances we even forgot that we were the one who set the alarm. And foolishly curse  it: saying it is still too early or  that it has goben off sooner than the time it was set, etc.  

But what most of us do is to re-set the alarm to a later time.   And when it rings again, we hit again the snooze or the stop button. And goes back to sleep beacuse it is still too early.

Yes, with the help of an alarm clok, all of us can really wake up early.  But waking up early does not mean rising up up from the bed early.

Because we seem to have a lot more time, if we feel lazy.

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The Sunset

I was in the Candaba Swamps in the afternoon of February 6, 2012. I was there to watch the migratory birds, but I got an added bonus: I was able to watch the sun as it was about to set.

Sunset at the Candaba Swamps February 2006

It was a most beautiful sight to see – a picture of tranquility, solitude and peacefulness.  I looked around to check  if the other people I saw working the fields earlier  were watching the sunset.  They were not. They were either walking  or  pedaling their bikes towards their homes.

Just like in Manila, I thought. We have a most beautiful sight of the Manila Bay sunset, but only a few people care to watch it. At the time the sun is setting, most  Manilenos are still at work;  are already on the way home from work; or, doesn't care about the sunset at all!

Manila Bay Sunset 2006

The sunset is not the only natural phenomenon suffering the same fate. The plants and the flowers in the forests are in the same boat. They grow, they die and they rot without anybody seeing them. The birds in the forests sing beautiful songs with no man being able to listen to their tunes.

So the next time you did something which you thought was outstanding but nobody praised you for it or even called your attention to it,  just remember the sunset and the plants,  the flowers and the birds in the forests.

Beautiful things and outstanding deeds are sometimes left unnoticed. But even then, they remain beautiful and outstanding. 


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Beauty Contests’ Q&A Moments

Beauty Contests Boo boos

It is during the Q&A portions of beauty contests that judges can ascertain whether the contestant has what it takes to win the crown. Oftentimes, it also provides a hint as to whether there is something between the ears of the aspirants.

Here are some amusing moments we noted during one of these beauty contests.

  • Host : If you had a foreigner friend, where will you bring him to showcase the beauty of the  Philippines?
  • Contestant : Bocaue.
  • Host : Bocaue. Why Bocaue? There are so many places in the Philippines? Why Bocaue?
  • Contestant: Because it’s a magnificent place.
  • Host : Which part of Bocaue?
  • Contestant: The Bocaue Rice Terraces.


  •  Host : What is your best feature?
  • Contestant : My graduation picture and also my baby picture.


  •  Host : What is you favorite motto?
  • Contestant : If others can’t, why can’t I!


  •  Host : What would you like to say to foreigners?
  • Contestant : Please come back or you shall return.


  •  Host : What is your typical day?
  • Contestant : I think Saturday po!


  • Host : If you were to describe the color blue to a blind person, how would you do   it?
  • Contestant : That is a very good and easy question but is hard to answer… He! He! He!


  • Host : What is your edge over the other contestants?
  • Contestant : My edge? I’m 21 years old, Sir!


  •  Host : What, in your opinion, is the ideal age for marriage?
  • Contestant: Thirty-five.
  • Host: Why 35?
  • Contestant: Because you are already old enough not to make any mistakes.


  • Host : How do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  • Contestant: I am now 18, plus 10… I’ll be 28!


  • Host : What is the biggest problem facing the youth today?
  • Contestant : Drugs!
  • Host : Why?
  • Contestant: Kasi it is very expensive na, Sir!


  • Host : What is the essence of a woman posing nude in magazines?
  • Contestant : Girls should be proud because when she is naked it is pleasing and essential to men’s eyes!


  • Host : What makes you blush?
  • Contestant: I don’t blush because I have a dark complexion.



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The Candle

Here is a story of a rich businessman who wants to retire and has to choose from among his three sons the one who will take over his business.  He decided to give it to the one with the best business acumen.

He called all three and gave each of  them a thousand pesos. He instructed them them to buy something that will fill up all the corners of his office. 

The first son bought a tree full of branches and leaves. He had it cut down and brought everything to his father's office. It filled up half of the room.

The second son hired a  laborer to cut as much grasses and bring it to his father's office. It filled up more than half of the father's office.

The third, bought a candle, went to his father's office, turned off the lights and then lighted the candle.

And the whole room was filled with light.



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