Lifestyle downgrade. Have you had one?
The downgrading of the Middle-Class is a reality many are experiencing. As an immigrant who ran from the poverty of my Third World country to the ‘land of opportunity’, I am appalled at what I see Americans seem oblivious to, or accepting of.
Not only is this lifestyle downgrade easily observable, it has been commented on by notable sources like Bankrate.com and CNBC.com. The prognosis is, a higher percentage of future generations are likely to be at or below the poverty level. Today’s income earners are earning less and leaving less to their heirs.
A better life is possible here but fewer Americans seem to believe that anymore. They have had a lower lifestyle forced on them and rather than fight back, it seems to me that many are simply shrugging their shoulders and agreeing that ‘it is what it is’ and making the best with that.
So, you were born into poverty. OK! So you lost that job you loved. Ok! So you lost a lot in the recession of 2006-2010. Ok! Do you simply accept your new reality as your new status quo? I think you need to shake it off! Shake it off! Pick up the pieces and start again! Who is with me?
My income was better before the recession and my family lost a LOT during that time. We have spent the last 7 years reversing that deep negative. Break even is not my goal though. It is even more urgent to me than ever before to create an abundance so overwhelming that I could live several lifetimes on that income. A person can dream and work to create that reality, RIGHT? I think so. That is why I moved to the USA.
I am sounding an urgent call to action.
- No matter what your current financial state, if you live in the USA your lifestyle is already better off than half of the world in terms of opportunity to improve your life. Believe that.
- Hiding your head in the sand may be easier than accepting your true financial picture, debt and all. Do it anyway. Add up all your debt, including the one to your granny who is counting on you to repay her.
- Saving is not a wealth building strategy, but saving can build up the starting seed money for your wealth investment. This money could be used to seed an investment program or start a business.
- Cut out the clutter, the unhealthy calories, and the crap! Have a garage sale, or upload stuff to Ebay which will declutter your space and bring in some extra cash. From here on, make only mindful purchases. Eat healthier and do not spend money without filtering your purchase through these questions:
- Do I need it now? Cashflow is important. Do not buy it now if it is easy to get in two weeks when you really need it.
- Will I use it, or will it add to the clutter, get lost and never used?
- Can I borrow/rent it instead? Some one-time-use items are better borrowed or rented.
- Do I love it? This especially applies to clothing and accessories. Too much money is spent on spontaneous purchases, or on things that fit but really do not look good on you. The result is, the money is spent and the item is never or rarely worn. If you love it and will use it often, this is a more mindful purchase.
- Is there an alternative option/source? In other words, could you buy it second-hand? Have you confirmed this is the best price available? Could you use something cheaper?
Mindful consumption is the way to go.Stretching your dollars does not mean always going the cheap route. It also means avoiding unnecessary expenditure, untimely purchases, and buying cheap/ugly things that won’t get used because they bring no joy.
I have to admit before the recession I did not use these filters on my purchases but I do now. Amazingly, not only did these filters help us get out of the deep, dark financial hole, but it allows my family to enjoy the same quality lifestyle as we did on much less income.
As a Christian, it was a bitter pill to swallow that I was a poor steward of what God had put under my control. Had I had these habits when my income was better, I believe I would have withstood the recession of 2006-2010 much better than we did. Well, late is better than never in my books. These 5 tips have helped my family immensely.
If you are like me, a Christian income earner who wants to hear “Excellent! You are a good and trustworthy servant. You have been faithful with a small amount, so I will put you in charge of a large amount.” (Matthew 25:21-23), then you need to be like that servant who managed their talent to a profitable outcome.
Learn #ProfitableStewardship and how to become a #ProfitableChristian. Whether you have job income or create your income through a business, you can have this result in your life. This is the journey I am on and I am honored to partner with God to show those who are interested what God has already shown me. Connect with me for a FREE Discovery Session to learn more and to see if this relationship is a good fit for you.
REPRINTED from Linkedin. See original article here.
Trudy Beerman is the Biblical Stewardship Auditor/Consultant who surgically dissects the Christian income earner’s life, challenges their status quo and partners with God to help reinforce bold courage, Biblical operating standards, and a laser-focus on having a profitable return to whatever God puts under your control.