From a teacher’s perspective, the first and most obvious thing to do for financial well being is to budget. However, budgeting with the knowledge that the unexpected will happen, is a unique way to budget. The appropriate budget must have a reserve to meet the unplanned challenges of life. Without a reserve, the budget will be challenged.
The second word of advice from a teacher is this: Do not buy on impulse. It is human nature to want to fulfill desires. However, be willing to shop around. The store around the corner, could have the same item for a third less. There might even be an advertisement by a personal party offering the desired object for pennies. The point is, do not be afraid of waiting and looking around, before purchasing. The money saved could be huge.
A wise teacher is a frugal teacher. Frugality suggests that second hand items can be terrific. Garage sales, thrift stores, and moving sales can be treasure chests. Do not be afraid to recycle. Put the money saved in a jar, and plan for a trip. A very energetic and smart woman recently saved her quarters in a jar, and bought her round trip ticket to New Zealand. True story, She was not afraid to shop at thrift stores.
Teachers need to be organized, and they urge financial organization. Keep receipts in a separate place from other receipts. Keep a log of expenses and money spent. Why? Not only does this exercise keep track of money outflow, but it also reveals spending patterns. It is intelligent to have financial awareness. This, like any other awareness, means stepping back, and talking a hard look at the patterns that cause limitations.
Perhaps this awarenss will reveal financial blowholes, such as too many after work drinks, or too many lattes on the way to work. Or both. How do you break out of the comfort zone that is holding you back? Think about what you really want. Where do you want to be in the next five years? Believe you can have it and plan for it. Settle for nothing less. Of course, that means cutting back and saving for your financial goals.
The fifth and final advice from a teacher is this: Do not be afraid to give. Giving means helping others in need. Giving means caring about those less fortunate, and making a difference. Can you give money and still save? You bet. The reserve in your budget allows you to reach out to the friend who lost a job, or the teenager who has a sick parent and has no lunch money. Tragic circumstances are always unplanned. It is your responsibility as a human being to reach out and make a difference. Than, after you have given to others, give to yourself. Take yourself to a movie, or get your nails done. Do it for you. Affirm your wellbeing and ability to live well.