Success Key: Thrift

Thriftiness is not something that is valued as an admirable quality in this era. We live in the age of consumerism. The "me" generation is also adept at living for the moment. Buy now, pay later is the common motto. Easy credit on items such as cars, appliances, houses, and electronics creates the habit making impulse purchases. We are a society that is rapidly burying ourselves with debt.

Those who succeed have the ability to be thrifty. Two of America's greatest (and most successful) men emphasized this trait. John D. Rockefeller was legendary for his penny-pinching ways. His "Ledger A" is the most famous bookkeeping journal in history. At the same time, Benjamin Franklin espoused the virtue of thriftiness. He felt that one who lack financial discipline also lacked it in all areas. Both of these men were extremely wealthy when they died.

The Millionaire Next Door tells about the success of this mindset. In the book, it details how the average millionaire is not living in a mansion while driving an exotic sports car. Instead, the typical millionaire drives a used car. He or she resides in a middle class neighborhood. Whatever the profession, that person usually owns a business since wealth is accumulated through ownership. However, they are more likely to own a "blue collar" company as be involved in the world of high finance. As you can see, thrift is one of the basic components to wealth building for these people.

Recently, the world saw what happens when people go beyond their financial means. It matters little whether one is referring to a personal budget or a multinational corporation. When people enter into excess without a plan for savings, disaster is the result. Borrowing instead of saving is a fatal habit for any entity regardless of size. The devastation to our financial institutions prove this point.

It is time for each of us to take control of our financial condition. Thrift needs to be the new mantra. Borrowing against our assets to satisfy a internal lack will cause further problems in your life. It is time to reel in your expenses. Start by eating meals at home as opposed to spending money eating out. Put the money into the car repairs to get another 12-24 months out of it. Cancel the yard service and cut your own lawn. A $75 lawnmower is paid for usually in a couple of months. Make thrift a central part of your lifestyle. I am here to tell you that the consumerism of the last few decades is coming to an end. Those who continue to behave in such a manner will ultimately pay for those habits. There are fewer places to turn for bailing people out. As a nation we need to do this. Yet, this is something that starts at home. It is up to you to take control.

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