5 Ways Money Habits Can Change

I’ve created this site for those of us who have attempted, explored, strived, ventured, and moved heaven and earth to begin savings, stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, and being heavily indebted. Financial freedom starts with small incremental steps that anyone can do, but they have to set themselves up with realistic milestones and find a community of like-minded individuals that are passionate about saving, investing, and spending the right way.

My hope is that we can build a community together and can share ideas on how we can improve our lives through spending, protecting, investing, life events and savings.

  • Spending
  • Protecting
  • Investing
  • Life Events
  • Savings 

In a particular order these form the acronym SPILS, these five categories are the fundamental elements to anyone wanting to improve their financial well-being by diving into these core elements further we can really begin to formulate a plan to better ourselves. There is a particular order we are going to follow to maximize the value we create from saving, investing, or protecting our hard earned money.


Its Americas favorite past time, we enjoy spending more than any other activity and its silently ruining our lives one monthly bill at a time. It’s not your fault, it’s my belief that you were born into a consumption-driven society where you need the latest phone, newest model car, and everything that someone else has. We enjoy spending on things we derive very little value from and that has been creating a big hole in your pocket one interest payment at a time.

Over the years working in various financial institutions, I’ve seen thousands of people who willingly make the minimum payments on their credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, and home equity lines of credit that complain that they seem to get deeper and deeper into debt without contemplating the true cost of their borrowing and spending habits. Moving forward I will show you some incremental steps you can take right now to take control of your finances and truly have that feeling of financial security.

Step 1: Tackle your spending habits and demolishing our debt!


There is no point in opening a savings account if you are bombarded with a bunch of debt that you are paying interest on or haven’t formed the discipline of maintaining a budget. If you were to put $50 a month into your savings account, but regularly pull that money right back out to purchase something we just have defeated the purposing of saving. Even worse, if you have mountains of credit card debt and fail to pay your credit cards off in full and pay on items that you bought months ago are you truly saving or are we just trying to kid ourselves that we are actually trying to save.

In case you were wondering there are a plethora of savings methods we can utilize and maximize you can begin to take advantage of based on your current habits. It’s not just about having money stuffed under your mattress, savings account, or your 401(k) at work. We need to understand that our lifestyle choices are deterring us from saving comfortably.

Step 2: Understand how much we can realistically save and the maximizing our efficiency rate of saving!


When we think of investments our minds drift to the financial markets and a hectic roller coaster ride pertaining to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, but I think we should consider the word investments as the creation of value over time through meaningful changes to habits and resources that create passive income or value.

There are a lot of different ways one can invest to create value that is tangible or intangible. Purchasing a home would be a tangible instrument that you can physically hold and grow through the equity created over time or taking the time to learn new skills to increase your ability to diversify your income.

Step 3: Live your life with the idea of creating value from what you do!


Naturally, once we control our spending patterns, create a disciplined savings strategy, and live for the value we need to consider some of the possibilities of how we protect our new found wealth and riches. It can be challenging and expensive, but there are some ways we can really reduce the probability of losing our financial freedoms through careless and reckless behaviors.

Protecting your money begins by asking yourself what your priorities such as succession, tax consequences, creating a trust, insurance, and shielding your current assets from others looking to take what you have taken so long to earn.

Step 4: Safeguard your assets now and when its time to pass them on to our loved ones!

Life Events

This topic could go on for ages but our most important events would be changing jobs, marriage, having a baby, and transitioning into retirement. Each event if planned incorrectly could lead right back into you dependence on maintaining a life you were custom too, but couldn’t afford. With that being said, these events are some of the best times in your life and as our community grows I hopefully have others share some of their experiences in how the dealt with these transitions.

These disruptors in your crafted savings and spending strategies can entice you to go back to your old comfortable habits. Now with you are armed with knowledge that you can get out of debt and into financial freedom there maybe some of us that begin to slack as we begin to grow our emergency funds and balances and begin down that cycle of indebtedness

Step 5: Don’t lose focus on your spending and savings strategies. Life events are special, but they also can be a huge expense.

All in all, I am hoping to show that a life lived for value is a much more rewarding method living on borrowed money. Being frugal doesn’t need to be associated with being cheap, but rather finding the highest amount of value from the things that you do each and every day. The reward for having a frugalist mindset is an appreciation for life and the financial freedom to do whatever you want at any time responsibly.

It’s A Lifestyle Thing

A common problem I’ve found once we establish a set our rules for saving money and create ourselves a budget. Is that after the point where you begin to feel comfortable again with your savings balances, debt, and cash flow, many of us began to quickly slack off and revert slowly back to our spending habits again.

It can be subtle when you begin to slowly creep back into the era of living pay-check to pay-check, but other times you tell yourself “I’m good this month, I can spend a little extra” or “I’m comfortable now. I don’t need to be so frugal with my money” and there is the problem. For many of us, its easy to back to living from hand to mouth because we have known it all our lives, but it is much harder to tell yourself “no, I have to keep going this is not enough” thinking like that really changes your behaviors and the core of the problem of living beyond your means.

Lifestyle over style

Once we recognize we are not saving, pay a debt off, or managing our cash flow. We can tackle the real beast: our lifestyles. I know how hard it is to see your neighbor pulling into the driveway with a brand new car or a co-worker buying the latest iPhone while you’re still stuck with that flip phone from the dinosaur era. Now really think about it for a second, your neighbor had to finance that car with probably very little down payment and will be charged interest for 5 or 6 years and your co-worker probably just wanted a new phone while he still had a perfectly good phone that could have lasted him a good two years more before it became truly obsolete.

The Buddy System 

I learned to overcome my lifestyle choices by finding a like-minded friend that also wanted to spend less and save more. We fed off each other on monthly successes by saving an excess of $1000 a month (at the minimum) on incomes ranging from $55,000-$65,000 because we became highly frugal about the way we wanted to spend our money. Instead of going out each and every day we would hang out at each other’s houses and smoke hookah, play cards, watch movies, play some Call of Duty, or just study together because we are both attending school and working full time.

Strategically making our lives busier resulted in going out less, less gas, and less needless spending helped us each achieve the yearly goals we established ourselves. Obviously, we both have different motives for spending I wanted to save a little emergency fund and he was looking to put a great down payment on a house.

We began mid-January and running right into the most expensive time of the year December.  I saved roughly $21250 whereas, he saved $26400 the best part about all of the massive savings is we were both able to take trips that did not affect our savings goals! I went to Dubai and Vietnam for a few weeks with a budget of $5k and did a smaller trip to Cancun which cost $1500 and that was the only major expenses we had for the year!

All in all, find a buddy to keep you accountable and on track with your savings target, or debt pay down schedule if that’s what you’re intending to do. Keep life simple.

Born To Spend

Social Spending Addiction

One of the greatest disadvantages of living in a consumption-based country is that we lean towards living beyond our means. Social spending temptations is a real problem for all of us and can be incredibly difficult to overcome. We lack self-control when we are out with our friends, colleagues, or wants using our credit cards to borrow for our future funds we intend to receive and the interest we pay to on those credit cards, lines of credit will really dig a very big hole that will take a long time to get out of. These days we have a lot of companies competing for our wallet space in hopes that you use their cards to buy stuff we get very little value from but end up paying an arm and a leg for it.

It can be challenging at first to stop the habit of spending on frivolous things and people, but if you master this discipline of strategically reducing your expenses it can alter the course of your life. I had a friend who was drowning in about 60k worth of loans, credit cards, and student loan debt that was crushing him financially all with interest rates well above 20%. Although, none would be the wiser to know this about him because he was always going out, partying, enjoying life to its full potential. Finally, we got together to discuss his finances and most importantly his mindset of what he wanted to do in the next 5 years [he had maxed out his life].

For someone in his situation, opening a savings account wouldn’t be the best approach, so we tackled his biggest and most expensive obstacle which was his debt. We got 2 months of bank statements and all loans, credit cards statements and began computing what type social spender and find the areas opportunity to address. He was spending over $789.57 on restaurants, $42.23 on Starbucks a month! That’s no way to really enjoy life. The budget was created and my constant pestering insured he had the right tools and support to make sure he would get out of debt in about 2-3 years [No one said this was a quick fix!]

Lifestyle Debt

Some of us enjoy living beyond our means and accumulating debt to maintain a lifestyle that isn’t affordable or realistically represents who we are, but more of who we want everyone else to see us as. One the factors that influence unnecessary spending stems from social media and its role in our spending habits, we tend to show off our new cars, phones, adventures, travel destinations, clothes in order to feel good about ourselves and affirm that we are something more than we are. I’m sure everyone can relate to a daily barrage of Snapchat, Facebook posts, Instagram feeds, and Twitter assaults of your friends living luxurious lives. I’m sure you have stopped to ponder the possibility of how the finance this type of living considering you have relatively the same disposable income.

We can make small adjustments now, to change our lives in the future in dramatic ways that will not only benefit the way we derive value from purchasing something to what experiences we want to purchase!  What I am proposing is making these simple changes to your daily habits and this will snowball into a life where you have that emergency fund, you can handle a financial setback, or you can just have the discipline to reach your own goals you set.

Keep Life Simple!

3 Steps to Create a Simple Budget

Understanding standing your spending and saving is the first real step to getting yourself out of a deficit each month! Let’s face it a lot of our worries come from the fact we enjoy spending our money and spend very little time actually thinking about how hard we worked to earn it. When I first started to help my friend I made him get all his credit cards, bank, and loan statements in one massive pile to tackle the task of understanding where his money is going!

Step 1: Find out where all that money is going

Track Your Spending

This may sound easy, but don’t underestimate where all your money goes in a day because we usually earn a livable wage, but blow it quickly over the weekend or spending it on certain days when we lose sight on how much time we used up to get it! Remember that the most important thing is to consider every single purchase you have made. I want you to include every small payment and every penny in your calculation. Otherwise, we aren’t going to have the accuracy we want!

Step 2: Make a list of where your money goes

Categorize where you are spending 

Break down your expenses into blocks where you can easily find out where all your money goes in a month. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like, but I want you to think that if you make the list more detailed and specific the greater the potential for you to truly find out where your money goes in a month and what you are spending on. Make it simple or complicated, but you will find out the most important thing of all. Are you spending more than you are earning

Step 3: Make it realistic and budget accordingly 

Build the Budget

Collecting all that raw data has really shown you where all your money is going and now its time to really build that budget that you can follow. Here is the trick, I don’t want you to go cold turkey on me. Build a realistic budget that you can create and reinforce a good habit of saving or paying down your debt. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t squeeze every penny you earn into a budget that isn’t going to work. The best way to do it calculate your disposable income and take 10% of it as start and gradually increase it to some number that you are comfortable to put away without touching or feeling like your social life is in ruins because you went over budget and cant go out!

Keep Life Simple!

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close