Got change?

By Stew


No, not change in the quarter, nickel, dime sense, but change in the lifestyle sense.

Can a person change? Do people change? Will you ever be able to change your finance habits? Many readers of this blog are like I was over three years ago – spending more than I was making and starting to pile up mounds of debt. Other readers have successfully put that stage of life behind them and are starting to build real wealth – the rest of us are somewhere in between.

The fact that you searched for and found Gather Little by Little probably means that you are looking for information about how to get control of your financial life. Three years ago, I was desperately searching for the same thing and found much of the knowledge that I needed in personal finance blogs.

You can change

But it might cost you something. Not all change is comfortable or convenient. The lazy man rarely changes, the ignorant are subject to the forces that surround them. But if you have a will, there is a way and if you can read and study, you can find a way to control your spending and build wealth.

Change comes with a price

I knew that I needed to change, but I soon learned that change came with a price. I recently heard a speaker say that “change will cost you something”. He is right.

What is the price that you had to pay? One of my struggles is fast food – financial and dietary change will cost me the Big Mac and fries that I love so much. I also tend to procrastinate my record keeping. I was not keeping a budget during the year that we spend $15,000 more than what we earned. Change cost me more of my free time. I am often tempted to spend money before I earn it – change costs me that instant gratification.

What is the price that financial change will place on your life? Do you have to get another job? Will you have to lovingly confront a spouse who is overspending? Will you have to say “no” to your child? Will it cost you a vacation?

Change requires maintenance

A bad habit can be broken and the longer you avoid the habit, the easier things will be. However, we are always at the mercy of a weak moment. Do not put yourself in places that will heighten the temptation to charge up your credit card. Conduct a financial check-up on a regular basis. Compare notes with your spouse to see if you are spending more than what is needed. Ask yourself: are you really saving as much money as possible?

The alcoholic is never fully cured and the spendthrift can still slide back into a complacent attitude toward his money.

Change brings reward

A balanced budget is worth the effort. I can choose to leave a legacy to my children that includes obesity and debt or I can choose to accept the pain of change and leave them a healthy lifestyle not based on debt.

Why do you want to change your financial habits? If you are one of those who has already executed successful change in your financial life, what was your motivation for change and what did it cost you? – Author: Stew

Photo by adam*b

10 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Got change?”

  1. DDFD at Says:

    Good post! Change usually comes when we are so sick and tired of what we are dealing with. When we can’t stand another day of the same old, same old– we make changes . . .

  2. Miranda Says:

    I think your point about maintenance is a good one. We often forget that change isn’t a one-time event. It’s a process that you have to keep at.

  3. Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth Says:

    It’s important for even the most frugal of us to be reevaluating, to see where we can fit in more change. Great points.

  4. Skeemer118 Says:

    I really enjoyed this post a lot. As one who often views change in the same category as the devil, I have changed my spending habits a lot in the past month. Change is good! Especially when it’s collecting in my savings account. (pun intended) =)

  5. Matt Jabs Says:

    My wife and I changed our entire perspective on finances over the course of the last year and the change wrought in our lives has been incredibly positive. I recommend it for everyone! :-)

  6. financia at Says:

    All great points.
    Change is not always fun but sometimes you have no other option. (at least that was my situation) Though once a change you made becomes a normal part of your life them you can make some real progress!

  7. Dramon Says:

    Very good post! Change is hard as it requires conscious effort and thought.

    Makes me more motivated to try to finally get a budget in order