Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Topic Tuesday - Living Within Your Means

Sooooo many books have been written on this subject. There are millions of writings, blogs, and more that are available to peruse through and glean valuable information on. So why am I writing about it? Because as a business owner I wanted to share my thoughts on the balance between being overly generous and being smart with what you have.

I love to give. I really do. If I had the billions that Bill Gates does, I would be doing what he does and more. It is a beautiful thing. At the start of a business, however, it could be your ruin. So how do you live within your means and grow your business or organization?

• Well, don’t lose the generosity peace, just be smart about it. If you make 100 dollars off of something, don’t give 75% of it away to others just because you made 100 dollars. The recipients might be grateful, but eventually you’ll be broke and unable to give what you’d like.

• The other thing to remember, and this is true of any industry, is that you go  through seasons of feast and famine. Just because you have a large sum now doesn’t mean it will continue to be there. Things happen. This is why savings is so valuable, but so is not going nuts with buying all kinds of unimportant things when you’re in that feasting time. Put a budget together and stick to it! Period. You can always make subtle changes every 4-6 months, but do not make broad changes and start spending what you think you’ll have in the future. If you don’t have it now, don’t count on it later.

• Don’t go crazy giving to a million different charities. Find one or two that you really believe in and stick with them. You’re more likely to make the kind of impact you want if you don’t give to 10 different organizations. And remember that when you’re in the beginning stages of a company or even just a job, you can donate time and word of mouth initiatives as well. These are just as valuable to a cause as is giving of your personal wealth. Perhaps you can start a kickstarter fund to raise money where you are unable to do so with your current means. Or make a plan to donate a percentage every quarter and make space for it in your budget. Even a little bit counts!

The key is to remember that so long as you’re working, you’ll always be generating income, but keep the mindset focused on a balance between growth, want, and need. Make all the charts you need, keep all your receipts, track what you’re spending, and don’t give your house away before it’s paid off! Also, don’t buy a house you can’t afford...Thank you Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac for the advice to throw common sense out the window on that one. I digress...Be smart, use that beautiful mind of yours and don’t let yourself get consumed with what you don’t have. Be grateful for what you do have and take a regular account of all the things you have that money cannot buy. They are more important that a happy bank account!

Until next time,

Take care of your hearts and ears.

Listen With Your Heart

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