We Believe! – Our Xmas Principles Spectacular

We Believe - Our Xmas Principles Spectacular - picture of red christmas tree drawn in snow

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Ah, the end of the year. It is a time for ugly sweaters, family fights fun, and eggnog….lots of sweet, alcoholic, eggnog. It is also a great time to reflect on the year that was, the year that is going to be, and the principles that make us who we are. So, if you’ll indulge me, I invite you to put down that moldy piece of fruitcake, pull up a chair, and take a peek at some of the things we think are important here at Club Thrifty. And, when we are done, maybe there will be time for a carol or two.

1) Debt is a Disaster

What’s worse than Santa’s sleigh getting stuck on the 405 on Christmas Eve? Debt, that is what. Plain and simple, debt is a prison sentence. It stands in the way of the type of lifestyle we want to live. Owing money not only makes you a slave to your debt, it also hold you captive to the unsustainable lifestyle that it creates. Building wealth is difficult when you give most of your money away each month in order to pay off debt. Debt is a disaster. Break free from the chains of debt and seek debt relief today, and start living the life that you want STAT!!!

2) All Hail the Power of the Budget

For years, we had no idea where our money was going. It was only after we started using a…(wait for it)…written budget that we finally started saving the way that we should. If you want to take control of your finances, become free from debt, and start living life on your terms instead of on your creditor’s, the best place to start is with a written budget.

3) Stop Spending. Start Living, Yo!

Look, we may be thrifty, but we are not cheap when it comes to the things that we truly want. How do we afford it? Simple…we are very deliberate with our spending. We sacrifice spending on things that we don’t really care about – like clothing and electronics – so that we can spend on the things that make us happy – like traveling to Europe. Perhaps you love art or music. Perhaps you dream of owning season tickets to your favorite sporting events. Or maybe you love to travel like us. Whatever it is, identify what you love and go for it. Stop spending your money on things that you don’t really want at the expense of spending money on the things you love. Stop spending. Start living, fool!

4) Live Now, Save for the Future

Life is short. We know. We’ve seen it. All too often, people wait to do the things they dream of doing until they retire. They wait to travel. They wait for their dream home. They wait for (fill in the blank). Unfortunately, many people never get to enjoy their retirement because they are either too broke, too ill, or they die. There is no denying that retirement is a very important goal, and we think you should have started saving yesterday. However, we believe that if you prioritize your spending to the things that you really want (see #3, playa), you can live out your dreams now AND retire when you are ready. Score!

5) There is No Substitute for Hard Work

We have been very fortunate to be able to get to the point where we are today. There is no denying that many things have gone right for us. However, there is also no denying that we have overcome many obstacles in our lives. Each and every one of us has baggage to overcome if we want to succeed. While the road may be more difficult for some, we believe that there is a direct correlation between effort and success. Nearly 2000 years ago Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Whether that is practicing our favorite sport, getting in shape, or starting a side hustle – the harder we’ve worked, the better the results.  We believe that you too can do anything you set your mind to, but you have to want it…and work for ass off for it.

6) The Power of Personal Responsibility

You can read blog posts and books. You can listen to radio shows and podcasts. You can be given all the advice and information in the world, but it is up to you to implement it. Nobody can do it for you. Nobody else can stop you. (How liberating is that, BTW?) It is up to you and you alone. Everything else is just an excuse.

Seriously folks, we want you to succeed! We believe in you. All you have to do is believe in yourself…and just freakin’ do it! You will be so glad that you did.

Screw caroling. Let’s pour a little more Captain in our nog and have a truly Merry Christmas!

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  1. I can never emphasize enough the importance of holding yourself accountable to your spending and budget by writing everything down. I find that people who don’t do that or have some alternate way of tracking their financial reality are kidding themselves.

  2. Stop Spending. Start Living – this is my favorite one! We should recognize on our wants and needs. We don’t really need to buy the latest gadgets or expensive branded clothes!

  3. You just summed up much of why I like this place. The next question is – Do you dilute your eggnog or can you tolerate the thickness?

  4. Love it. #3 is especially perfect. Living frugally doesn’t mean living a boring life–it means living the life you want, free from mindless consumption and debt. Merry Christmas!

  5. Could not agree more Holly. I agree with all of these, of course, but the last one is vital – you have to take that personal responsibility for your actions. Otherwise, it’s all for naught.

  6. Great post Greg! Cash budgeting is what did it for me. Nothing really worked until I started living on a cash budget. Then things got real. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and the family. Have a splash of Captain for me!

  7. I’ve become really concerned at the current generation of kids who seem to shy away from hard work. They seem more interested in taking shortcuts and spending as little time as possible to complete a project, even if its lacking in quality. What type of future (or lack thereof) are they creating for themselves with their lack of commitment to push themselves? Not a very good one I’m afraid.

  8. I’ve deleted text 4 times now just trying to leave a comment. I finally realized that it’s because you said it all. Soooooo, I’ll just say, CHEERS! I hate egg nog (makes me gag), but I’ll substitute it with hot apple cider! 🙂

  9. Couldn’t have said it better! Merry Christmas!

  10. All well said. Especially the last point – no one is going to fix your finances for you. It’s just got to be up to you.

  11. Love this, Greg! And the written budget – so key! So many people try to get by which just tracking in their head, but a written budget is the way to go. And I wholeheartedly agree you have to live now. Figure out what matters most and what matters least and spend accordingly. Wishing you and Holly and your beautiful daughters a wonderful Christmas!

  12. After the bachelor party I attended on Saturday, I’ll pass on the Captain for now but I’ll take some egg nog haha. I like #5 and #6 on this list. I think some people truly are lucky(?) to the point where they were born into wealth and have had absolutely everything handed to them. For 99.99% of people who don’t fit into this category, you really can’t substitute hard work. This includes “smart work” imo as well because sometimes making one or two small changes to how you do things can actually result in less work and better output.

  13. How about we high five virtually since I agree with what you are saying! Have a happy holiday season and tell Holly to take a break from her crazy work schedule.

  14. I dunno-have you ever been on the 405? It just might be the only thing worse than debt. lol! Regarding #6, I’m working with someone right now who is full of excuses of why she can’t accomplish something. It’s so damn annoying to hear honestly. I just want to scream, “quit being a f’n victim!!!” It amazes me how many people do not own their life!

  15. I love your list!!! My 2014 was my “stop spending” year and 2015 will be my “there is no substitute for hard work year”. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  16. So matter of fact, and so true. So many people need the message spelled out in black and white like this! Knowing that I am completely in control of my future is liberating – a bit terrifying sometimes too – but still liberating. And now, if you don’t mind, I’ll switch out the egg nog for a whiskey please. Merry Christmas!

  17. Love the personal responsibility. I would love to hand out whopping spoonfuls this Christmas. It’s up to you to make or break it. I realize sometimes life throws obstacles, but it’s how you deal with those that determine if you stay a victim or get to where you want to be.

  18. I couldn’t agree more about the written budget (I love you budget) and spending where you want to. My non-budget friends will never understand that I choose what I spend my money on—yes I will go to that football game, but I’ll choose not to buy three $10 beers and $8 nachos in the stadium.

  19. Love all of these!! Personal responsibility is a huge one. People end up in debt because of choices they make then act like it wasn’t their fault at all. It’s crazy!

  20. Haha love this! So awesome! I’m working hard to get out of debt. This year my financial life changed when I tracked each and every expense, down to the penny. It was very eye opening. I have a confession to make — I’ve never had eggnog! It kind of creeps me out, but maybe I should try it?

  21. Holly, your titles are a work of art. (Or maybe Greg wrote this one 🙂 Seriously, I always click through because I want to know what you’re going to write next!

  22. Gregg, you got it there when you said about the written budget. I also do this because when it’s written or in visual, it is like I see more of it and of what is missing.

  23. This post was awesome and totally true! I love that you emphasize that you CAN enjoy what you love and reach your goals if you just cut out all the other crap. You better hurry up and TM this before I do: Stop spending. Start living, fool!

  24. Love this post! Can’t agree more than what you said – “Stop spending your money on things that you don’t really want at the expense of spending money on the things you love. Stop spending. Start living, fool!” Too many people sacrifice to save as much money as possible but they end up feeling guilty because they don’t get to enjoy the finer things of life.

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