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!

Additional reading: