After the season of parties, when you might find yourself feeling financially depleted and despondent, there is a tantalizing prospect that awaits – the opportunity to earn free international travel and indulge in luxurious hotel stays. This alluring possibility is made possible through credit card points, which can be exchanged for a range of travel perks and enticing goodies. As January brings forth attractive deals, you might be enticed to apply for a credit card that offers such rewards.
However, let’s consider the reality. I like credit cards, but credit card rewards may not be worth it for most individuals, unless they possess certain qualities:
Firstly, financial stability is crucial. If you are wealthy and have a firm grasp on your finances, the potential payback from these rewards could be more significant.
Secondly, self-discipline plays a vital role. It’s essential to have the discipline to manage credit card spending wisely, ensuring that you don’t fall into the trap of accumulating debt.
Lastly, being attentive to your financial situation is imperative. Keeping a close eye on your expenses, payments, and rewards redemption options will enable you to maximize the benefits.
Yummy… a pizza with onion, green pepper, mushrooms, olives, plenty of tofu and a bit of minced fresh garlic. Tasty! Oh, and I have to buy my new laptop. Well, for all these things and little pleasures there’s the credit card. I prefer to pay with my credit cards as I dislike the notion of acting like an ambulant cash dispenser 🙂 However, using credit cards requires control and knowing well the “policies behind the card” (the rates, the limits, how the credit reporting system works, etc.) Managing and using credit cards is just a matter of applying good sense.
That said, I have some friends that abuse their credit cards usage. They charge a lot! They go nuts because they feel like they work pretty hard and should be able to do that sometimes. The problem is not that they cannot afford the payment or cannot pay it off. The problem is that most of their purchases are frivolous things they really don’t need. Surely, they work hard and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their work. But they are not enjoying anything by acquiring a bunch of unneeded objects. On the contrary, they’re wasting their money. The only thing that such frantic credit card usage satisfies is the desire of material possession. Do we indeed work so hard only to crumble under such lame desire? When we are going to use our credit card we always should examine the actual reason behind the purchase. Review carefully your financial state… are you paying a house, a car, a small loan? Then try not to acquire more debt. Moreover, if we have a short or troubled credit histories we must try to do things right. Pressure of extreme debt is what leads to desperate and dangerous measures such as payday loans, for example. Really dangerous. Calm. Relax. Think. Good sense, remember? Life is beautiful.
It is very difficult, although not impossible, to win a race if we have to start down in a hole. However, this is the precise handicap which a lot of people face during their search for happiness. Because of such handicap, climbing out of the hole and arriving to at least the starting line represents an exhausting endeavor. Apparently, this is not logical… this is not how life should be. But truth be told, we can only start from the position we are right now, and we can only use the resources available to us right now. In order to achieve happiness we have to shut off perturbing messages, such as “I cannot”, “I’m going to lose”, “Maybe tomorrow is a better day”, and so further. We have to put all these miscreant ideas aside from our mind, to remove these slimy sentences which do not contribute to our goals. It’s easier for us to attribute the responsibility of our failures and defeats to others… those who taught us, for instance. Some people like to attribute to their parents and teachers an alleged fraud… everything bad has been their fault, not ours. They hold on to the past. They are losers. On the contrary, winners focus on overcoming each obstacle that rises until accomplishing their goals. Winners want to be happy and to bring happiness to all the people around them, sharing the love, their views on life, and perhaps, their goals.
Some serious studies demonstrate that people from developed countries are not necessarily the happiest ones. A lot of nationals and residents of such countries manifest to feel unhappier than those of some developing or poorer countries. In this sense, let’s recall the Easterlin paradox, based on a study by professor and economist Richard Easterlin: Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? published in 1974, while he was with the University of Pennsylvania. Basically, the paradox states that economic growth does not necessarily lead to more satisfaction. It’s obvious that people in poor countries become happier once they can afford basic necessities. But the important idea behind Easterlin paradox is that absolute income does not matter as much as relative income does. In other words, how much you make compared with others around you is what really matters. To put it in today’s terms, owning an iPad doesn’t make you happier, because you then want an iPad Pro 🙂
We are already accustomed to financial media regularly releasing statistical reports and rankings of the people that lead and have accumulated an important allotment of the world’s money. For instance, Forbes magazine published its annual Japanese ranking a few months ago. For most of us, it’d be wonderful, impressive, and even magical, to someday read our names in such lists. A lot of people only dream of being there. But reality often reveals otherwise. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of luck, or inherited fortunes. But we’ll disregard such cases, as uninteresting for analysis. The norm is that becoming rich requires plenty of sacrifices, and above all, extraordinary efforts. It’s not easy. However, it’s not impossible to reach such goal. Powerful souls set exceptional goals.
Saving refers to the preservation of money for future use. Such future use might include capital and goods purchase (house, transport, vacations, etc.), emergencies, and miscellaneous expenses. Strictly speaking, saving is the difference between our income and our consumption expenditure. Besides, saving is our main tool to cope with mortgages, credit card debt, extraordinary bills, and other loans. Without savings, such debt and expenditures may sharply erode our personal finances. Saving also allows for harnessing sudden investment opportunities and to gain access to quality services. All in all, saving is a fundamental aspect of personal finance.
Money has to be tightly controlled. We must know where money comes from, and where it goes to. We must strive to know the way our money flows, the paths it travels, and the drains taking most of our income. By closely watching our money’s nature, we’ll learn to control it. Control is a keyword of personal finance. Control refers to checking the errors we are incurring with our money’s management, and to take the corrective action to rectify any deviation from our desired goals. Setting goals is other important requirement for saving, and it answers the question what are we saving for ?
What is your relation with your money? Money is a necessary thing, and to have and to win money is not a sin (rhyme intended 🙂 ). On the other hand, to live for money is not only a sin but a stupidity. We, as integral human beings, are of much more value than any material concept. This is something I insist a lot in my business seminars: look for money, but never lend your heart to money. In other words, win money, but don’t let money to win you.
Who are the Winners?
Winners are fortunate people, indeed. But except for rare cases, most of their fortune stems from hard work, and more importantly, from a sound and clear mindset. Winners have no time (nor wish) to be moaning about the “harshness of life.” Winners don’t complain about such things, because they understand that life, like a river, exhibits turbulent episodes in some parts, but caress and nourish the surrounding nature, all the way.
Positive Attitude in The Winners’ Mind
Nevertheless, all these years I’ve known a lot of people who are frequently bitching about their lack of money or general misfortune, but what they are indeed lacking is a positive attitude toward their money. Now, what does this “positive attitude” notion mean? Let’s start by answering a few questions:
What really are the kind of thoughts that flood our minds when we think of our money?
Which are the words we utter when speaking about our money and related things (such as mortgage, bank, expenses, etc.)?
In the past, how much success have we attained by spending and investing our money?
Hello, this is the first content post in You can’t stop the journey. Here, we’ll speak about achieving personal goals. First, do you know what a goal is? According to Wikipedia’s entry:
An objective or goal is a personal or organizational desired end point in development. It is usually endeavored to be reached in finite time by setting deadlines.
And that’s it. A personal goal is that thing you really want to achieve. Normally, achieving personal goals is not an isolated thing. On the contrary, they imply several subgoals you have to reach first. In this sense, we have to define how we are going to conduct ourselves in order to reach the subgoals. Remember, it’s not only the arriving point what matters… the integrity you show while following your path is the most important fact.
Now, what are your life’s goals? Or better stated, what do you want? Money? Family? Health? Education? Fame? A superb job? Please, answer this first honestly. Reaching goals that hold personal meaning to you increases the feeling of happiness. Oh, and… where do you belong? To the material or to the spiritual type?
Now, before continuing, do you have the bases to achieve your general goals? Let’s assume you want that very-well-paid-job. Do you have the required education? No? Then you have to introduce a subgoal related to academic formation. Yes? Then, have you researched the job’s field thoroughly? Do you know the current information trends related to that job? Do you know what is the state-of-the-art in such knowledge area? Do you know who are the best representants of that job? What are the biggest companies? Now, do you have a solid contacts network? Please, start thinking, and start answering.
My own goal with this post is to flame your awareness, cognition and self-view on yourself. That’s the starting point of the journey we will be revisiting in upcoming posts.
Hello, and welcome to my blog You can’t stop the journey. Here I’ll write and discuss my thoughts on self-development, education, and life in general. The domain and all the technical setup of this blog was gratuitously provided by xklibur.com. Thank you, XKli!
I have 30+ years of experience working on pedagogic, workgroups and laboral topics. I’m always looking for ways to strengthen my students’ self-confidence and self-awareness. Read more