In every aspect of our lives, we have certain non-negotiables. Deal breakers. Lines that cannot, under any circumstances, be crossed. We draw these firm boundaries for ourselves, but, like everything else, one person’s line in the sand can be another person’s “well, what happened was…”
Psychologists say that setting boundaries is important, mostly because it keeps you moving forward without regret. You keep your values and goals in-tact, while still being flexible about the stuff that’s not on deal-breaker list.
With that in mind, these are my personal finance non-negotiables:
1. Paying my credit card balance in full every month
Come hell or high water, I will never pay a red cent in interest to a credit card company ever again. Period.
2. Tracking spending
The reason I got into credit card debt in the first place is because I let my spending get totally out of control and I didn’t want to face the problem. Now, no matter how much I’ve over-spent, I track it so that I know where all my money sits. I keep all my receipts, and crunch the numbers every few days. No excuses.
3. Living at least $200 below my income every month
Pretty much the worst thing you can do financially is spend more than you make every month. The second worst thing, under most circumstances, is to spend exactly what you make. I run a surplus of at least $200 every month so that I can use the extra money to save or pay down debt. You just spin your wheels if you spend exactly what you earn, and I want to keep moving forward.
What are your personal finance non-negotiables?