We put in a bid on a condo! Alas, it looks like it’ll fall through – so our crazy week may be coming to an end. It has been a crazy ride diving into our budgets here in the DD household. Let’s just say another 90 day spend challenge is around the corner

Round II of guest posts this week! Anyhow, I trust you’ll enjoy this killer post from Lance, founder of mystrategicdollar.com, a new blog on how “money is a vehicle to experiences.”:

Dominate Your Financial Destiny

Do you ever try to analyze random stranger’s financial situations? I was at the gym recently (see I didn’t get rid of my membership!) when I noticed this couple working out. They are at the gym almost every time I go. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Through these informal experiences, I’ve noticed a few things about this couple:

  • They’re both incredibly good looking
  • They’re both in extremely good shape
  • They’re both so trendy (clothing, accessories, personal equipment, etc.)
  • They seem very happy

I was done with my workout, so I was walking to my car in the parking garage when I noticed they were walking just in front of me. What happened next? THEY GOT INTO AN ASTON MARTIN. And not just any Aston Martin, an Aston Martin Vanquish. That’s a $300,000 vehicle. It’s a beautiful car and I immediately felt car envy.

Then my analytical mind kicked in and I began asking myself questions about their life. For starters, this car probably has at least a $5,000 a month car payment. But of course, they can’t afford that because they’re probably broke. But how could they qualify for the car payment if they’re broke? Maybe they make enough money but spend it all on expensive items like this car. Then I started making assumptions – do they own this luxury vehicle but live in a run-down home or apartment? Are they spending all their money on STUFF, but have nothing in savings or in investments?

On the flip side, do they really have THAT much money that a $300,000 vehicle is a drop in the hat? Maybe so. Maybe my envy had gotten the best of me and I was just being an ass now.

Do you ever find yourself asking yourself these same questions? I do it all the time.

And you know what, the truth is – YOU NEVER KNOW THE ANSWER. Personal finances are such a personal topic that you just don’t have any idea. And that’s ok. You own your own financial destiny. This means always doing what’s best for you. Don’t get caught up in other people’s situations. We all start at nothing.

It’s easy for your envy of someone else’s stuff to turn into you impulse buying something you can’t afford. Don’t do that. Keep a clear mind and focus on your own goals.

It’s easy to see someone driving a nice car, wearing nice clothes, owning the latest tech gadgets and try to appear “well off” like they are. Don’t do that. Realize that you know nothing about their financial situation. Owning the newest material items doesn’t make you cool.

It’s easy to max out your credit cards and get so deep into debt that you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to dig yourself out. Don’t do that. Cut up your credit cards, pay with cash and forge your own path.

Dominate your financial journey. Do it for you, not for other people.

Have you ever questioned your own path because someone else seemed to be doing it better?

-Lance

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