July 27th, 2017

Live within your means

The ability to live within one’s means is the most vital financial principle for success.  Living within your means includes adhering to a budget as well as avoiding debt.  It is critical for individuals as well as nations to spend less than they take in and not borrow money if they are unable to pay it back.  The consequences of spending more than you make can be detrimental. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, lasting damage to personal relationships, and poor quality of life are just a few of the misfortunes that can result from spending outside your means.

Currently, our nation is facing a fiscal crisis in part because of irresponsible spending with no regard for the long term effects of such expenditures. The predicament we find ourselves in is largely due to a lack of self-control and restraint on the part of lawmakers at every level.  Also, as a whole, our society is not encouraged to live by the principles of frugality and practice industry.  Thus, we have a significant problem which warrants immediate action.

As a student, learning to manage with less and live on what I earn will enable me to be successful my whole life. For example, shopping at thrift stores, eating in versus eating out, avoiding impulse shopping, and planning ahead for emergencies are just a few practical applications of these principles. Financial responsibility brings wealth, peace of mind, and security to an individual and to the nation as a whole when practiced. In short, frugality in the present leads to wealth in the future. To quote President Calvin Coolidge, during whose term the personal savings of individuals were at one of the highest levels in American history, “There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.”

Nathanael Merrell, 2013 Graduate of Merrell Home School

Category: College Bound

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