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Why Trump Will Be the Next President After winning primary in the Hoosier State, Donald Trump has been declared the presumptive nominee of the Republican party. Pundits declared that he can't win against the Clinton political Juggernaut. May be. But I don't agree. While most polls show Clinton... Read more

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Diversify...Really?   It's OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket. -- Elon Musk It sounds oxymoronic but the fad in the personal finance industry is to promote diversification. Ironically, most of us are really bad at diversification... Read more

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Why I still Invest in Apple   Let's face it -- most of us are Apple investors. If you deny, look at top ten holdings of any mutual fund that you own. Unlike old superstar stocks of the past -- Intel, Microsoft or Dell to name a few -- there is something unique about Apple. It has... Read more

lnvestment Lessons from Warren Buffett Games are won by players who focus on the playing field – not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard. If you can enjoy Saturdays and Sundays without looking at stock prices, give it a try on weekdays. -- Warren Buffett While Warren Buffett... Read more

Is Tesla Still a Worthy Investment?   "Is Tesla still a worthy investment?," asked a friend of mine who read my article which I wrote back in June of last year. A lot has happened since then. Tesla stock has doubled in price and Elon's presence in the media is omnipresent. This guy is... Read more

Year 2013: My Favorite Personal Finance Articles It is hard to believe but, indeed, year 2013 is in the box. For stock investors, it was a banner year. Nasdaq finally climbed back to its old highs and other indices performed brilliantly as well. While pundits on the Street may have tried their best to... Read more

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How to Live a Recession-Proof Life

While driving this morning, I heard on the radio that debt is becoming an increasingly dominant factor in our lives leading to all sorts of health problems including high blood pressure, stress and heart attack. If you add the imminent threat of deep recession to this news, a rather worrisome depiction of our society emerges.

It’s an astounding revelation that spooked me to think that debt has power to take our lives yet we do so many things that attract this dreaded daemon to destroy our dreams and to throw us in the state of despair without a hope to an ultimate salvation — a nirvana.

How can I live recession-proof life? Few thoughts sparkled my mind.

  • To be happy, I have to abstain from the habit of spending for the hedonic bliss, a pleasure that is external and as treacherous as a mirage in the desert. Happiness comes from within with simple and life forming pleasures by the act of utmost kindness and generosity. Happiness is not a thought of consumption, it is a thought of giving, a thought of charity.
  • I need not obsess over HOW to please my desire to impress others, only a clear conception of WHAT it is I want to achieve and WHY I want to achieve it to please my inner-self.
  • I need to define values in my life so that every time when I spend money, I need to ask myself this question, “Is this spending congruent with my values?”

More tips to recover from the consumption addiction.

Debt is spending beyond what we can buy with our cash. It’s a substance abuse in the form of an instant gratification that has no consciousness. It’s a mind fogged with thoughts of possessing clutter that drains our life energy.

I’ve had a humble beginning with limited capital to launch a new life thousands of miles away in a nation that still promises hope to anyone who can dare to dream. I’m often asked about how I came up with capital to embark my journey as an entrepreneur. It’s all rooted in the power of simplicity — to define what is important in life; to squash the bug of external pleasures; and to focus on every action with abundance of consciousness. Life of simplicity not only is a pathway to our purpose but also a nirvana from the debt ridden life.

  • Live within your means.

You have to know what you can afford before you contemplate thoughts of consumption. The mantra of living within means simply teaches you to wait until you have money to buy what you need. It teaches you the core concept of conscious living by prioritizing what is essential and non-essential in your life. It teaches you value of conscious consumption based on my needs. It prepares you to squash the bug of instant gratification by avoiding any purchases by using plastic cards.

  • Use plastic cards as a life line.

Credit cards pose threat to your financial freedom by allowing you to spend money that you don’t have. I keep few credit cards with me only as a last resort to pay when cash is not accepted. Wise use of credit card usage and prompt payment can build a great credit score but unwise abuse can bring daunting clouds of misery.

  • Anticipate your needs.

Clutter that we accumulate is a byproduct of magic of advertising that whets our appetite for the stuff we don’t need. When we don’t know what is essential for us, we squander our money on clutter that attracts habit of numb spending without consciousness. When I walk into a store, I know what I need. I tend to walk away after purchasing my essential and not paying attention to those items on sale that I do not need.

  • Use it till you lose it.

How many pair of shoes do you need? How many wrist watches you need? How many pair of sunglasses you need? Most things that we throw away have a great deal of shelf life left yet we convince ourselves that those things are out of vogue. We strive to collect clutter to simply impress others. You can save a great deal of your money by applying a mantra of buying something only after the craze dies for it — a new iPhone, a  new car or anything else for that matter. Cars lose value like a rock in the first three years. Make a pledge not to buy a brand new car ever as it is the single most insidious way to lose money — fast!

  • Become a prudent buyer.

If you develop discipline to spend one hour of research for every $100 you spend, you’ll save incredible amount of money over the long haul . By researching price gaps between new and used, you can make conscious decision to buy a new or slightly used item to save a great deal of your hard-earned money.

Final Thoughts

We do not need a lot to live a life of abundance other than a clear, conscious awareness of what is essential for our happiness. When we squander our hard-earned money on things that we don’t need or, even worst, when we spend money that we have no means to repay soon, we put ourselves at the cross-road leading to unending misery. When we spend money with numbness, we trade our life energy to buy things that enslave our happiness.

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Comments (9)

“Live within your means.” this is my take too. Bad news it’s very hard to keep up with the fineline where you means ends and that you cross the line… it takes deliberate discipline to keep up with constant planning frugal execution and monitoring.

Alik,

Well said. It’s easy to cross that fineline without knowing the risk associated with it.

Great tips. I was reading an article in your blog about investing Roth IRA in Real estate. Can you suggest few resources to research/
Thanks once again for reiterating on living below our means.

Lalitha,

Thank you for the kind words. You can find information regarding investing Roth IRA in Real estate at
http://fairmark.com/rothira/real-prohibited.htm/

Excellent advice. The worst kind of clutter is the compulsive mental chatter we gain when we habitually consume. By following your points here, you can calm the mind too, and get a little closer to real joy. Peace.

Jim,

Thank you. We can achieve amazing things by controlling our subconscious. And that’s why I strongly believe that personal growth plays significant role in shaping our personal finances.

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