UNITED STATES—Some people call me a penny pincher and I have the slightest clue as to why. It seems being someone who is a bit aware of what you spend your money on makes you a bad person.  I have a motto in life, I’d rather wake up in the morning thankful I didn’t do something, than to wake up and regret it.

For some reason everyone in my family considers me the go-to guy when it comes to needing money. Quite frankly, it’s a title I wish I never possessed. I wouldn’t consider myself the best person when it comes to handling money, but I don’t like the prospect or idea of being broke. So many people ask me why on countless occasions and it all dates back to my college years.

College was tough for me, particularly on a financial basis, my parents weren’t rich and me going to school was something that I had to accomplish on my own. I had to pay for my tuition, my books, food, transportation and all the other surprises that come with being a college student. College single handedly made me the man, the person that I am today.

I grew a fond respect for our green little friend, because for nearly 3 ½ years of my college career I barely had any. I remember telling myself if I make it through, I’d never be broke again and that philosophy has stuck with me. If there is one thing I hate more than anything, it is someone telling me how to spend my money; I don’t tell you how to spend yours so with all due respect stay clear of telling me how to spend mine.

I don’t believe in spending your absolute last to purchase an item. That’s the problem with our culture, we’re so materialistic. You want an item so bad that when you finally get it, does it really even matter anymore. Probably not, that’s where patience comes in. Its okay to be patient and to wait till the price of that coveted item falls to a range where you can buy and not feel guilty about it.

I like to plan ahead; it’s always a good thing to have at least a month or two in your savings account to cover all your expenses. You never quite know what might transpire, so if you plan you won’t panic if things venture off course. This is life, it happens all the time to most of us. I remember a relative once told me the word ‘JOB’ stands for one thing (Just On Bills).

I never thought that, but after hearing it, it clicked. I’m working to pay bills, but every single week I get paid I pay myself back. This is a trick to ensure that I have money, and it’s ok to treat yourself, I tell people just don’t overdo it. Remember if you get paid every 2 weeks, it’s not smart to blow your entire check in a day or two. Cause what are your plans to get to work and eat until you get paid again. It’s unfortunate, but I know so many people who behave in this manner, just blowing money to blow it. Like I say, you can be rich today and poor as dirt tomorrow. Finances change all the time, a little bit of money management can go a long way.

I don’t believe every single item you purchase has to be on sale, its ok to indulge a little, but if you don’t have to why do it. When you save money it allows you to have more money later to do other things. I never get offended with the term penny pincher, because in my eyes I consider myself someone who is good with money, I respect it, I understand it, and because I work so hard for it, I’m not going to just throw it away.