UNITED STATES—I know I am not the only American who was happy to see some extra income courtesy of the federal government in the form of a stimulus check, but for those lucky to receive that $1400, those with children received an extra $1400 per dependent, what did you do with it? For me, those funds went right into my bank account, where they are still sitting and I plan to leave there as well. In the past year, most Americans received NOT 1, NOT 2, but 3 PAYMENTS from the federal government!

I mean how often does the government give out money? Yes, we’re in a pandemic and this is something we have never seen before people. With that said, just look at the bare math, $1200, $600 plus $1400 that is a total of $3200 for most Americans. Tax free people: that is a lot of money. For those with kids, you saw way more. For many it’s an opportunity to seriously knock out some lingering debt that has led you with tons of stress and put a strain on finances. For some, it was an opportunity to finally build a safety net that you never had in your life.

I’ve always had a safety net, but now I have an even bigger safety net. I wanted to place myself in a situation where I can have my expenses covered not for 3 months, not for 6 months, but for an entire year if God forbid something unexpected happens and I cannot work or I lose my job. That is what the pandemic taught me more than anything: nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed and you can snap your fingers and everything that you have can disappear into thin air.

The unfortunate truth is so many people are taking those funds and just spending it frivolously. I tell this to people all the time, we are human beings; we are engrained to want things. We will ALWAYS be engrained to want things no matter how much we tell ourselves that we don’t need anything. The temptation and the desire to want will always be part of our lives, but just because the opportunity presents itself for us to splurge does not mean we should actually do it.

Have a bit of restraint; treat yourself to a scoop of ice cream, but not the entire carton of it. That may not be the best analogy, but some way, somehow, you have to be able to control that impulse just to buy for the sake of actually buying. You might THINK you need it, but it will soon dawn on your after you’ve purchased it, that it was something you wanted NOT something that was needed.

Hell, you’ll be like me looking inside your closet asking yourself when did I accumulate so much stuff and why in the world didn’t I pinch myself to realize that I’m buying more than I actually need. There is NOTHING wrong with buying yourself something, especially if you work. I am a firm believer if you work hard you have the right to reward yourself for the hard work that you have put in for the week. We have just become a culture where we think the need to buy is more important than the need to be conservative with our money.

Spend a little, save a lot. I mean the mere thought of me spending a $100 on something scares me speechless. I would want to have at least a $1,000 left over. I guess I am just so conscious about money it might be the reason I’m the saver in the family. When you don’t have money, you want to have more money out of fear of not having any. It’s a terrible feeling to have. Some people understand what it means to be broke to the core, others not so much, so with this extra cushion that has been presented to me I expect to make it last as long as I possibly can.

Written By Jason Jones