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Quick tips for getting the most from your income — no matter how much money you make

By Andres Gutierrez

How long have you been in the same situation? Is this where you wanted to be 10 years ago? Did you ever say, “When I make this much (money) everything will be so much better”?

If you’re making more now, are things really better?

Getting to a better financial position doesn’t have much to do with your income and everything to do with managing your money. People literally kill themselves with and stress and worry, trying to earn more money because they think a little more money will bring financial peace. I’ve been that person, too.

With the experience of working as a financial planner for thousands of families, I was able to distinguish several character flaws that will hold you back and stall your finances.

An Impatient Heart

You might also call this that feeling of always thinking, “I want it NOW!” Early in our marriage, we bought a computer on 12-month no interest credit. I considered myself very organized, so I justified the purchase because I was smart and wouldn’t pay interest.

For some reason, the eleventh payment was sent late, and we got hit with late charges for 11 months and charged an outrageous interest rate that almost doubled the cost of the computer. Buying things on credit and paying interest is willingly accepting to pay more than the item costs. How DUMB is that? Plan your major purchases by saving the money to buy them.

Being a Lone Ranger

The lone ranger might often say, “I don’t need to tell anybody. It’s none of their business.” This feeling is typically masking a feeling of “I don’t want anybody to know.” Often people know what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway. This feeling can drive a teenager to leave their parents’ house because they don’t want to live with rules.

The Bible says that in the multitude of council there is wisdom. Consult with wise friends and mentors about your major financial decisions.

A Disorganized Mind

You might say, “being organized sounds like work and I don’t have time for that.” On the contrary, being organized allows you to relax. It saves you the worry and time it takes to deal with emergencies or come up with rent money on the last week of the month.

Being organized and having a plan for your money gives you access to information you would never have otherwise. When you have a budget, tough choices are easier — choices like moving to another neighborhood, selling the house, selling the car, taking the kids out of private school, or having to buy “experienced” clothing if things are really tough. Turn off the TV, and sit down with your spouse. Spend your money on paper, on purpose, before the month begins.

The good news is that you are not born with these characteristics. They are a choice. By being patient and buying with cash, you will always pay less than using credit. Cash allows you to hunt for bargains or make ridiculous offers. It’s not your income but your behavior that will get you out of the rat race.

Financial expert Andres Gutierrez is the host of “The Andres Gutierrez Show” and creator of Paz Financiera. A successful entrepreneur and small-business owner, Andres Gutierrez knows what it’s like to start with nothing and build lasting wealth. In 2009, Andres joined Dave Ramsey’s team to bring the message of Financial Peace to the Hispanic community. For more information about Andrés Gutiérrez visit Follow him on Twitter at @elshowdeandres and on Facebook.

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