Myrtle Beach Real Estate by Mirela

7 Steps To Fiscal Discipline:

7 Steps to Fiscal Discipline

My father used to caution us kids against consumerism: “Look around you; most people never have enough money.  When they make two dollars, they spend four.  Me and your mom, when we make two dollars we spend 10 cents.”

I must admit that daddy’s teachings went against what I learnt in school.  Our society encourages “spending other people’s money” – “leverage”, they call it.   


Here we are in 2009, scratching our heads.  What happened?  Is this “leverage” thing not all it’s cracked up to be?  Should we have been more prudent?  Maybe it’s time to go back to basics.  In that vein, I propose establishing some fiscally healthy habits:

7 Steps to Fiscal Discipline

1.     With all due respect, Daddy, I can’t make two dollars and spend only 10 cents.  I do think that I can get by on about 50 cents though.  Instead of Gucci and Cartier, I opt for a no name brand.  Instead of eating out, I cook in; it’s healthier anyway and a lot less expensive.  I buy it in bulk at Costco and shop at the Farmers’ Market.  I get good quality at discount prices, because I pay attention…

2.     I know I can afford a much larger and fancier home than this, but why spend the money on it?  Instead, I’d rather use that money and buy some other homes, rent them out and let them pay for themselves.

3.     If I don’t have 20% to put down on a home, I’ll wait until I do.  I don’t like paying PMI, nor do I like other people taking care of my property taxes and insurance (escrows).  When I buy a home I make sure I have enough money to pay all expenses for at least six months, just in case I have a hard time renting it.  Better safe than sorry.7 Steps to Fiscal Discipline

4.     When I volunteered at the shelter I met several people who had lost everything because they didn’t have health insurance.   I don’t want that to happen to my family, so I pay my premium every month automatically by direct draft.

5.     I don’t want to be late with my mortgages, so my properties all get paid automatically as well.  Just for good measure, I have it set up to draw more principal than required, so I can pay them off faster.  It is amazing how much of a difference it has made.

6.     Some of the money left over after my 50 cents allowance go to paying taxes with regularity.  Some of it goes to my retirement accounts; I’m not going to be 29 forever, you know…  The rest gets saved in order to buy more Real Estate.  I believe in what I sell and I set a good example.  How can I advise other investors, if I don’t invest myself?

7 Steps to Fiscal Discipline7.     Setting limits and staying within my means is not easy.  I make choices every day.  I want both shoes?  Too bad!  I’ll buy the pair I like and need the most and it better be priced in the two digits; no Gucci there either..  I’d love to fly first class.  Too bad, it’s not in the budget!  I’m just lucky to be able to travel, and I remind myself of that fact.  Fancy hairdressers, manicures, spa treatments?  Yeah, that would be nice, but I never have the time for it anyway.  I don’t smoke or have any other unhealthy habits, I eat clean and I exercise.  No fancy spa or doctor treatments can give me what those good habits can…


Learning Fiscal Discipline is a process, but one well worth the prize: independence from worry.  “Taming your money” will give you peace of mind and will allow you to make better choices.   I think Daddy would be proud…


I’m sure I may have missed some fine points.  If so, please bring them to our attention!  I would love to hear from you about the healthy fiscal habits you have developed!


Mirela Monte, Your Myrtle Beach Real Estate Connection            Join The Optimist Group!


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Comment balloon 11 commentsMirela Monte • October 23 2009 10:47PM


Maybe I should offer my services to Congress.  I know I could "frugalize" America...  The first thing I'd do is outlaw the lobbyists...

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirale,

Thank you for sharing an educational article Fiscal Discipline.

John Pusa

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela-  I loved your post.  I'm a sister of the (mostly) closed purse.  I don't consider myself frugal, as I have any number of vices (OK, most of which I don't indulge in often), but I am a fiscal conservative.   After all - if you want to spend it somewhere, you have to save it somewhere else... and be sure to save some, too! --Sara

Posted by Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS (iTexas Realty Co.) almost 11 years ago

Sara: I loved your comment! 

I'm a sister of the (mostly) closed purse.

After all - if you want to spend it somewhere, you have to save it somewhere else...

...Precious $ gems...


Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago


If the rest had practiced these principals, they wouldn't be in the mess they now are in.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela, Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

Posted by Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate (RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, this is a primer on how to get ahead without giving in! I love the live on 50%, lately it has been hard to live on what I earn...I am paying cash and keeping away from the credit cards!

I love the Sister of the Closed Purse! Great plan!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) almost 11 years ago

Great post.  I love your presentation.  Hope lots of people read and follow your suggestions for a more secure financial life.

Posted by Tom Boos, Providing the very best of service to Sellers and (Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living) almost 11 years ago

very very good.... we are not there, for we have business debt... but excellent credit... our goals are to never get like this again... and then we can apply what YOU just wrote...

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 11 years ago

Americans do not save much at all.  Almost every other country saves more in spite of the fact in many countries they make less. 


Posted by Theodora Wu (TJ Investments) almost 11 years ago

Mirella I have been debt free and massively in debt. Let me tell you debt free is the way to go. A good post and it reminds us all to stay focused.

Posted by Carl Stars (Sutton Group About Town Realty ) almost 11 years ago