Sometimes it’s hard to accept but no one can manage your finances better than you.
Consider for a moment that the only person holding you back from reaching your financial goals, is you.
I don’t want to run you away, in fact, just the opposite. I want you to stop, look in the mirror, and say, “It’s all up to me!”
Doesn’t that feel empowering? I felt powerful just typing it!
No matter where you are on your money journey, I want to share some advice to put you in the driver seat so you can OWN your money like the Bad Chic you are!
Here are 3 Things You Can Do Now to Become a Better Money Manager
1. Become a Savvy, Unapologetic Expense Manager
To become successful with money, you must master expenses, and not just the spending side of them! Not knowing your expenses can ruin your finances no matter how much money you make.
I’ve always believed, it doesn’t matter how much money you make, it matters how much you keep.
As an expense manager, you stand guard over each dollar to ensure it’s spent with purpose and intentionality. Everyday, your behavior has to agree with your goals so that you’re keeping more than you’re spending.
This of course means having a realistic budget that aligns with your lifestyle. For instance, if you enjoy eating out (and it’s okay if you do!), budget enough so you can do what you enjoy and live beneath your means.
As soon as you realize the dollars you have allocated aren’t enough, immediately course correct.
What can you change?
What can you do so that you don’t over-spend?
Whatever that “thing” is, do it so that your savviness leads to triumph!
I find that going into big-box stores can ruin my best laid plans. Sigh. For the past year and a half, my hubby and I have been on a mission to limit Wally’s World and Tarz-shay. Yep, those beloved American past-times have caused us to get off track and blow the household budget.
Our response has been to give online shopping a try for all household goods. This includes Amazon Pantry and so far it seems to work. We’re less distracted by stuff we don’t need and we’re not chasing down sales and coupons.
So what one thing is tripping you up each month? How can you change it instead of doing the same thing each month and expecting different results?
2. Have Goals No Matter How Ridiculous They Seem
Big problems require big faith! Make room for expectations that match your challenges. Sometimes we think to small when we look at our circumstances.
Today’s blessings are the result of yesterday’s expectations! You have to make room for the impossible.
When we were behind on our car payments, I promised myself that I would pay cash for my next car.
Check out my post about that experience, it was the best feeling!
When I left corporate America to sell real estate, I set the goal in the first year to earn just as much selling houses as I earned working for the bank.
When I was in my 20s, I made the goal to earn six-figures by the time I was 30.
All of those goals came true!
Let me encourage you that there is no shame in setting income goals. First, we are loved by an amazing God who created everything. He is a loving Father who delights in being good to his children.
His desire is that we honor Him with whatever we have. So if we aren’t generous and trust-worthy when we make $50,000, it’s likely we won’t be trust-worthy when we make $150,000 a year.
So have a heart-check before asking God for more!
Now, goals should be measurable and time-bound. For instance, “I want to pay-off my Visa credit card in the amount of $2500 by November of this year” is measurable and time-bound.
It’s measurable because you know $2500 is required to pay-off the debt and by a specific time.
In comparison, “I hope I can pay-off my credit cards soon” isn’t measurable or time-bound.
Be specific about what you are aiming at and start thinking and doing things that align with your goals. Stay away from people who will discourage you or tell you that your goal isn’t doable. Let your haters motivate you and respond with action alone. 🙂
Do you want to know my next goal, and it’s a BIG one?!
I believe we can pay-off our mortgage MUCH sooner than we have to. Based on our willingness to sacrifice, my calculations say we can do it 8-11 years sooner BUT I like how 7 years sound! Stay tuned because I look forward to bringing you the update!
3. Don’t be a Perfectionist
Perfectionism has some benefits but it can mostly be crippling. I believe most Americans don’t budget because they become discouraged when the plan doesn’t work perfectly. It’s frustrating to start something with good intentions and then see it ruined because of unplanned events or reckless spending.
Instead of giving up because it’s not perfect, apply some grace and allow yourself time to fix what’s not working as planned.
I have to do this a lot! Each month doesn’t happen as perfectly as I would like so I have to make adjustments and learn to live with the imperfections. I’d rather fail while trying versus not trying at all.
Stronger finances are all about personal choices and accountability. Don’t wait for someone else to come and magically improve your finances. You’re the best person to get clear about what’s important to you, what you’re willing to do, and then make a plan to go get it!
I believe in your ability to MANAGE YOU and your money WELL!