Does your money ever have you freaked out? Stressed out? Anything but blissful?
Everything, and I mean everything, in your life is a compilation of the small actions you take every day. All areas of your life are the way they are, because of the decisions you make- every day. It all adds up. Which to me, is a fantastic! This means that what you want to be different is completely within your control. Personal finance can be a big giant terrifying beast, or it can be simple small decisions every day that will inspire you to do a little more tomorrow.
To create change in those small daily habits to start creating the real wealth you desire. You must first be clear on where you are starting. Type in an address in your GPS system and it will first search for your starting location, right? You can’t possibly get anywhere without knowing where you’re starting.
If you were asked to share your total income and total debt, most people can give ballpark figures. However a shocking number of people will underestimate their debt by at least 30% and overestimate their income by 15% (whether self-employed, salaried, or commission based). Remember ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to your money.
To get crystal clear on your starting point, follow these tips.
- Pick a tracking system and stick with it, don’t get caught up in all the cool new gadgets, just pick one and go. I suggest Mint.com (free and secure), if you have all of your accounts under one financial roof, you can check with your bank or credit union to see if they have an easy to use tracking system (be sure there is a phone app!).
- Schedule 4-5 minutes every day to login and check your balances and transactions.
Gather your numbers
- Remember to include any money owed to family or friends, student loans, store credit cards, etc.
- Login to all of your accounts and write down your balance owed, interest being paid, terms of loan
- Pull pay stubs and write down your GROSS income, your insurance and taxes being withheld and any other deductions being taken out. Know your NET income after these deductions.
- If self employed, review your books (Quickbooks or Xero are highly recommended) with your bookkeeper or accountant, at least monthly.
Clear your space
- Give your money enough respect to grow. Start with your purse and wallet.
- Gather all receipts, unused gift cards, loose change, etc. (you’d be surprised at how much money you’re ignoring just in gift cards/certificates alone!)
- In your wallet, all cash should always be facing the same way with smallest bills in the front. Crumpled money thrown in the side pocket = disrespect and scarcity mentality.
How do you feel about money today?
- How you connect with and feel about money impacts how your treat your money.
- The key to lasting change in growing your personal net worth is trusting yourself. Create some time to be still and quiet with yourself, if you were to really trust yourself, what inspired action could you take this week to improve your finances?
Don’t let your finances freak you out! Respect your future self enough to take care of yourself today!
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