How to Get Your Financial Life in Order
When you work 40+ hours a week, cook, clean, raise children, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to keep everything organized, especially when it comes to finances. I know exactly how that feels, going through college, working multiple jobs, planning a wedding, and trying to keep my head on straight was difficult. During that time, I didn’t have my financial life together because I felt that I didn’t have the time to do it. In all actuality, I had plenty of time because I would watch at least one hour of Netflix during the day and spend the evenings talking with friends and hanging out. Especially when I was just starting out budgeting – I barely had anything to budget with. I only had two bills at the time and just needed to take care of myself which makes budgeting easy. For some reason I was reluctant to get it in order because that meant that I couldn’t spend the money however I wanted to, right? Wrong! It’s your money and it’s your budget. You can create a budget however you want to!
It’s the collecting of information that can be a little overwhelming and difficult – but I’m going to help make it easy on you. You really only need three things to create a budget.
- Your monthly income
- Monthly expenses
- What are you saving for?
That’s all the information that you need to really start to get your financial life in order. Now, you can break it into smaller bits and pieces if you want to track your average bills. For example, food, health insurance, gas, internet, phone, etc. You want to make sure that what’s being pulled out of your account is consistent from month to month.
If you’re ready to make the big leap to controlling your money instead of it controlling you – then here’s what you’ll need to do.
Gather your monthly income and expenses
You need to know what your bare bones expenses are each month. I’m not talking about those trips to Target where you pick up a new bikini or happened to walk out with $50 of home decor items. Nope, just your bare bones monthly expenses. Then I want you to write down exactly how much you make a month. I have handy finance sheets that you can purchase here or you can create an excel document. Whatever works for you and your lifestyle!
Figure out what your financial goals are
Now that you have your monthly income and expenses, it’s time that you started thinking about your future. Or maybe you have, but you don’t know how to get from point A to point B. That’s why I’m here to help! Just think, if you could do anything, what would it be? Would you be financially secure enough to volunteer on the weekends at an animal shelter? Or would you stay at home with the kids instead of hiring a nanny every week? Just what would it look like?
This is where I tell you that your financial dreams could come true, you just have to put your mind to it! That’s all. Look at your budget and see if you cut back X number of dollars from your monthly spending, it would take X number of months to achieve that goal. Maybe you want to fly to Paris? Set your goal and plan out your financial future to get to that goal.
When it comes to your finances, you need to stay consistent from month to month. These budgeting habits take about 3 months to build up, so you need to make sure that you’re keeping those habits that you worked hard to create. Stay consistent with your budget too. When you start saying, “Oh, it’ll just be this once” you’re already headed down a bad path. I’ve been there, and that’s how I’m speaking on it. Once you start thinking about that – you’re already trying to talk your way out of sticking to your budget. JUST DON’T DO IT! Stick with that budget and plan on buying that item in a month or two when you can save up for it.
I’ve noticed that staying consistent and learning to say no to myself has helped me in other areas of my life as well. I had the ability to say no to that extra chocolate bar that I didn’t need and it helped me lose 20 pounds for the better. Self control is a hard habit to make, but once you’ve made it a habit it’s easier to stay consistent within that habit.
Wait 24 hours before a big purchase
Chances are, if you wait 24 hours before you purchase an item, you won't want it anymore. I like to think of purchases over $100 as big purchases. But, this number could look different to you depending on your income and how closely you’re following your budget. This is learning how to control your spending which is super important to keep to that budget and to those goals and dreams. If it’s an item that you’re worried it won't be there in 24 hours let alone 2 minutes, then I like to think it wasn’t meant to be.
This one might make you cringe on the inside, but it’s how we figure out if we really need that item or if we just want it in that moment. This step alone saves us hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a yearly basis.
There you have it! That’s how you get your financial life in order. Take all these steps on step at a time because they can seem overwhelming all at once. I don’t want you to hate budgeting, but see it as a means to being free.
If all of this is still overwhelming and you’re unsure how to budget and create goals and make a plan and timeline for it all. I offer 1-on-1 budget reviews where I help you break down you financial goals and how long it’s going to take you to achieve those goals. Book a call today.
If you’re unsure about the 1-on-1, which I totally get. I’m launching an ebook which is 90+ pages of information jam packed into one ebook that covers everything you need to know about budgeting. Sign up on my mailing list to be the first to know when it’s officially launching!