We all need a financial toolbox – tools we can use to win in the area of our finances. And as much as you are going to hate to hear this, a budget is your biggest wealth building tool in your financial toolbox. Give me a moment of your time and I will explain why in hopes that by the end of this blog, you will agree and begin to take seriously the budgeting process.
First, let me clear up a huge misconception – a budget is not designed to tell you no. Actually, the opposite is true. Of course, if you are living paycheck to paycheck, you are going to have to say no to some things. At least, you should say no to some things. However, when you have a budget, you know exactly where your money is going; therefore, you are able to say yes more. Maybe not in the beginning – it depends on how big your hole is. But as you begin to dig yourself out of debt and build wealth, the budget will allow you to say yes – a lot!
A budget (or spending plan as I like to call it) is simply a way to look at your income and your expenses. When you can see it visually, it helps you to see where to cut back on expenses, when to raise your income and helps you make awesome financial decisions that will move you forward in your getting out of debt and building wealth goal.
Now, if you don’t want to build wealth and you are okay where you are currently in your finances, then budgeting probably won’t work for you. However, if you are looking to get out of debt, save money and build wealth, then you definitely need to budget.
Budgets are a snapshot of your finances. Having this snapshot every month will help you walk in your truth and begin to make better financial decisions in order to reach your financial goals. So stop avoiding a budget! Now is the time to start – it will take a few months to get the hang of it and that’s ok. And if you have no clue where to start, head over to our short, easy course and learn everything you need in just a few short minutes.
It doesn’t matter how you learn or what methods you use. The main thing is that you start! Today is your day! You’ve got this!
In this world of social media, internet, and credit cards, we can have anything we want right away – whether it’s to know how old Taylor Swift is or to buy that Coach purse. Instant gratification is as natural as breathing.However, just because it is natural and all around us, doesn’t mean it is a good thing. “Back in my day”, we had to work for everything we wanted. When we needed to know when someone was born, we had to go the library, pull out a long drawer and find a resource that gave us that information. It took time and effort to get what we wanted. Today, it is easier, but as I have found out, easier isn’t always better.So, what have we lost in this instant gratification world we live in today? Here are just a few of the important skills we have lost with this change:
The work – When you don’t have to work for something, it doesn’t mean as much. When something is just handed to you or is easy to get, you lose the importance of the process. Working for something gives you the purpose that you need for the item to have value.
The filter – With everything being so instant now, we don’t take the time to run things through our filter first. We don’t take the time to think about whether we should buy something or not. We don’t take the time to think about whether we should post something or email something or not. And once it is out there, you can’t undo it. You need to make sure everything runs through your filter before you proceed.
The lesson of failure – With instant gratification, when something doesn’t work out right away, we give up. We lose the gift of time to try, try again. We expect it to happen immediately exactly the way we want and when it doesn’t, which most of life doesn’t, we give up. One of my mantras is never give up! I know some things work and some things don’t and I learned this lesson before the instant gratification era. But I never give up – I just try something different.
There are so many subjects, including personal finance, that have been removed from the schools simply because “they can look that up”. Personal finance is 10% math and 90% emotion – so Google can help with the 10%, but what about the 90%. With instant gratification, we have put ourselves in over $13 trillion – yes, trillion, of consumer debt. We believe if I don’t buy it now, I will never have it. How many of you have bought a house at the wrong time and have spent the last years in a nightmare? How many of you can’t live your dreams because you have a stack of bills filled with instant gratification? How do we overcome instant gratification when it is everywhere and seems to make life so easy? Here are a few tips:
Pause for 24 hours – for every decision, not just the money ones
Never give up – no matter what
Be willing to be the turtle
When you don’t get what you expect, try again or simply wait
Go old school and learn something not using the internet
Be ok if you don’t get your way right away
We may be an Instant Pot society, but you don’t have to live the Instant Pot life. Make one change today that will help you fight the instant gratification world we live in. You won’t regret it!
I am currently sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting to catch a plane home after spending 4 weeks in SC taking care of my parents. As I am sitting here, I am reflecting on how financial freedom played a role in that. You see, most people wouldn’t have been able to leave their home or their job for 4 weeks to do something, even if it was necessary like my situation was. However, many years ago, I had a big aha moment and realized that debt wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go. So I developed a plan to change all of that. And now, I enjoy financial freedom – the ability to not worry about being away from home for 4 weeks. Most people would not be able to leave their jobs – most can’t go 4 days without pay, much less 4 weeks. Financial freedom has given me the ability to own my own business and have no worries about whether or not I could afford to be away. When I got the call and needed to be there to take care of my parents, it was a no brainer – something that financial freedom brought me.
I want that for all of you. I want y’all to be able to not have to worry when life happens. Today, I am going to share 5 things that you can do immediately to begin the journey to financial freedom – there is no need to wait. Let’s talk about them.
No More Excuses – You need to stop all of your excuses as to why you can’t get out of debt, save money and also stop your “reasons” as to why you “need” something now and it just can’t wait. We all have an excuse bag. I had a huge one. It’s a bag that we carry around every excuse in the book in and are at the ready to pull them out when needed. Stop being a victim. Stop making excuses and start making a plan to pay off your debt, build your savings and reach financial freedom. I did it with $200,000 in debt – you can do it!
Save Something – We all have an excuse as to why we can’t save money. But without saving money, you will never have any extra. Do you think I reached financial freedom without saving for a rainy day. You need an umbrella – it is going to rain and like most storms, there won’t be any warning. Start somewhere today – automate $10 to come out of every paycheck – today! No matter how much debt you have, do this one thing. And when you build that muscle up, raise it up and soon you will have a rainy day fund that can cover any emergency and like me, you will be able to jump on a plane, no questions asked, and help someone.
Live Within Your Harvest – This simply means live within your means. We reap what we sow and what we sow is our harvest. What you earn is your harvest. If you keep borrowing against a future harvest, you are going to owe more than you can possibly pay back. Stop using debt today. If you stop today, and just pay your payments, you will eventually be out of debt even without a plan. A plan will simply get you to financial freedom quicker. Stop using debt to get what you want. Debt will never bring wealth.
Develop a plan – No one builds a house without a plan and you will not build wealth without a plan. Whether it is a plan to get out of debt, a plan for retirement, a savings plan or a spending plan, you need plans in your financial life. Don’t go through life willy nilly – living on what’s in your head. Develop a plan and you will have success in all areas of life.
Believe in yourself – If you don’t believe you can, you won’t. It’s that simple. Believe you can reach financial freedom. I believe you can because I did and if I can, anyone can. Believe you can and you will.
These are 5 things you can start today that will bring you wealth and financial freedom. They are the top things I did when I decided to pay off $200,000 in debt. It wasn’t instant and it definitely wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Financial freedom will bring you a peace beyond understanding and especially in those moments like I have had recently. Financial freedom is worth every sacrifice. It is freedom!
Listen to Debbi’s podcast episode on this topic right here!