Money is one of those things that is always heavy on my heart… I know, it seems dramatic, but I can’t be the only one. One thing I have decided in my adult life is that I’m going to refuse to let it stress me out. So instead of going into full panic mode when I’ve spent a little more on life than I had hoped to, I have come up with a plan to get myself back in check. In sharing a few of my tips and tricks with y’all, I hope to help you some way on your road to financial success!
Pay your bills up front
This is the first tip that comes to my mind. Make sure your obligations and priorities are taken care of the day you receive your paycheck! This way, you’ll know what you are working with to make it through (dare I say, thrive?) the rest of the month.
Make a list of the month’s financial priorities
Do you have a lot of atypical expenses lately? For me, it’s the wedding season that’s doing me in… Regardless of what seems to be draining your finances, it’s important to stay organized and have a payment plan. I’m old school and use the sticky note system…meaning I list all of my large expenses on sticky notes, and attach them in my planner to the week that I plan to pay. Therefore, I’ve got a plan, and am spreading out my payments evenly…and not dropping a ton of money at once.
Put 10% of your paycheck away
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…if you are physically able to put this money away, DO IT. A mentor/financial adviser gave me this advice, and although I can’t always stick to it, I will never forget it.
Remind yourself of your long term goals
I’ll be honest, I don’t like to save money. And being really honest, I LOVE to shop. So sometimes it’s hard for me to say no…whether to the earrings, the coffee, the justified sale purchase, you name it. But what helps me combat this weakness of mine is reminding myself of my goals. Lately it’s been the condo reno, or that trip to Iceland that I want so bad, or even saving for our future wedding (not engaged, just a dreamer ;)). Whatever it is for you, latch onto it…and the process will become SO much easier.
Find things to do that are fun AND free
This really is key. Instead of tripping with your girls to the mall, opt for a low key day at the beach. Been really needing a date with bae? Make sammies at home and find a new picnic spot. Take your dog to the dog park, ride your bike through town, have a Netflix wine/tea night (like, are you even compromising?). There are so many fun things to do that don’t require your wallet!
Turn your attention to something else
For me, lately, it’s been exercise. I have been really working on my health regime. I find that when I am setting fitness goals for myself, my attention goes there instead of on the latest trend. On the same note, I also use Bible study. If I find that I am pulling out that card too much, I turn my focus more towards Jesus, and can always find fulfillment in the Word.
Find an inexpensive way to treat yourself
You work hard. You deserve to be treated. But some months the treatment must be more affordable than others. When I’m cutting back, I still allow myself a few things…like that $55 mani/pedi. Because y’all, we all need to wind down. Just find a way to do it without breaking the bank.
Remember that happiness does not come from your wallet
Just a few Bible verses that keep me grounded:
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” | Luke 12:15
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. | 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. | 1 Timothy 6:17-18
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. | Proverbs 31:30
Know that you are not alone
In our social media heavy world, it is so hard not to compare yourself to others. In the same light, it is SO easy to create a false image of yourself. Remember that most of what you see is the highlight reel, and that everyone has their own struggles. I will never pretend to be rich or perfect…because I am FAR from either. And what you should know is that you are not alone! I am not the only person living paycheck to paycheck…I am not the only person who can’t afford the designer heels…I am not the only person who is still getting their ish together. And y’all, we are ALL OK! And on that note, remember you are in your 20’s…you are YOUNG and not supposed to have it figured out.
How do you stay on track when your expenses are off the charts? I am always looking for new advice.