Journals are great for the soul, and even better to read on down the line. They are crucial in understanding the person that you are, and the person that you are becoming. The same applies for finances. If you like buying expensive perfume when you are fighting with your boyfriend, then you must write about it vehemently, and display it in a way that will show you just how much it affects you. This way, you can align your emotional extremities up with your financial extremities, and come up with a combative plan to avoid unnecessary losses. Today I bought my first money journal, and I can’t wait to write in it daily recording…everything!
I want to show you how you can use a money journal to introduce YOU to what I like to call your “spending self.” If used properly, your journal will educate you on what motivates you to spend. It affords you the opportunity to identify your spending triggers and in turn show you ways to cut back on spending and save more money. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Purchase your Money Journal: This step is completely up to you. I went to Target and purchased a small MEAD spiral for a buck 50. You may be an “app” girl, or you may choose to get one of the mini composition notebooks. Either way, this is entirely your choice. However, I wouldn’t recommend spending a boatload on something that will be conserving you money!
Document your daily spending: This is the one of the most imperative parts of possessing a money journal. You absolutely must write down every single dime that you spend, and more importantly, why you spend it. This is because many women are prone to impulsive and emotional spending. This kind of spending can get very ugly, very fast. Document your spending with the intent to really understand your precise reasons for spending.
After a month, assess your records: Why do you spend? The path to financial freedom begins once you identify the crux of your spending and how you can cut these costs. Your goal is to gain control of yourself, your impulses, and ultimately your finances. You can do this by adequately documenting and assessing the money you spend and why you spend it. After assessing your pattern, decide on your plan of action, and how you will ensure that casual expenditures do not continue to occur.
Establish and make changes accordingly: You have documented your spending for at least a month, and you realize that when you feel down, you often buy expensive jewelry. However, you have noticed that in a month you have a ton of jewelry that you do not even wear! You also notice that you are in a financial crunch and you savings are dwindling! This is an apparent problem that you must combat as the owner of a money journal.
Wash, Rinse, and Repeat: Every month, you should gain new information in your inventory that is going to show you weak areas in your spending habits. You must take action, and actively participate in implementing the tactics that will enforce financial competency. Take control of your finances; you can do it! The moment you see how much you can save, you will be so proud.
Have You Met Your Spending Self?
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Sometimes I need to remind myself that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Every morning I would pray for financial blessings but somehow found myself going through the motions, which was slowing my progress to my goal … Continue reading
Just as slaves born into slavery can’t visualize freedom, we Americans don’t know what it would be like to wake up to NO debt.
-Dave Ramsey, Total Money Makeover
Your alarm clock sounds, alerting you that a new day has come. You awake to find yourself owning a car without a car payment, a home without a mortgage, an education without student loans, and credit card(s) with a zero balance. How did you get to this financial freedom? Did you a) win the lottery, b) rob a bank Sugar & Spice style, or c) align your behaviors with your long-term financial goals? Well, the answer to the question depends on whom you ask.
I told a friend of mine that I was working to become debt free and she looked me right in my face and laughed. I mean laughed to the point of tears while telling me how unrealistic I was being. “Everyone has debt”, she alleged. If this were her outlook on financial freedom, I would guess that she could image a debt free life comes only as a result of a windfall. She will either rob the bank or win the lottery. I, however, understand how even the most minute sacrifices will help me get closer to my financial goals. I have to think beyond the day-to-day and month-to-month if I want to build generational wealth. Financial expert, Dave Ramsey adds, “We have been sold debt with such repetition […] that it’s hard for people to imagine what it would be like to have no payments”. Debt shouldn’t be the normal status quo and I am not comfortable adopting that mind-set. When the day comes when I wake up with no mortgage, no student loans, and no credit card balance, I know it will be a result of my financial plan and my commitment to it.
Is Debt Normal? Share Your Thoughts…
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I woke up in a weird mood this past Saturday. I was torn between excited to tackle my never-ending to-do list and not wanting to leave the warmth of the bed. So what did I do?- A little of both. I grabbed the laptop and started to audit my flow of income and in doing so, I noticed I was missing opportunities to save more money. Before breakfast, I saved a little under $100 a year by cancelling my cell phone insurance. It was one of those things that I should have done months ago, but never really got around to doing it. The two times that I actually thought about filing an insurance claim, the deductible was so expensive that it was better to just get a new phone and not having to worry about whether I would receive a new or refurbished phone from my carrier.
My first savings of the day energized me, so much so, that I called my dad to follow-up on his savings audit I did for him last year. Even when I showed my dad how he could save $1600, he actually never followed through. It was time for me to take matters into my own hands. I started with my parents’ home phone and internet bundle and I cancelled every service that they don’t use and wouldn’t miss. I reduced their monthly bill by $40 per month equalling to about $480 a year!
Are you overpaying for services you no longer use?
Take a little time to review your statements from your service providers. Remove extra services that you no longer use, are outdated, or that qualify as a luxury you could live without. I did this a few months ago when I realized my cable bill included a football package. It made NO sense/cents for me to pay for an added luxury that I didn’t even use. Now, I am enjoying the savings more than missing the extra channels. If, by chance, you have already eliminated every extra fee, then you should consider calling your service provider to see if there are any other discounts that can be applied to your account. It may take a little time to get through your audit, but remember it’s better to spend some time to save some money!
What Services Can You Remove From Your Bill to Save?
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