It’s the weekend baby (or close enough) and for some of you that also means PAYDAY! A joyous day that, in theory, represents the culmination of your hard work. Regardless of your income, this is the day when you get the funds to take care of all the things in your life that need funding. So what happens when you get paid and you are already broke? Not broke, as in oh I have a hundred-dollar bill in the back pocket of that pair of skinny jeans, but more like, how I am going to afford the gas to get to work and eat once I’m there? For some of you this is a baffling predicament to be in and for others, this may very well be your reality. I know a woman, Carrie*, who just got paid today and is already broke. Having past due bills is her norm, she is struggling to stay afloat, and her zero balance checking account doesn’t help. From talking to her, I gathered that she is overwhelmed with her situation, feels alone, and wonders how something that is supposed to represent the culmination of your hard work is worth nothing. I often find in situations like this that it is very difficult for people to truly see how their actions may have an effect on their current situation. For those of you that are underpaid that is one thing, but for those of you who overspend, that’s another. Carrie wants the fab life but refuses to take some necessary steps to get it by overspending on wants and needs.
Naked, Bossy, & Freaky = Better Money Management!
Get Financially Naked: Being honest about your financial situation is like being naked in a crowd of strangers. You can’t fake it until they make in this situation if you are stripped down. You have to acknowledge that your financial situation represents more than money. It could be the manifestation of your mental state. Carrie feels alone and is overwhelmed. Maybe there is extra baggage/clutter in her life that is cluttering her thoughts and behaviors? Is this true for you too? Being honest with yourself will help you to recognize the problem so you can begin to create a solution. Are you complacent in your current job situation? Is it keeping you from finding your calling or a better income? It is scary and uncomfortable, but if you are serious about getting back on track, it’s time to strip and understand how a change in mindset can help improve your financial situation.
Get Bossy: Tell Your Money Where to Go. I believe the reason that people don’t like to hear the word “budget” is because they associate it with “sacrifice”. I, on the other hand, associate the same word with being financially empowered. My favorite financial quote comes from John Maxwell who maintains, “a budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”. In one of my earlier posts, How to Make A Budget, I suggested you start by listing your sources of income and then create a list of your monthly Fixed Expenses ( i.e. Mortgage/Rent, Car Payments, Insurance, Emergency Fund) and your Variable Expenses (Utilities, Groceries, Gas, Food, Entertainment). If your expenses are more than your income, then it is time to make a realistic budget and decide if you would rather make a temporary sacrifice of luxuries say cable or weekly salon visits, or the comfort of knowing that you won’t be broke next pay-day.
Get Freaky: Neat freaks are the new cool… think Martha Stewart, not Mommy Dearest. It’s easy to forget about a bill when you never opened it in the first place, throw it in your purse, or simply ignore it. I stay organized in a few ways. For one, I keep a record of all of my service providers and current balance on the due date in the monthly view page of my calendar. If I need to check on a bill, I look there first. It is a way to see if my bills are increasing or decreasing and paid for the month. It also helps me figure out how I can best schedule payment. I also keep online records to stay organize and paper copies of any bill that requires disputing. For those documents that need paper copies, I have designated ONE place for them.
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