A Practical Guide to Getting Your Finances in Check

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Happy New Year! I hope you ended 2017 with a bang and can look back on the year with a grateful heart and joy at what you experienced throughout the year. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time for me to get back at it. I look forward to helping you thrive with your finances this year and there is no better day to start than today! Today’s article is a practical guide to getting your finances in order in the New Year.

Real talk. You do not have to spend copious amounts of money to learn how to get your finances in order. In fact, there are a lot of reasonably priced courses, books, and tools you can use. And yes, some of these tools are even free! So don’t let the idea that you have to spend a bunch of money stop you. I’ll list some of those tools as well as some tips to help get you started.

You knew I was going to say budget, right?!

I surveyed my audience on Instagram and 94% of those folks said they need budget help. 94%!! The word budget might as well be a four-letter word… it really freaks people out. I think people hear it and immediately get overwhelmed and think they can’t do it.

I’ll tell you one thing, our budget is the number one tool we used to pay off our debt. We will budget every month for the rest of our lives. I believe in budgeting so much that I give away my personal budget templates for free and give you instructions on how to use them. Click here to subscribe and get my budget templates in your inbox for FREE!

Mindset is key!

The second most important piece to getting your finances together is your mindset. And that my friend, is completely free. I talk about money mindset in the book I co-authored in 2017. For only $2.99 on Kindle, you can read all about money mindset and money management. Click here to grab your copy on Amazon for less than a cup of coffee!

If I have any wish for you is that you stop striving for perfection. Perfect isn’t real. Life is messy and our finances are very much a part of that mess. Please stop comparing yourself to “perfect” strangers on the internet or folks you encounter day to day. And please stop listening to broke people. Sometimes our very well-intentioned family members or friends make a comment that cuts us to our core. If you’re going to change your finances, you’re going to be different than most. Give yourself permission to change and to be different. It’s part of the journey.

There is no quick fix…

When it comes to making progress with your finances, you are going to have to learn to be patient. I’m sorry to burst your bubble and this is not meant to deter you but, if you’re going to win with money, please stop looking for a quick fix. It takes very little time to spend yourself into oblivion but it will take time to turn things around. Hunker down and do the work!

Use your noggin!

Money management can be boring for some. I’m an uber-nerd so I absolutely love working on our budget and making money plans but realistically, not everyone does. Find a way to gut through it if you’re one of those people. You have to take control or your lack of control will cause serious havoc in your life. Read some blogs and/or books. Educate yourself so that you can be your own advocate and make wise decisions. Who knows, you might turn out to enjoy this stuff once you start to make progress.

Speaking of blogs… here are some of my past articles that can really help you turn things around in the New Year!

10 Incredible Books for your 2018 Reading List!

2018 EPIC Goal Setting Guide!!

How to Brighten Your Budget & Climb out of Financial Darkness

Knockout your student loans for good!

How we Destroyed $195k in Debt in 18 Months!

Simplify!

Simplify your spending. When you go to buy something, ask yourself three questions. #1 Do I need it? #2 Do I LOVE it? #3 Does it serve a purpose? For a lot of folks, winning with money is simply about spending wisely and cutting back. It’s ok to spend your money. It’s not ok to spend your money when you owe a bunch of money. Get your priorities right and eventually that $500 purse or new TV might not look so attractive unless you can pay for it with cash.

Simplify your expenses. Have some subscriptions that auto charge to your account that you’re not using anymore? Cancel them! Have a gym membership you’re not using? Cancel it! This is a simple step but one that could save you thousands this year. If you have the cash, also consider pre-paying some expenses like auto or home insurance. Often times they’ll give you a discount for pre-paying.

Give yourself some grace

You are not going to be a killer budgeter, saver or debt slayer right away. I’ve been at this stuff for two years now and I still make mistakes. It’s ok. Just give yourself some grace, learn from your mistake and move on. Remember though, a mistake is not a reason to fall back into your old, bad habits. I heard once it takes 21 days to create a new habit. With this stuff, I’d say it takes a good 90. Be practical and don’t give up.

Here are some more resources to get your finances in check in the New Year!

Other tips:

A pen and paper are cheap! You don’t have to use my excel template or some expensive app. A lot of people just use a pen and paper to budget and that works great too!

• Shop the local thrift store for cheap personal finance books! Seriously, you can snag some for under a buck!

• Even better, head to your local library! You can check out books or audio books on personal finance to up your knowledge on it.

Until next time, spend safely!

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