How do I start?
So, you've come to the conclusion that money might be more complicated than it seems. Maybe you went to Target for fabric softener and came out with a new purse, 3 pairs of pants, and some super cute pens. (and forgot the fabric softener) Maybe you forgot about a credit card payment and was charged a late fee (even though you literally paid it a day later - UGH!)
I was RIGHT where you are now a few years ago. Got my first job and weekly paychecks were rolling in. And I was rollin' in it!
Until Monday morning came and my debit was declined a $10.87 coffee purchase. And I was paid $500 literally 3 days before... my money was disappearing- FAST.
So, I am going to spill some not-so-secrets about getting a head start on your financial journey.
1. Write out your financial goals
Do you want to pay off debt? Buy a car in cash? Save for a vacation or for an emergency fund? Take out one of the 23 empty notebooks in your stash and jot these bad boys down.
2. Know where your money is going
Yep I know - gulp. You can do this 2 ways: Print out your bank statements from the last 2 months and highlight your purchases in these categories:
- Out to eat
- Personal Care
- Transportation (gas, car payment, car wash, etc.)
- Misc purchases
Or you can start tracking your purchases for a month to SEE where you are actively spending your money. I personally like when reality hits me like a bag of money so the first one is more effective.
3. Switch to Cash
I don't know about you, but it's so frickin' easy to swipe a piece a plastic or to insert the chip (or swipe it because the chip reader is broken) when spending money. It's painless. I don't think about it. "What's the total? whatever, here's my card." BEEPBEEPBEEP remove card!
But C A S H is KING! Feeling the money in my hands makes me think about what I am spending. $4.49 for a box of cereal?? Yeah...no.
Cash Envelopes are a great tool for this - especially FREE ones you can find right here in my store. Dedicating those specific categories (that I mentioned above during the painful highlighting in the bank statement) can help you curb your spending and help you lower your budget for certain things. Especially when you have financial goals! You can hold off on luxury items while you are saving or paying off debt-right? RIGHT??
4. It's YOUR journey
Don't get sucked in to the social media picture of the perfect budget people - always on budget, never overspends, their car never breaks down... WRONG! Everybody overspends or murphy makes a visit to screw your stuff up. Don't compare your journey to someone else. You are uniquely you, and we need you in the #DebtFreeCommunity!
I hope this blog post helped you out a little bit. Let me know if you have any questions!