Updated: Mar 2
You ever check your bank account and wonder what happened to your balance. It was just $500, and now you have $8.35 in your account. Now you are counting down the days until you get paid, trying to figure out how you will stretch $8 for another week. Maybe you can pull out of your savings again, or perhaps you can call your parents to see if they can loan you another $150 to get by. You don't want to live, and I’m sure your savings account and parents don’t appreciate it as well. We didn’t become adults just to work and then crawl to the next paycheck. We became adults to be free from the limitations we had as a child and be the author of our book of life. Having control of your money is a massive part of having control of your life.
Don’t Let The Money Make You
You have to tell your money where it goes. You are its master. Unfortunately, a lot of us become slaves to the dollar. We chase the dollar, misspend it, and then chase it again. You are starting the cycle all over again—more than likely Its not the fact that your income isn’t enough. You would be surprised how little it cost to live. It’s a lifestyle and behavior that has to change. Like Dave Ramsey says, budgeting isn’t a math problem. It is a behavior problem.
It’s Not The Math; It’s You
As much as we would like it when it comes to money, $1 plus $1 doesn’t equal $100. For most of us that work salary or hourly wages, we do not get weekly raises. Therefore, our lifestyle can not rapidly change into having a mansion and Mercedes G550 (my dream car). So what do we do in the meantime? Do we continue to live above our means, or do we come back down to reality and act accordingly to what our income Is? Start to look at your bank account and see what you need to live and what you don’t. Those sales you keep finding aren’t you saving money. When you bought a pair of new shoes for $100 vice $140, you didn’t save $40; you just spent $100 you probably shouldn’t have spent. You already have a shoe collection in your closet.
Do Not Compare Yourself to Others
I’m guilty of this. We look on social media, and I know damn well this person works at 7 Eleven making $8 an hour, but they are always on vacations going out of the country. I don’t know their life in detail, and I don’t know if they even paid for that vacation themselves. What I do know is my financial situation. If I cannot pay for a vacation without it killing my pockets, then I know I need to see what things I may need to sacrifice to go on that vacation (backlink vacation blog). I may just need to save, and the amount I save may take me 12 months vice the six months I wanted.
What matters is every dollar is designated for a purpose. I intentionally named my money to vacation, groceries, clothing, etc. Place your money where your needs are, then specify what money is left over for the extras. Prioritizing is critical when it comes to intentionally putting your money into the extras. You know that instead of paying for that (makeup something), you need to be putting up 10% of your monthly income into investments and 10% in savings.
Pay Increase and Bonuses
We all love pay increases and bonuses. Usually, we know the raise or bonus is coming, and for weeks we are thinking of all the things we want to spend that extra money on. I want you to consider something. If you are already living comfortably with the money you have from your regular income, put that extra money towards something that will benefit you long term. How many times do you need to have buyer's remorse before you say, “I need to make a change and start spending my money more wisely.” What makes it easy for me to determine what to do when I have a pay raise or bonus is, “ Is what I am about to buy going to help me reach my goals?” If I know it’s a big fat NO; then I should move on. Now there’s nothing wrong with putting money aside to treat yourself. However, spending the bulk or all of your extra money on something that isn’t beneficial to you will leave you with nothing to show for all that hard work you put in.
Money Is A Tool; Nothing More Money is only as good as the person that uses it; just as a hammer is only as good as the person that's swinging it. Be a great steward of your money and you will be able to handle more as it comes. I do my best not to get consume in the money I have. I encourage you to identify where your money goes and see where you can place it can be best used. Below are recommended books that can help you with this topic: