Money ignites complex feelings. It can be a source of security or it can be a huge struggle in your marriage. Perhaps, your debt has escalated into an enormous stressor keeping you up at night. Maybe, you are finally starting to pay off those credit cards and you feel amazing. Whatever season you are in, the priorities you choose on a daily basis will make the difference in your long-term vision.
You may think, what does life priorities have to do with money? Everything. Bowing to peer pressure is not just for teenagers, adults are guilty too. Have you gone shopping with a friend and purchased an outfit you wouldn’t have normally bought? Have you been to a restaurant and purchased another drink because you didn’t want your friend to drink alone? Little things add up to big things.
Having a heightened awareness of where your money goes can influence your future purchases. I personally believe it has become even harder in today’s digitally-driven society. Everything is done with credit. Not to mention, my poor cart on Amazon is begging for a home. My home.
How to Take the First Step
We always hear the “b” word when people talk about money management, you know, budget. However, I want us to take a totally different approach! We are going to conduct a priority assessment. That sounds much better than budget. Start by listing your top five financial responsibilities (no particular order). Here is an example of mine:
Now, of course, there are several other expenses that I incur, these are just my top five. The significance of examining your top financial responsibilities is allowing yourself to think outside the norm. Acquiring discipline in the areas not listed, while knowing these are your top five financial responsibilities is what starts the ball rolling towards a debt-free life.
Don’t Delay – Start Today
Anything that requires a change is usually something we procrastinate on. Nevertheless, when looking at saving money from our priorities instead of a negative perspective (don’t buy that, can’t afford this, I will never be out of debt), we are then able to attach a greater purpose behind our reason. And anytime we have purpose – we have passion! Which in turn, leads to action.
Here are your 1st action steps to achieving the debt-free life you have been dreaming of:
- Find out how much you are spending. Look over last month’s bank and credit card statements. Where did your money go? Did you realize how much money you were spending?
- Decide where you want your money to go. Remember those Top 5 Financial Responsibilities and why you are redirecting your spending habits. Make goals for your money, while the number one goal should be to get rid of debt!
Smart Money is about making smart choices. 70 percent of adults have less than $1,000 in their savings account according to USA Today. And about half of those have nothing saved for retirement at all. I know it is difficult to start. Trust me, I have started. Stopped. Started again. I have tried several apps, notebooks, you name it, but there is one (way cute I might add), budgeting tool that has helped me along the way. It is a colorful budget journal/tracker that perfectly aligns with my organizational style. And my personal favorite is the inspiration on the front, “The best way to get things done is to begin.” A simple statement with a strong punch
I know there is no easy, quick-fix miracle to get out of debt. However, taking one small step today to avoid the world’s definition of success and pursue the right track for your family will spark that first step to begin in living your best real life!
Be Real ~ Be You