Effectively managing finances is crucial to living a good life (i.e., debt free, having the resources to do the things you’ve always wanted to do and maintaining a good relationship). More marriages break up due to financial issues than any other reason! Be proactive – don’t let this happen to you.
Many people don’t manage finances effectively and pay the price for it later – no pun intended. Individuals do not establish any sort of budget, which typically means they don’t know how much they actually spend – then they get into credit card debt and don’t even realize that they spend more than they make. Having financial difficulties could derail progress in every facet of your life.
Life Coach Atlanta The Six Tips
You don’t need to buy another book on how to become a millionaire or listen to a CD on wealth management. All you need to do is follow these six tips and you’ll sleep better at night!
1. ALWAYS forecast daily expenses and supplemental income
Most of you don’t typically think about how much you spend in a day/week/month/year. “What’s 5.00 here or 10.00 there…right?” “What’s the point it’s all minor and incidental expenses.” Wrong – it all adds up and if you don’t have a vague idea on how much you spend throughout the year it will sneak up on you quickly, however by then it will be too late when you can’t pay your bills.
ALWAYS forecast your expenses. For example, how many times do you go out to eat? Let’s say you average two outings for lunch in a week at a cost of $10.00 each, and the same number of outings for dinner at a cost of $25.00 each. If you look at it from that perspective you might think it’s no big deal, however if you forecast it over a month’s period = $240.00 per month and even more eye-opening = $3360.00 a year.
I’m not saying to cut out the fun in your life, forecast your expenses and see if it fits into your yearly budget for dining and entertainment; the sticker shock may frighten you enough to start budgeting appropriately. Just limiting your outings to one lunch and one dinner a week will save you $1680.00 a year. That’s a substantial savings.
Whether you’re earning an extra $40.00 a weekend mowing lawns or you have a home-based internet business, which earns you an extra $10.00 an hour, forecast your earnings and it becomes a very positive experience; which will motivate you to earn more.
2. Budget your expenses
Know your numbers. If you don’t know how much you spend throughout the year then how can you manage your resources effectively? Many of my clients do not know how much they spend throughout the year. Then they seek my services because they’re in severe debt and can’t pay their bills. By then it’s a major challenge to rectify. Plan ahead – sure it’s a bit more effort but well worth it. If you’re computer savvy all you need to do is create a simple Excel spreadsheet to track your expenses.
3. Start a savings account
Consistently deposit funds. Even if you can only save a minimum of $5.00 a week, the actions taken to consistently save are more important then the actual amount deposited. Although it is fun to watch your nest egg grow, you should also increase the amount you’re depositing periodically. Being consistent, without failure will train your mind to save more vs. spend. Perhaps after several weeks you can increase the amount to $6.00 a week, etc.
These economic times are always challenging and will only get harder for us and our kids. Increasing the amount you are saving and watching your balance grow feels great and will give you peace of mind – once you have a substantial amount saved in case of an emergency. You should mentor your kids (if applicable) on how to apply this very important financial management self-discipline skill. For further details read the book titled Discipline: Mentoring Children for Success.
4. Be risk-averse
Do NOT invest in the stock market to make a quick buck. In 2008 the market lost 35% of its value. Millions of people will never recoup these losses.
Do NOT get involved with any ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!
Do NOT lend money to associates or friends. Odds are 50/50 that you will never see your money again and your friendship will deteriorate or potentially end.
5. Do NOT get into credit card debt
Do NOT buy something if you don’t have the funds to purchase it outright. Being in credit card debt is disastrous. If you are in credit card debt then it should be your top priority to get out of it as quickly as possible. Once you’ve achieved a zero monthly balance – congratulations! However, if you are not disciplined enough to pay the full amount each month then I highly recommend tearing up your credit card.
6. Eventually Purchase a home
Purchasing a home is still one of the best and safest investments despite the collapse of the US housing market in 2008. Only purchase a home if you have enough of a down payment to comfortably pay your mortgage payments each month. You must also have enough of an emergency fund (savings account) to pay your mortgage payments for at least one year in case you did lose your job.
Following these simple principles will go a long way towards living the life you always wanted NOT living the life you have too!
Life Coach Atlanta Biography
Experienced Life Coach Atlanta has a personal and very passionate style with extraordinary credentials. Harris Kern has over twenty-five years experience as a life coach, leadership and organization performance mentor, IT management consultant, speaker and author of over 40 books. To learn more about Mr. Kern visit: www.disciplinementor.com for individual coaching and visit: www.disciplinetheorganization.com for organization performance coaching and learn more about Life Coach Atlanta.