Control your Budget! Don’t let it Control You!
Have you ever felt like a slave to your finances? I have! I would fret over when they were due, how we were gonna pay them and I constantly worried about how to increase my income. I ended up suffering with physical aches, migraines, anxiety and eventually depression. My life was turned upside down, because I chose to worry about things that were out of my control. Well I am here to help you avoid the pain and suffering I endured.
It is so difficult as adults not to worry especially when you have children to care for. I understand that life is constantly throwing curve balls at you. It is time to face your fears and let them know that you have a plan for your future! Here are some tips to reduce your anxiety about your finances and get on track to some relief from the holds the adulthood can create.
1. Don’t Worry!
You cannot control everything! I am a type A person so this concept is hard for me to comprehend sometimes. Some things you have to let go of in order to allow your mind to relax. Sleep and stress are linked, according to the APA 45% of adults with high stress report sluggishness, trouble concentrating and feeling depressed. Worrying about things you cannot control will only hurt you in the long run physically, mentally and within your relationships.
2. Stick to a schedule and budget
Allow yourself to stick to a schedule with your household budget. I sit down once a month with my partner to do our household budget. We discuss bill payments on payday only and how we will break things down, weekly. After that we try to not think about finances unless in emergencies. There are so many other things you can do with your time. You have to realize that you cannot control what you don’t have. Stressing about bills you can’t afford to pay is not going to be helpful to you or your family in the long term. Recognize your faults and then work on a solution. If your issue is that you lack the income then you need to go work on ways to increase your income. Side hustles are the newest trend! Michelle Shroeder-Gardner writes one of my favorite blogs MakingSenseOfCents.com and she has a great post on side hustles. Check it out!
3. Reduce your expenses
The best way to maintain your budget is by reduce your expenses. By eliminating things that you truly don’t need or can reduce the amount spent you will increase the amount available for other spending. Some areas I worked to reduce/eliminate was cable, groceries, and entertainment expenses. Cutting back on these things opened up extra money i could put on debt or towards more important expenses. The best way to track and manage your expenses is through a budget!
4. Set goals
I am a very organized person and I cannot manage my life without setting goals. I set goals daily, weekly and yearly for everything, so, my finances aren’t any different. I set yearly goals around Christmas or even tax time. I then develop a monthly and weekly plan at the end of every month to prepare for any sudden changes and work my yearly goals into my budget. Life will always have new surprises that cannot be planned for a year in advance (but that’s what you emergency savings is for!). So plan for the unexpected and do not forget what you’re working towards it will motivate you to work harder! Review your goals each time you prepare your budget to make sure you are on track for success overall. If you are working as a couple you should work together as a team to manage your budget and ensure that you are both on the same page.
5. Increase Your Income but Reduce your Time
I learned the hard way that overworking yourself is not worth the risk it takes on you or your family and friendships. I had 3 jobs plus my home duties! My personal and physical health was affected, so, I took action to find a way to make more money and reduce the amount of time I spent working. In 6 months I changed jobs to increase my income and only work 40 hours a week. I also began planning my blog business to help pay off my debt. I encourage you to find a job/career within your skill set but have a salary that is within the job’s boundaries and so you are able to support yourself.
6. Enjoy Life
There is no way that you will be able to reach your goals if you are not content. Take some time and enjoy what you have while you are working to reach your goals. Celebrate the little victories like paying off one debt or getting your emergency fund! Take time to enjoy the things and people in your life. But don’t go overboard and go on a shopping spree! Don’t be all work and no play, it makes life dull. Focus on your goals but don’t be so narrow that you get blindsided by changes in your relationships or in yourself.
These tips are from my own personal experiences and have given me a great foundation into my current goals. I want the same for you and your family. Growth in your lifestyle all starts with change no matter how big or small. Change has always been a consistent thing in life, so, just accept and expect it. Manage life as it comes at you and allow yourself to feel each change but don’t allow it to control you.
The only thing that can stop you from achieving your financial and lifestyle goals is YOU! “I” make my own choices, “I” am responsible and “I” am the only one who can be blamed for my current financial situation. YOU control YOUR choices to change YOUR life for the better or you can make it worse. Take responsibility and accountability for your financial future. I know I am!
Until Next Time!