The Ways I am Changing my life— starting Financially.
1.) Dave Ramsey.
It started with listening to him on talk radio on my way to work during second shift. Then picking up the Total Money Makeover at a booksale. Then IGNORING everything forever. However, like a chisel, his words little by little hammered the brain fog I was living in. Consumer debt, credit debt, and buying things I couldn’t afford started to get to me. What am I doing? I’ve implemented his steps to help me change my habits and evaluate what have I been doing and Why! I may not follow his steps to a “T” but he’s got me on the right track with solid advice. The best thing I’ve learned from him I never did before: “Tell your money where to go, instead of wondering where did it go?” Assigning every penny to something changed the game for me! As well as implementing the cash only envelope system. Swiping a card is easy, watching the dollars get smaller stinks!
My fiance and I are two opposites. I use money 90% of the time for an emotional balance. Whatever effects me I go and buy to lift my emotions. It works, for a very short period of time. Then the guilt of the purchase sets in. Why do I buy? Why do I excessively buy? Do I need 45 lotions? 50 pairs of underwear? Growing up poor I didn’t have items. We literally scrounged for basic living needs! The older I got and started making money it felt good to have “nice stuff” and if my bank account was under $500 but I had a Coach purse and new shoes, I was doing good. There’s no wealth in STUFF it’s all in my head! These hoarding tendencies of my buying made me feel like I had worth for only a moment. This is something that took me a very long time to realize. I still fight certain days or feelings without going into a store and buying stuff I think I “need” to get that high I got from shopping. Or just go pick up dinner instead of cooking because it’s short, easy, and INSTANT. It will probably always be a struggle but I am glad I am aware.
I have to budget and see on paper/screen everything. I look at it 100 times. Making one keeps things in focus. When I get up after sleeping 6 hours, having to go work 12 hours, and NOT wanting to cook… I just bip in on the budget on paper and remember it’s the short term “pain” for such long term “gain.” If I don’t set a budget and fight to stay on it the little things will add up. I live across the street from a grocery store. It’s a mom & pop shop with high prices (oh the convenience) and a trip there for one or two things always end up costing me $10-30. That’s a big chunk of my every two week $150 budget! A Starbucks macchiato runs me $5! Soooooo delicious for 5 minutes. A new notebook for motivation around $11. All these things I don’t need. They’re little here or there add up. You know that saying a whole ocean can’t sink a ship unless water gets in. Getting off the budget is putting a slow leak in my ship.
4.) Saving money means getting creative.
I wanted…not needed… a mini shelving unit greenhouse, grow lights, and a seed heat pad. I have every single seed for vegetables & flowers I could want. I want to grow my own from seeds and decided to invest in the products I wanted–not needed. Last year I dropped around $300 at nurseries for plants, flowers, and mulch. This year I intend to grow my own (I have the dirt, worm castings, and saved toilet paper rolls for starters no pennies spent there!) and use pine needles from a local park instead of mulch. The initial $125 for these items was not in the budget. I decided to sell items on Ebay, roll change, and cut back $10 from every envelope in my system. I had to get creative to get what I wanted. In the way I was able to than swipe a credit card and just pay it off little by little.
5.) Learning to love what you have and not what you don’t!!!!
We live in such a consumer driven society. When it you want something new because new is better, throw the old out. I’m no better. Two months ago I was in love with a $35,000 SUV because I want(ed) a new car!!!! My car has 175k miles, a little noise here or there, and isn’t “that” nice anymore. NO! It runs. Seats all I need. ACTUALLY is still nice. STILL DRIVES. It isn’t going to be owned by a bank for 5 to 10 years. I do no need a new car! I definitely cannot pay cash for it either. Instead of being upset at the fact my passenger window won’t roll up on my driver side, or the floor carpet is dirty, or the buttons still work but chipped the paint off, I’m thankful it’s driving me to work every single day! I can fit my whole family on it for a trip. It’s perfect for me right now. It’s allowing me to save money.
6.) REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS. Goals are dreams with plans.
When I got engaged everything kind of switched up there. What have I been doing all along? Why am I just day to day consumer driven without goals? Instead of feeling like a mope and guilty I decided to get right with a plan and start making my goals happen.
I will be debt free by June.
Set up a plan of savings for building a home–debt free.
Save 15% in my 401k, as well start a Roth IRA.’
Make no new debt. If I cannot pay cash for it. I cannot afford it.