My blog just passed the 2 year mark on May 1st. It’s crazy to think that I have been writing about money for 2 years straight, and still have 100+ ideas for future posts. I mean, is there really that much to talk about? Managing money is actually pretty easy.
- Make money
- Create a budget plan for that money based on your priorities/goals
- Save and spend money according to that plan
But Why Is It So Hard?
There’s only 5 steps to making money work (see above). But why is it so hard to actually stick to that budget plan? And why do most people forfeit the idea of even tracking or planning their spending in any way, shape or form? What in the world makes handling money so difficult? I think I have a few ideas:
- Life happens. The number one deterrent to ANY plan is the fact that we can’t control everything. I know, some people think they can, and we call those people jerks. But for the rest of us, there are things that happen to not only throw our money plan out the window, but that actually change your priorities and goals. There are things you can build into your plan to help these things NOT interrupt your goals (such as savings buckets), but you can’t plan for everything.
- Laziness. Yes, I know, not a popular opinion (just look at the comments in THIS POST), but it’s true. Sometimes winning with money is just too hard. It’s easier to ignore the debt your racking up and money you’re blowing. Maybe it’s a lack of motivation. Maybe it’s because you don’t have any goals yet. But sometimes people are just plain lazy and don’t want to manage their money.
- Lack Of Education. I totally get this one. I was there for a few years as I blew through over 10 million pennies in 2 years! Maybe you haven’t had time to read through my budgeting basics. Maybe you haven’t ventured over to check out the real reader budget plans. Whatever the case, your money isn’t going where you want it to because you don’t know how.
- Don’t Care. Let’s be honest. Some of you don’t really care where you money is going (then why are you reading a budgeting website?!) You’re riding the #YOLO train on your way to party city, ready to blow money like Justin Bieber in the hair product aisle. You’re a party looking for a place to happen, and you happen to place that party on your credit card, because there’s nothing left in your overdrafted bank account and mom won’t loan you “just a few more bucks…geez mom! I even did my chores this week….and I’ll make my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bed next week! GOSH!”
But Really, What Is It Going To Take?
What will it take for you to realize that money is slipping through your hands each month and you have no plan for any of those dollars? What will get you to finally have that conversation with your spouse about where the money is going? WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?!
Here are a few examples of what I have seen it takes to get people to pay attention to their (lack of) a money plan:
- Student Loans payments finally getting billed to you after college and you can’t afford them
- Credit card being declined at checkout
- Several collections calls per day
- Tens of thousands in medical bills
- Car breaks down
- Car getting repo’d
As you can see, for some reason it’s never a good thing that seems to spark the idea that maybe you don’t have your sh** together. It’s never a “sweet, I got a pay raise, time to evaluate why I’m so far in debt and put all of that raise toward my overdraft fees.” it’s usually more of a “Oh crap….I have no idea how I can pay off these bills, and now they’re garnishing my wages.” And I know how tough that is. I have witnessed and helped those in these situations. I know how mentally draining it is once you realize you’re screwed.
But let’s try something different.
Let’s no wait until the house of cards collapses in on us. Let’s not allow a lack of planning turn into a HUGE OMG!!! crisis. Let’s decide to pick today to start paying attention. Let’s pick today to realize starting a budget is the first step toward financial freedom and a much more STRESS FREE financial life. Let’s get motivated!
Awesome Reasons To Change Your Financial Path Today!
Instead of going over all the depressing reasons that it takes to get most people to pay attention to their dollars and cents, let’s go through a list of super awesome, inspiring things that will motivate you to take that first step toward financial freedom.
- Not worrying about whether you have enough in your bank account to cover your latest purchase
- Never overdrafting again
- Having the money for a purchase in your account before you actually buy it
- Paying off your overdue medical bills (and stopping those collection calls)
- Paying off all your credit card debt
- Paying off all your non-mortgage debt in the next 2-3 years (or less!)
- Never having a car payment again
- Saving money for vacation
- Saving money EVERY PAYCHECK for retirement (in your 401k, IRA, Roth IRA)
- MAXING OUT your retirement contributions!
- Saving money EVERY MONTH for your kid’s college WHILE maxing out your retirement accounts
Paying off your mortgage 15 years early!
OWNING YOUR HOME OUTRIGHT!
SAVING ENOUGH MONEY TO RETIRE IN THE NEXT 15 YEARS!
This is all possible. It really is. And it all starts with a plan. It all starts with a budget. Are you ready for this?
I recommend checking out some real reader budgets I have created to get people on financial plans that help them achieve the above goals.
I am also starting to offer 1:1 financial coaching service to help those who want to build a plan that helps them hit some of those audacious goals I listed above. If you need help solving your financial puzzle, please contact me directly using my contact page.