What Happens in Vagueness Won’t Stay in Vagueness!
If we’re going to ever get control of our finances and get out of debt and begin to grow retirement savings, we’ll first need to get a handle on our day to day, month in month out expenses. We can’t be vague about when our bills are due and what days the payments are withdrawn from our checking accounts. Being vague about our money causes stress and worry and it eventually hurts our families.
What happens in Vagueness turns into 30 day late notices and Red Envelopes!
If we ever want to get ahead of ourselves and become able to save money and grow our lives without debt or worry, we need clarity. Clarity is the opposite of Vagueness.
First, go get an old fashion calendar. We’re not doing this on an iPhone we’re keeping it old school (for now at least). Bring up last month’s bank statement online or if you’re strictly paper and have it mailed that’s fine- it doesn’t matter, either way, is OK; just get the information.
Next, scroll through the statement and look up each payment made last month, was it an auto pay or was it a check and what is that you paid and then mark that on your calendar.
Go back and do that for the last 3 months. You will begin to see the patterns. The most basic patterns everyone sees first are your housing expenses and car payment. Rent on the 1st, Car payment on the 15th etc. These are the basic ones, if you use a debit card you’ll also see the pattern of grocery bills and gas for the car and insurance. This is a start and it's vital.
The clarity from the previous 3months records is a great start. Begin and continue to do this and you are no longer vague or clueless. You will begin to take control of your life; dare I say you are empowered.
After you know your last 3 months expenses and spending, it’s time to a grip on today. Don’t throw away your receipts. At night after the kids are down or in the morning before they get up, give yourself a moment and use the receipts from your cash purchases and mark them the same way you did the others on your calendar.
You will see where you spend your money and what you spend it on. This will also tell you by what date you need to have the money in your account to pay your bills and you’ll know that you can’t get those shoes this week unless you already have the money to pay the car insurance bill that you know is due next week.
This might seem basic, but believe me, just knowing which day of the month and for how much each bill is will be a big stress reducer. Less stress and fewer worries equal fewer wrinkles- you see there is a quick payoff to this.
Knowledge is power and knowing about your money will empower you in ways you can’t imagine.
Send me a picture of your calendar - I want to see your power!