Posts tagged Change
I think we must remember that change does not occur in isolation. As long as our sins remain in secret, we will have limited (if any) success overcoming them. Our secrets keep us sick. When I hear someone lean in and say, “I have never told anyone this before……but……_______(fill in the blank)” I get extremely excited. I know this person is moving along in the change process. If we continue to keep our sins secret, we will remain stuck in our current rut.We must confess. Drag our sins in the light. Watch it wither.
Walk Good. Live Wise. Be Blessed.
I have never been financially illiterate. My parent’s raised me with enough horse sense (why are horses the equine’s that get lumped with all the good sense?) to know better than to rack up large amounts of consumer debt on credit cards. What I didn’t know until a couple of years ago was really how to manage my finances. My financial plan went something like this. “This item cost x amount. I have x amount in my checking account. I can buy this. This item cost x amount. I do not have x amount in my checking. I cannot buy this.” This works for keeping you out of debt. The problem is I didn’t do much planning.
Then I was acquainted with Dave Ramsey. A very intelligent, although very blunt, gentleman that I feel like tells me things I should have already known but lacked the discipline, intestinal fortitude, or insight to implement. He has a habit of calling people jerks or morons, which I personally find inspiring because sometimes I am a jerk and a moron and would be thankful to have someone tell me that I am being such when I choose to be one. Anyways, Dave prompted me to start a budget. I started setting financial goals. Save this much. Pay off this loan. Give this amount. Treat myself to this. Spend this much eating food that other people cook. A revolutionary concept? Not so much. Did it revolutionize my finances? Incredibly. Instead of asking, “Do I have the money for this?” I began asking, “If I buy this, how will it effect my financial goals?”
At the beginning of every month my spouse and I would have a board meeting. Sounds all smancy huh? Like I am running some fortune 500 company. The board meetings consisted of me, Devon, and a foot long 2×4 that I wrote “the board” on (I have no idea why I do silly things like this but you can’t have a board meeting without a board and two people aren’t enough to make up a board). At these “board meetings” we would create a budget for the month in an excel spreadsheet. Every dollar got a job. We would agree to live by these terms. If one of us broke the agreement, they got beat by the board (this was “the board’s” practical side).
A good friend of mine has made this statement for years and grafted this saying to my brain, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” Good luck getting where you want to be financially without a budget. I have learned that a budget I keep track of in my head doesn’t cut the mustard (or anything else for that matter). It has to be an actual budget that I write down and give every cent I earn a job to do.
When you see your spending on paper, you will think twice about spending it. Suddenly that new TV, ipad, movie, cheeseburger, ______(fill in the blank) isn’t as important. When you see yourself achieving goals you have set you will find that you become more motivated to work harder. Now I am not saying you shouldn’t have a 72″ TV, ipad 3, or that new living room furniture you have been wanting. I am saying, budget so you can achieve these goals guilt free and accomplish the financial goals and dreams you would like to see come to fruition.
When your finances are in order you can breathe a little easier. You can enjoy the toys you get to treat yourself too. You can relax a little more about the future. You will see decreased tension in your marriage. All of that from a budget? Yup. Try it and see.
Tell us about it: What have you learned financially that you would like to pass on to the rest of humanity?