Must do to take back control of your finances! 9 Steps
Do you feel like things are out of control?
Are you wishing for your fairy godmother to use her magic wand and make all the money drama disappear?
Me too sometimes.
But you know the good news, today I will show you how you can be your best fairy
godmother with 9 easy Steps to help you get back on track with your money!
Are you ready for some magic in your finance?
Life happens and sometimes things just don’t go as per plan.
It is really easy to overspend when we feel stressed, tired or overwhelmed.
After all, the main trigger of impulse buying is our emotions so no wonder many of us blew our budget on food or online shopping in the last 4 months.
Who knew we would be in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. It is crazy.
So don't feel guilty or bad! Here is how you can change the whole situation with 9 steps to win again with money.
Step 1: FORGIVE YOURSELF
Yes, please give yourself some grace. We have to let go of the guilt and shame in order to start on the right foot.
Please write yourself a note “ I did the best I could in the situation I was in so I will forgive myself for the past and look at the future with a positive and grateful mindset”.
If no one told you this today, let me tell you that you are not your financial mistakes.
WHAT YOU DO, HAVE OR DON'T HAVE DOESN'T DEFINE YOUR WORTH.
You are worthy, you are enough and you are God’s masterpiece so please remember this.
Step 2: MAKE MONEY WORK FOR YOU
What do you want your money to do for you?
Going to work just to pay the bills doesn’t feel right.
Life is much more than that. We must use our money as a tool to create a life we love.
Here, it is so important to be clear on what you want your money to do for you. What is your vision, for short and long term money goals?
What is most important to you, what are your values?
Is it family, or education or freedom or faith?
If we want to create a plan, we need to know the vision for your finance and where we are heading.
As a former travel agent, I can’t buy you a ticket if I don’t know where you want to go nor where you are departing from.
So we need to know point B but also point A which is step 3.
Step 3: ASSESS YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
Now that you know where you are going, let’s look at our departure point.
We need to assess our financial situation.
This is a simple process.
Sit down with a pen and paper and start writing:
All the things you own (your assets)
All the things you owe (your liabilities)
This is how you calculate your net worth.
Your net worth is your assets less your liabilities.
And at the beginning, it may be negative but don't worry. In this blog, you will learn how to create better money habits so you can build a strong money foundation and have a positive net worth.
Then you need to calculate your balance sheets, which is
How much you earn (your income)
How much do you spend (expenses)
By doing this you will know if you are living below or above your means.
Those four figures are a representation of your financial health and this is what we need to work on to create your RICH LIFE.
By doing this exercise, you will have a clear idea of where you stand today
Step 4: YOU GET TO!
Now that we have our figures, the fun part begins.
We get to decide what we want to focus on first and set some exciting goals.
When I left Tahiti and moved to NZ to be with my husband, he had a huge student loan to pay. Plus we couldn’t pay our credit card in full at the end of the month.
He was a security guard and on top of that, I wasn’t allowed to work for about 3 months until I got the proper working visa.
I was living in Tahiti and working on a cruise ship before I left everything to be with him.
So it’s fair to say that it wasn’t easy for me. I now truly understand the quote: LOVE IS BLIND. LOL.
I won’t lie the figures and situation were very scary to me and I wondered, are we ever going to get out of this hole? I was 24 years old at the time.
I prayed and asked for guidance. Then I found Tony Robbins CDs in my husband's cupboard and he is the one who taught me.
I had to change my mindset from I HAVE to pay off debt to I GET to pay off my debt.
It may seem like a very small change but actually, it was huge.
You are shifting your mindset from a complaining attitude to a grateful attitude.
The way we talk about money, think about money will affect how we feel and act.
Actions and strategies without the right mindset will take you nowhere.
So you got to work on your mindset and self-talk if you want to see long-lasting changes.
Now, I have another little 3 letters word that will help you reframe that negative self-talk and that is the word YET.
Positive affirmations or sentences can be helpful to some but my brain will not accept it as truth no matter how many times I say it or try to visualise it.
I needed to find something like a bridge that could help me go from very negative self talk to positive self-talk.
So I realised that when I say, I can't save enough money to pay my debt YET.
Man, I felt excited and positive because I felt like it was just around the corner.
Maybe I am the only one thinking and feeling that way.
Let me know, what do you think about that little technique!
So get excited about the new direction you are taking and focus on one little step at a time.
I know it is simple but please try it and tell me if it works for you too.
Step 5: - IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
This is where we need to cut all the crap and really be honest. Why are we in that mess in the first place? Are we living above our means because we just can’t stop our impulse buying behaviour? Is it because we have been through a rough divorce or sickness?
Or maybe the living expenses, rent and car are too high compared to what you earn?
I know for us, my husband's income wasn’t enough to support both of us.
We couldn’t furnish our rented studio apartment. I couldn’t invite friends to my place.
We had no table, no couch and had few dishes.
That was minimalist to the extreme and it wasn’t by choice.
So as soon as I could work, I did 2 jobs: I sorted mail at night time and cleaned toilets.
It was hard for me because my previous job in Tahiti was on a luxury cruise ship and I was the guest relation and activities manager.
But well, I used the "GET "and "YET" techniques to help me get through that time.
And sometimes, you gotta do what you have to do, whether you like it or not.
I feel that those times just made me appreciate the life I have even more now.
Step 6: START A BUDGET
It is time to put a plan in place and tell our money what we want it to do for us.
Having a budget or what I prefer to call a spending plan, is the fastest way in my opinion to get our debts paid off, save for a house, vacations and start investing.
There are 4 really good budget types so make sure you choose one that suits you and match your money personality.
My husband and I created a V.I.P Spending plan when we first started on our debt-free journey back in 2007. One of the great budget methods out there (maybe I am a bit biased)
This spending plan changed our life.
V. stands for Value-based spending
I for intentional living
P for priority focused
It is a combination of 2 budget methods. It is just awesome!
I teach more about this way of life in my one on one coaching program,
THE FUN MONEY HABITS BLUEPRINT.
I get to choose how much I prefer to spend in each category and let go of what doesn’t serve me. It truly helped me see that managing money is fun and easy.
It is a new way of life where you are more mindful of your money.
Step 7: CREATE BETTER MONEY HABITS
In step 2, you decided on your money goals.
This is essential however, I often find that focusing on the goal kind of overwhelms me because they are so big.
So what I do instead is that I focus on the daily habits I need to have to get me there.
This big goal is broken down into tiny daily steps which I found easier to manage and focus on.
Each day, I know I need to be 1% better than yesterday and colour in my ELASTIC HABIT tracker to see my progress. So Focus on what you can do today!
Step 8: REWARD YOURSELF
This is so important, being debt-free or saving money for a house or feeling confident about your money, doesn’t just happen overnight.
Therefore, we need to make sure we enjoy the journey.
I have found that the easiest way to do that is by rewarding yourself when you reach a milestone and by using trackers to get instant gratification.
You need to have an accountability partner. That could be a friend, your husband or me as your coach. You need someone that will be there when things are tough and also when it is time to celebrate those amazing achievements.
WHO WILL YOU HAVE IN YOUR WINNING SQUAD?
Don’t skip this! You need an accountability partner and you need a tracker for your debt-free journey, your sinking funds, your daily habits (health, prayer, workout etc).
This is a must-do to stick with new habits and stay motivated.
Step 9: REVIEW AND ADJUST
If you are a perfectionist like me who then becomes a procrastinator because it is never good enough.
Stop, your first plan doesn’t need to be perfect before you start. YOU JUST NEED TO DO IT!
Create your pay-check to pay-check budget and give it a go for a month.
Then Review it! Check where you still spend more than you wanted and acknowledge what worked well.
Once you are happy with your spending plan/budget, voilà keep using it and create those new spending habits.
Remember though that life happens and even if we thought yay, I got the perfect plan.
Well, we can still go over budget and miss a big bill, or the car just blew up.
If your budget doesn't work yet, don't give up. Try again!
It is best to have a plan for your money than nothing at all.
Please remember, you only fail when you decide to stop trying.
On that thought, if you feel you can never stick to your budget, it can be because of those 4 reasons:
You are not realistic with your numbers
You haven't planned for big recurring bills or events (birthday, Christmas, house taxes...)
Your Why is not big enough and so you lack self-discipline
You don't have the right support system
Managing money is a journey with ups and downs. Some days it will be easy, other days it will be very hard but what is important here is that you've decided to take control of your finances today and you are working on it.
You should be proud of yourself for taking those steps because I am happy to say that if you follow those 9 steps you will have a plan for your money.
The biggest lesson for all of us is to realise that if we don’t know how to manage $1000,
we sure would not know how to manage $100 000.
Money problems can not be solved with more money.
You need education and the right action plan.
So start now, forgive yourself, write your goals, shift your mindset, understand your figures, identify the leak, create a plan, learn new habits, find your squad, review, be grateful and have fun.
You are in charge and you can take control of your finances today.
You totally got this girl!
I am here if you need a hand.