Three Things To Do To Handle Your Money Now
Most of us have been there. As my Father used to say, ‘there’s too much month for the money’. It’s that feeling of panic when there is more to pay than the number in your checking account. What to do? Money is just a ‘kick in the backside’ — and it’s calling you into action.
Money is a big issue, and one that is right at the heart of life when it involves key parts of our lives. And did you know that if you are feeling blue about it right now, that there are some things that you can do to bring you back into the pink?
Here are three key things to handling your money emergency.
YOU! The first place to start is with you. Start looking at yourself and what you are doing. No one can take the reins of your money but you. And, it will make all of the difference in your life.
It doesn’t help you to criticize yourself. Now is when you need to be kindly about where you are and help yourself to move gracefully into a new place. You may have to let go of some of your notions about money.
No victim, no judgment, no self-pity, no negative talk — that’s just not going to get you anywhere. Make yourself aware of when you might fall into this, and lovingly guide your thinking in a positive way.
As my sister used to say ‘this too will pass’. That was a great relief to me when I started to embrace that mantra. And, in moments of distress, deciding that you’re going to be your own best friend, say kind things to yourself, and see yourself moving on — this is huge and then you can make a plan.
One thing at a time for money issues. If you feel that you’ve gotten into a hole, I’m going to talk about increasing your cash flow and decreasing your debt in this article — those are the next two things after managing yourself and your own state of mind.
Here’s the thing — you can pull yourself out. It will take handling it with consistency. You’ll take baby steps to build successes. Baby steps to get to where you want to go. That means that you won’t pay off all your debt at once, and you’ll make progress in increasing your cash flow.
This will need stick-to-it-ness from you. Are you up for that? Honestly, you might as well ready yourself for this, because chances are staying where you are for a long period of time is just a painful process and one to shorten with your best efforts. Life is more fun when your financial life is in balance.
And, along the way, you’ll need to kindly accept your mistakes, learn from them and move forward. Here’s the inside scoop — we’ve all made financial mistakes. It’s so easy to look back and say, ‘I could have handled that differently and it wouldn’t have cost me so much’. Yep! It’s a story that all of us can tell, it’s a human experience. And you’re human too.
That’s what money does. It leaves us, and it comes back to us, and it teaches us lessons in this ebb and flow of energy. Here’s another secret: The more money you have the bigger the lessons get to be. The universe is watching to see how you handle the money that you have, before it hands you more.
It’s Time to Get Real. A Money Emergency Shouldn’t Kill You
So, now is the time to get started with the money part of your life. Stop beating yourself up and get back into action!
Your success will come from actions. Stop with the excuses, and start with the changes. This will be your support structure for your success.
CASHFLOW: The key to wealth is cash flow. Let me say that again — the key to wealth is cash flow. It’s all about cash flow and increasing your cashflow. What that means is more money coming into your checking account then is going out.
Here’s another secret that may surprise you: The number 1 place where wealthy people get wealthy — is that they know what is coming in and what is going out. And they are very strategic about what is going out. Does that make sense to you?
When you turn your life in this fashion and achieve this goal of increasing cash coming in and minimizing expenses, you will see that your self-esteem is connected here and you’ll develop more self-trust. This happens when you are implementing your cashflow plan and you have taken action.
Now let’s talk about what that ‘plan’ looks like. Wealthy people (those who have more cash coming in than what is going out) get down to reality. Wow, that’s a big one! Reality is knowing what you are doing with your money, each step of the way each day. Money knows if you are not paying attention, and it just runs right out of your wallet with a hop, skip and a jump! It says, ‘bye, bye, see you later’ and it goes on to where it finds more attention.
What does ‘attention’ look like — like this. Write down every penny your spend. Ouch, you say, ‘I like to be frivolous’. Yep, and ‘frivolous’ will get you broke. Those people who make progress with money, and that’s you now, write down and keep track of all of their spending — and they keep track of the in and out of money by categories.
For instance, a category is dining out, a category is utilities, a category is clothes (with shoes), and a category is car expense. You get the picture. And at the end of the week/month, they know what they have spent in each category. Sounds simple. And it is these days, because you can use software like Quickbooks (and download your transactions from your account to Quickbooks), or use mint.com (tracking software there too), and many apps to record expenses on the go — it’s just up to you to pick a tool to record and categorize your expenses.
And that’s all your expenses. So, if you take money out of the ATM, then you’ll need a little ‘sticky’ in your purse to jot down where that money went when you spend it.
I suggest using a debt card, because it will record all of your spending. Or cash, because when you use either one, you get to reality about what things really cost. PS….hello, ‘cash’ is not what is left on our credit card. You’ll only get out of your money emergency if you get to reality and track your expenses to allow for your life to run by increasing your cashflow, which means more cash coming in than going out.
And the first place to start is to track your expenses. So, take action to do your accounting. Then you can review each category each month, or more often. You’ll likely be surprised at the big dollars that hop out for things that you’re not aware of, and with more attention, those dollars will start hanging around you in your wallet! This is a good plan!!
DEBT: You’ll have to watch your self talk around debt too if you’ve accumulated an amount that you feel is burdensome. That was a habit. You got a bad habit. You were unconscious for awhile and thought that ‘debt’ was cash. Now you’ve woken up.
Wealthy people (people who have more cash coming in than going out), do not do consumer debt. It’s a luxury none of us can afford, because the interest cost on consumer debt, I’m talking credit cards, it’s too burdensome. If you use a debit card, you never accumulate debt because you can only spend what you have in your checking account.
So, if you were unconscious for awhile and some of that debt stuff stuck to you, now’s the time to get it off, because it is not a way of a happy life. When you turn your life back to having more cash coming in than going out, you also take steps to pay off debt.
If you just pay the minimum payment, the credit card companies are smart and you’ll continue to be there victim for a long time because the minimum payment is usually mostly just interest.
The first thing to do is to make a list of all of your debt. Make a spreadsheet with columns. Put the amount you owe, the interest rate, the monthly interest cost, and the payments that you are making each month. Then reorder the information with the most expensive cards (highest interest rate) first. On this list also put down: IRS debt, school debt, advance loans, furniture loans, personal loans — and any other debts that form your debt picture. We’re getting to reality again here, and this is the best method for making the changes you desire.
Imagine yourself wealthy and the actions that you take to turn this around. Now’s the time to set goals, by when?, to set your milestones. Let your future, and the way you want to live call you. What’s worth it to chase this handicap away? Five years from now, will you be out of this or dragging this burden along? What do you want to see for yourself?
These are actions that will assist you right now. Pay down the highest interest rate cards/debts first. These are the ones that are most plaguing you. Time to wish them goodbye. As you take the small steps to do this — find some good ways to reward yourself. Yippppeeee for you that you make progress and what’s something fun, like a walk in nature, that can just mark your milestone?
You can do two other things too. You can roll your credit card balance from a higher interest rate card to a lower interest rate card. Just be very, very, very careful to know the terms of the new card. You don’t want it to be a trap where you end up with a higher rate of interest some time later if you weren’t aware of what you were getting yourself into. Wealthy people (those with more cash coming in than going out) are very aware of the terms and conditions of the deals that they make. Wealthy people want to know all of the specifics so they can see if it makes sense for them in their plan for progress — and when it doesn’t, they simply say ‘no’.
And, now you have taken the reins of your money life, and remember, no one else can do it for you.
The second thing that you can do is call up the credit card company and negotiate the interest rate that you are paying. Yes, tell them that you want a new rate. The call might go like this: ‘I’ve been a good customer for several years, but I really need to have a lower interest rate on my card’. Or this, ‘I’m a good customer but I’ve received offers from other credit card companies with lower rates. I’d like to get a lower rate from you or I’ll be transferring my balance to a lower rate card’.
When you make this call, be your sweetest self — because people are more likely to help people they like — and that’s you. If you don’t get help with this person, you can ask for the supervisor. And if this doesn’t work, try it again in a week or so.
One of the greatest lessons that my Mother taught me was just this. She owned travel businesses. This was back in the day when airline tickets came in many forms. She’d tell me to stand in line at the airport and when I got to the front, to look for the agent behind the counter who was ‘smiling’. Then I should approach her and ask her my question. My Mother taught: And if you don’t get the answer that you want, get back in line and repeat the process!. I can’t tell you how many times I got a completely different answer from the next agent — from no, you can’t get on this plane, to yes, we’ll put you in first class — from Mr. ‘United Airlines’ when I was thinking that there was only one corporate answer!
You’ll have to be flexible and give up your notions about money when it comes to traveling your money life. Ask again, and again and again, if need be.
Here’s the deal: You are more than what your financial life says about you!! It’s true, you are way more than what your financial life says about you. You have skills, tools, talents, options, plans and visions that are your resources to go out and climb this mountain. You’re awesome. And here’s another tip: Find some companions! Talk to someone you trust about this journey and their progress. Safe travels!!
The above article was researched and written by the editorial staff at WomensWealth.Money.