Most recently I sat down and thought about what I needed from my current employer versus what I was actually taking away each day. Working in the educational field the hours are often long and the days allocated for vacationing and time away are far and few in between. I’ve contemplated if working in education is indeed a path I wanted to continue and no matter how I counted the output of hours and days, I now know that my contribution to children is bigger than me as an individual. During my quest, I was able to solidify a new position in my field and the excitement of this elevated journey has been accompanied with a new uneasy fear that rest in the bottom of my stomach because this new role comes with a substantial increased salary.
Now I know many of you are reading this and thinking, did she just say she is uneasy about making MORE money? Yes, that is what I said. For the past few years I’ve made a good salary and I’ve been able to save, pay of debt, contribute to the necessary retirement fund and most importantly splurge from time to time. I never used a budget system in the past. I am average with understanding money and I deemed myself successful if I was able to buy materialist things, save at least $500.00 a month and most importantly not a single company is calling my phone saying I owed them money. With this new career and salary I’m very aware and nervous that I will throw away lot of money inadvertently because I have my needs met. In turn, I decided to start budgeting my spending and I created what I like to call “My Money Matters List”. This list is the first of many larger action steps to financially sound behavior and will suit any budget as you get started on your journey.
When money is not planned for, tracked and kept record of, it literally disappears, like magic.
-Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista
Keep your money from disappearing like magic and start monitoring your expenses and spending. Really sit down and dedicate some time to these smaller action steps. Also don’t feel pressured to create a budget only at the beginning of the month or after a large bill is paid off. Start today!
Action Step #1:
Create a list of all your expenses and give it a name that adds to its value in your mind. My list is called “My Money Matters”.
Action Step #2:
Think about your typical day from the time you wake up to when you go to bed at night. Using another column within your list or a separate sheet of paper, itemize all the things you spend money on such as coffee, that morning paper, chewing gum, fruit and don’t forget to include those purchases we don’t see such as subscriptions to online sites like Linkedin.com and your gym membership.
Action Step #3:
Condense your list and use a highlighter to set apart the expenses vs. the miscellaneous items you purchase.
Once you can see how you are spending your money on paper you will become more conscious of your future spending habits. Transparency is just the beginning. Your list can only be motivating if you can see it, so don’t tuck the hard truth about your spending into the bottom of your desk draw or leave it written in a scrap book you never use. Be bold. Print your list and post it by the door of your apartment, on the fridge or add it to an index card and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Seeing your expectations will help you reframe your mindset about how you spend. I took a picture of my list and saved it as my cellphone screensaver.
This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for what’s next as I show you how to monetize your list and use it to make you more money.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]