Money Smarts — Of course, that’s not too much to ask. And yet…
No matter how much you make, you may have been struggling a bit. Do you find it difficult to live within your means?
Maybe this Three Part article can help, starting with Part One today.
And even if you haven’t been struggling, expect inspiration.
Money Smarts. My Wake-Up Call
The IRS auditor sat right in my office. But no worries, Gladys wasn’t there to audit me. She’d made an appointment for a personal session, following a sweet feature story on my work in the Washington Post.
Since Gladys was the only IRS professional I’d ever met, I couldn’t resist asking her this question: “Do most people live within their means?”
“About 20% do not,” Gladys replied.
“Really? Are those people who don’t make much money?” I asked, figuring I already knew the answer. Success guaranteed having plenty of money, right?
That’s when Gladys really shocked me. “No,” she said, “I mean 20% of people in every income bracket. They spend more than they earn.”
Maybe you’re among that 20%, Blog-Buddies. Or maybe you struggle just a bit at living within your means. Wouldn’t you like to protect yourself financially?
Money Smarts? Hardly Universal
Maybe you live without credit card debt, etc.. But you’re hardly in the majority. For many of us, over-spending is a constant struggle.
Another possibility is that you don’t struggle exactly. Yet the prospect of budgeting makes you feel joyless.
As if some grownup… with a dingy aura… has told scolded you, saying, “You’re not allowed to have fun with your money. Instead you’ve got to be RESPONSIBLE!”
Could be, you really do wish to be responsible in how you manage your money. Only that’s hard, for one reason or another.
Look you’re probably ambitious in many ways: You want to look good. Feel good. Do work that’s meaningful. And also enjoy spending some of that well-earned cash.
Further, your ambitions might include financial goals, like saving for a comfortable retirement.
Money Smarts to Support All Your Ambitions
Oh, so many ambitions! And oh, so many temptations to spend money!
Hey, that’s par for the ridiculously complicated lives all of us are living today! Well, I’ve written this two-part article in order to help. Including a story that may stick in your mind and, weirdly, inspire you.
Money Smarts Start with Human-Based Smarts
Although I’m a big fan of energetic literacy and energy-based healing. Which can help to solve money problems.
Yet I’m also a realist. When clients book sessions with me to help get their spending under control — what do I recommend?
Budgeting, that’s what. More people than you might guess… have never learned how to budget.
Maybe you’re among them. Could be, the parental unit wasn’t great at money management, so what they taught by example was distinctly unhelpful. And if a “How to Budget” memo was passed out in school, you were absent that day.
Well, no repining. If you haven’t yet found a budgeting method that works for you comfortably, that’s easily remedied. I’d recommend going onto Amazon and searching under “Books” for a budgeting paperback, one written by a financial expert; an expert who’s got an approach that strikes you as reasonable; an expert with a writing style that wins your trust.
Actually, you may be amazed to discover how many great budgeting how-to’s are available now. So browse away and then choose one. Purchasing that paperback, you’ll commit to moving forward.
Moving forward as a person who manages your money. Rather than a person who keeps receiving rude surprises. Which cause you to lament, “Why on earth did I buy that?” (Perhaps one of the ickiest feelings ever.)
Money Smarts Really Demand Budgeting
Fortunately, what happens once you begin? Developing budgeting skills can be surprisingly painless.
For instance, you might learn all you need to know in just 10 minutes a day. Aim to take those 10 minutes in the same place and time every single day.
You know, until budgeting becomes a regular habit like bathing — not that I suggest that you study money laundering. Definitely not!
Learning to Budget Can Be a Super-Easy Form of Personal Growth
Spend just a little time. Patiently develop that budgeting skill. Soon you’ll be rewarded with cumulative results.
All accomplished without bullying yourself!
Seems to me, that easy 10-minute approach is a great way to learn any new skill. Of course, if you’re really enjoying yourself, some days you might choose to spend more than 10 minutes, in which case I won’t stop you.
Budgeting skills will bring clarity about how to manage your finances. Plus, you’ll gain a quiet satisfaction, knowing that you can keep your financial house in order. And this simple strategy will work whatever your income bracket.
While adopting new budgeting habits, that may feel uncomfortable, in which case you can probably chalk that up to adjusting. You can expect a great return-on-investment for that one little paperback book about budgeting.
Except what if that doesn’t quite work for you? What if you still can’t, can’t, can’t… manage to live within your means?
Well, that’s why this article has a Part Two, later a Part Three. Look for them soon. Meanwhile, comments now, anyone?
For instance, related to our last blog post about good advice versus bad advice... What kind of budgeting advice have you received before reading this article? Good advice or not so helpful?