You need to make a change in your life. You know that your finances are not where they need to be, or at least you have had your doubts. Most people have no idea how or what to do first. Please keep reading, because if you are willing to work hard, we can get though this together, step by step. Best part? This plan WORKS.
So, do you worry about money or having enough to make it through each month? Or worse, you are blatantly ignoring your growing credit card debt like I was. You feel too overwhelmed to start. Let me paint the picture for you.
You graduate high school and are SO EXCITED to be an adult. Life on your own. All the excitement of college. Hello, it is the best 4 years of your life. Every year you take out student loans, because all your friends are doing. After all, YOLO and beer money. Then, you beat the average of your friends and graduate on time. A 4-year degree in actually 4 years. You land a job. Hello money! After being a broke college student for years, you Miss (or Mr) Moneybags have a good income. With a new job comes the new car. You post pictures on Facebook of you and the new whip. Everyone comments on how well the new job must be going and how proud they are of your success. My new job meant new clothes too. Have to look “professional.” You buy a house or a pricey downtown apartment. You are able to furnish the new place with a 0% interest for 2 years plan. Finally, an Intagram-worthy living space. Quickly followed by an Instagram worthy Wedding. You made it. Then, all the sudden you wake up with all the bills. You are living paycheck to paycheck. How can this be? Income is great. You make too much to feel this broke. Stress and reality set in. Let me sum up your issue in three words: Debt & Lifestyle Creep. Too many payments and living life like you make 7 figures.
OH MY WORD YES. Or at least one piece of that story resonates with you. If not, open up that wallet and see how many store credit cards you have. Men are not exempt either. Hello Bass Pro Shop or Dicks Sporting Goods.
But where to even start? You my friend need to learn the art of personal finance. You are not alone, they do not teach this in high school or college. There is hope my friends, and I will teach you how I have done it. Many people have sat in your shoes and found victory over debt, and you can too.
STEP 1: Find WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING.
Time to figure out what your current spending habits are. Where in the world is your money going? The first step is figuring out where the problems are. It feels like it has disappeared. You my friend have spent it, somewhere. This step is all about awareness. Lets go find your money.
BUT HOW? START a budget ASAP.
Yuck, the “B” word. Most people hate budgets. Well, I also hate exercise and paying taxes. But if you do not want to be fat and in jail, you have to do it. If you are sick of being BROKE like I was, you NEED a budget. Period.
If stopping living paycheck to paycheck was easy, everyone would do it.
In fact, 63% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck with less than $1,000 in savings. YIKES. Stop the madness.
Get started NOW with Everydollar.
Everydollar is FREE so no excuses. It will be your new best friend. After all, budgets are for life. There is also a free app you should download today. If you want to know why Everydollar, this post is for you. Start tracking all of your spending. If you elect to “just not include a few transactions” you are only cheating yourself. It would be like being on a diet, but only having pie a few times a week because that has fruit in it right? It is health food. Or just being a “social” cigarette smoker. All these things still hurt you. No more excuses friends, you can do it.
Step 2: Say no to credit cards today.
If you are still reading this, there is a good chance you have a less than perfect relationship with money. The best way to keep ruining your life is by racking up MORE DEBT. Say no to more debt today. You SHOULD NOT swipe a credit cards anymore. Simple as that. They should not be in your wallet anymore after today.
What do I use now?
Hello DEBIT card.
Where do I begin?
Put all your credit cards in a bowl and freeze them tonight.
We will review the two things to do with these frozen credit cards later. But for now, focus on the basics. If you are impatient, you can first read what to do with any store shopping cards here.
Step 3: Get inspired, you are not alone.
The path to debt freedom can be a lonely one. Most likely you are surrounded by your broke friends who will think you are crazy. The mentality that “everyone is doing it” is a hard one to beat. After all, human beings just seemed to be wired this way. Your mindset and everything you have known about money has to change if you no longer want to be broke. Now let me introduce (or reintroduce) you to my best inspiration, Dave Ramsey and Rachael Cruse. These videos will get you fired up about about changing your life and give you a plan on how to achieve financial freedom. Try the videos below. I also HIGHLY recommend you start following me on Instagram for even more motivation. @nerdsguidetowellness
Ready for the next step? Try my materialism detox.
Budget Basics. This one really helped me understand the process.
Budgeting Basics with Everydollar. This one is great as it shows the App I already love, and you will too!
Happy Budgeting and Card Freezing.