There’s more to life than financial stress…
Does money freak you out and you’re not quite sure where to start? Money is a touchy subject and it can be a difficult one to talk about.
Money can divide families, relationships, and make you feel like you don’t have things together. However, it shouldn’t be this way. My goal is to help empower people to talk about their finances and build a healthier financial future. Here, we talk a bit more about money and gaining financial confidence.
The key is to start the conversation
The first step on your journey towards financial confidence is admitting that the whole thing kind of freaks you out. By the way – I’ve never met a person who had ‘perfect finances,’ so take some pressure off yourself! Finance is a very complicated discussion, and I’m here to help you get started with the basics.
If you find that you are getting stressed over your finances, you should write down the things that are stressing you out! This can be a helpful tool to understand what you need to focus on and how to plan (more on that in a moment). This experiment may highlight that you are worried about your bills, debt, or even your income. Once you find the root cause of your financial stress, you can start to build confidence in your finances.
Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail
Once you pinpoint the cause of your financial stress, you can start to plan your next steps. For most people, this starts with creating a budget. Unless you’ve gone to business school, or run your own business, the idea of cash flow may be a new topic. Cash flow is as simple as the difference between what you spend and what you earn. It can be a bit more complicated in practice, but this simple definition will be enough to explain the benefits of having a budget.
I recommend that you start by writing down all of your monthly expenses and your after-tax income. You can also get fancier with one of these excel templates! Once you have an inventory of your finances, it will be much easier to understand where you’re spending your money. This is helpful to find opportunities to change your spending habits. If you’re paying down higher-interest unsecured debt (for example, a credit card), you could save a whole lot on interest payments. I wrote a post recently about some more tips to help create an effective budget and you can read about it here.
It starts with getting started!
There’s no better time to start than right now. We create habits over time and starting small is a great way to not only reduce your financial stress but to improve your financial wellbeing. It’s a lot easier to replace that double-shot-latte in the morning with a coffee at home than trying to tackle the entire problem at once. The great thing about building a small habit over time is that you are more likely to maintain the habit. You might start with a coffee at home and find you’d like to learn how to cook that special meal at home with your significant other. Each habit stacks up, but you have to start with getting started!
Start small, and stay accountable. If you’re in need of a second opinion on where to start on getting your finances in order, I’d love to help! Feel free to call me anytime or contact me here to book your free consultation.