Home > Money Matters, Motivation, Self Help > 8 $teps to being in charge of your money

8 $teps to being in charge of your money

I want to be a hard worker!

Your grandparents and parents have always told you to work hard.  It makes total sense.  Implied in that statement is that if you work hard, you’ll eventually be successful.  That makes sense too.  Work hard and you will be successful.  Period.

It’s not that simple, not by a long shot.  I offer to you that if you simply “work hard” you won’t succeed and you will probably fail or at least will never realize your potential.  Let me explain.

People often say things like, “She’s such a hard worker”.  And yet that person is deeply in debt and miserable.  Clearly, working is just a small part of the overall equation of a lifetime of success. Working hard is overrated.  You have to couple hard work with sound decision making skills with money the money you earn.  It could be that your lack of knowledge about money is making your life miserable.  What do married people often argue about?  You guessed it, money.  I recommend this book to help explain money matters a little bit more.

You don't have to be broke.

So, don’t work hard? Huh?

Do you regularly use your credit card to pay for groceries and gas?  Do you spend too much on new clothes when you don’t need to?  Did you buy or lease a really cool car and agonize over the payments each month?  All of those life choices have led you to this point in your life.  If you stop doing all three of the above, you can get a handle on your finances.

Today is the day when you can turn it around.  It’s not going to be immediate and it’s not going to be easy.  You can reclaim your life, it’s not too late.

A few tips

Here are a few ideas that you can do right now to help put you on the path to making better life decisions with your cash.  While not all inclusive, this is a good start for anyone who can’t seem to get ahead and lives paycheck to paycheck.

  1. Make a budget.  Don’t know how?  Here are some suggestions, here and here.
  2. Save.  First save $100.  Then $500.  Once you get to $800 to $1200 that becomes your “Life Attacks” fund.  Life attacks include; furnace repair, new car tire, emergency car repair, new flat screen.  (Just kidding about the flat screen.)
  3. Invest.  Anything, something.  Eventually you should save between 10-15% in some form of long term investment like an IRA, ROTH IRA, 401 (k), precious metals or mutual funds.  Something for your future.
  4. Remember your budget!  Stick to it!
  5. Pay in cash.  If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it. See #1.
  6. Don’t try and outsmart the credit card companies.  They’ve been doing this a long time and are experts at making money.  Forget the “perks” that come with the card, it’s not worth it.  Pay with cash and pay upfront and be in charge of your money.  Ditch the credit card!
  7. If you are paying interest on any bill, you are losing money.  STOP paying interest of any kind.  STOP signing up for anything that involves interest.  It’s okay to hate interest.  Pay off what you owe and stop that habit.
  8. Sell some of your junk.  It’s junk, you don’t need it anyway.  This money will help with #2.

Smart work!

What I’ve outlined above is hard work but it’s smart work.  It could take you months to get a handle on your money.  That’s okay, it took you years to go off course and end up where you are.  You can get back on track relatively quickly.

Work smarter, be more focused with your energy and time and you will begin to see a pay off.  Plenty of people work hard and plenty of hard working people are broke. You don’t have to be one of them anymore.

Does money buy happiness?  Maybe, but that’s for another post.  I can tell you that lack of knowledge about where your money goes will definitely not make you happy.

What’s so great about hard work if it doesn’t get you what you want out of life?

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