4 Steps to Take Control of Your Finances
“How do I take control of my finances? No, but really, where do I actually begin?” This is a very normal question and I have asked it many times before. Even after I had created a budget (SO many budgets) and they just weren’t working for me, I asked this same question. I think I was searching for a spreadsheet or a complicated strategy. But the real steps that actually put me in control are quite basic and I am putting them together here so you can (like me) realize that taking control of your money is not complex and it requires a specific mindset, not a specific spreadsheet.
1) You Have to Care About Your Money
Here is the hard truth about taking control of your finances. You have to want it. It’s the same as taking control of your career or your health, you have to give a shit. Caring about something cannot be taught. But here is a good perspective that should get you more invested in your finances: money is not valuable in itself, but time and opportunity are valuable. And the more control you have over your money, the more TIME, FREEDOM and OPPORTUNITIES you will have. Those are things you should care about.
2) Understanding is the Key
Once I made the decision to REALLY take control of my finances, I started the next step: research. Learning and understanding all the various elements of money is a life-long journey. The good news is there are SO many resources to learn about ANY part of finances. You can check out my blog post on money management for 20-somethings or read The Wealthy Barber, or find a podcast you love that discusses money management (I love the Firedrill podcast). I recommend taking it one resource at a time and make sure you find one you like. When you enjoy the learning, you’ll be more likely to retain the information and seek more!
3) Create a Strategy
Here is the thing, you DO NOT need a specific spreadsheet to master a money strategy. Google “How to create a budget” and try any strategy. It will take a while to figure out what strategy works best for you when it comes to planning how you will spend your money. It took me 2 years to find my perfect budget strategy. If you want somewhere to start, watch this video playlist by HeyBerna. HeyBerna’s “Felicia’s Wallet” strategy is what I use and it is both simple and effective.
4) Hold Yourself Accountable
Okay, so you CARE about your finances, you are reading some money books (or listening to some money podcasts), you have a strategy (maybe even the HeyBerna strategy like me!) and now how are you going to keep this up??
Personally, I find that really feeling in control of my finances is enough to keep me motivated and accountable. But whenever I find myself slipping or starting to fall into bad money habits I set a financial goal (generally a fun purchase) and this gets me focused and back on track. I have a whole blog post on how to set and achieve financial goals if you want to read through that as well!
But as with all of these steps, there is no “secret to success” except the mindset that you actually want to improve. You want control over your finances. You want the freedom and opportunity that money can provide. Want to learn more about this mindset? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more tips and tricks on becoming your healthiest, wealthiest self.
As always, Belle