Money needs to work for us, not the other way around. In order for that to happen, we must pay attention to where our money goes. None of this frivolous spending ridiculousness. Wealthy people are intentional with their finances. Which is one of the reasons they are wealthy in the first place. We would like to join them. Why? Because that means FREEDOM… FAMILY… FUN! Let’s tackle this budgeting stuff. It doesn’t have to be drudgery.
Start tracking where your money is going. There are lots of tools for this (mint.com is a good one). This will bring the awareness you need to begin budgeting.
Decide together what purchased items were unnecessary. This may take quite a bit of back and forth. One person might find some things more important than the other (almost ALWAYS).
Decide together what the most important things in your life are. For our family, it’s food. Healthy food is an investment, and not one we are willing to sacrifice on if not absolutely necessary. That doesn’t mean it cannot be budgeted for more wisely, though. We are currently fine tuning this category. We know that junk food is a wasteful use of our money (even the “healthier” versions), so we are eliminating all of it. This change in behavior will align us with our ultimate goals. The two must be in sync for success.
Be diligent and intentional. Set up barriers to self sabotage. If this means doing the cash only system, go for it. You want to reduce the amount of willpower needed to fulfill your goal. If you literally cannot swipe your plastic at the store, that may prevent some purchases that don’t match your predetermined budget.
Get rid of debt. It is toxic and more of a burden than most people realize. When we paid all of ours off, it was like getting a bunch of hair chopped off (if you’ve ever had even moderately long hair, and had it cut short, you know what I’m talking about!) You will feel so much lighter and freer when it is paid off.
Reduce expenses. If you really want to be at home with your family more and not a slave to an employer, you need to cut your costs. Most don’t make it big quick enough to avoid this. What is more important? Is it your cable t.v. and big house, or your freedom to live life how you want to? I vote family, freedom, and fun. And in most cases, you will realize how much life you wasted on those things anyway. Wake up. Kick the excess to the curb.
And sell, donate, or trash a bunch of your junk while you are at it. If it has to be cleaned or put away, and isn’t essential, I would strongly consider getting rid of it (make sure everyone agrees first!). You will feel relieved when it’s gone, and it might even provide you some cash for debt payoff. That makes it a twofer.
Write your goals down and reassess monthly. Hold each other accountable. Going out to dinner and a movie is great. Just plan for it in advance. Once you do exactly what you planned to do together, you will start to feel powerful and in control. Conquering this one area will make you all that much more successful as an entrepreneur.
You got this.