facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
%POST_TITLE% Thumbnail

Don't beat yourself up over spending… try this instead.

I’ve had countless conversations with people about money, and one theme consistently emerges: anxiety.

Everyone has a vision of their ideal financial life, but few have a concrete plan to achieve it. After many discussions on this topic, I’ve developed a strategy that might help.

First, a couple of disclaimers:

  1. It’s challenging. Think of it like your doctor advising you to eat more vegetables and exercise for an hour daily.
  2. It’s tedious. Imagine watching an oak tree grow. It’s short-term boring but long-term exciting.

For those still with me after "challenging" and "tedious," here’s: A Very Unexciting, Four-Step Plan to the Financial Life of Your Dreams!

Step 1: Pay Attention to Your Spending.

You can call it budgeting, but it’s really about closely monitoring your spending. This could be as simple as carrying an index card to note every transaction or thoroughly reviewing your monthly credit card statement. The goal is to start noticing your spending habits.

Step 2: Identify Wasted Money.

The tough part of saving isn’t saving itself but finding the money to save. I developed a routine that worked for me: I printed my credit card statements and scrutinized each charge. For instance, I once found a charge for a service I hadn’t used in over a year. I had wasted hundreds of dollars on something I wasn’t using. Identifying these unnecessary expenses can free up money you didn’t realize you had.

Step 3: Automate Savings.

If there’s anything remotely exciting in this process, it’s this: finding money to save. Since you were already spending it, it won’t hurt to redirect it into savings. Set up automatic investments. Don’t stress about finding the perfect investment—keep it simple and boring. The key is to automate the process, regularly transferring money from your checking account to your savings or investment account without needing stamps, envelopes, or willpower.

Step 4: Repeat.

To add a bit of fun, think of it as a treasure hunt. Each month, review your credit card statements, identify wasted money, and add it to your automated savings. Challenge yourself to increase the amount each month, even if it’s just $5 or $10. Over time, these small amounts add up. See how high you can raise your savings each month.

I hope this helps!

Optimize Your Financial Life

By paying attention to your spending, identifying wasted money, and automating your savings, you can create a solid foundation for achieving your financial goals. Remember, the key is consistency and patience. Implement these steps, and over time, you’ll see significant improvements in your financial health.

For more tips on financial planning, budgeting, and saving money, be sure to check out our other articles and resources. Let’s take the first step towards a more secure financial future together!