Three years ago, I was a horrible manager of my money. That’s putting it nicely. Money would come in and go out the same day. I had no self-control or balance to my finances. I just did what I wanted. This was a disaster in the making. To break it down, I had missed payments on my student loans and a few other bills. In addition to that, I had no real savings account.
A good majority of American’s are two paychecks away from being homeless. We have become a society that depends upon our checks to always come in and help me out. We rely daily on our credit cards to live. It shouldn’t be this way. So, I am going to get real transparent on what I did to change my finances. This is going to work for some people and not others.
Knowing It’s Not Cute
One day, I woke up with the thought “it’s not cute to be in debt”. I know that seems vain, but that was my honest thought. I wanted God to bless me with this amazing guy, who had all these great virtues with his finances together, but I had none of them. It goes back to the old saying “be what you want others to be”. I can’t want him to be a debt free with a seven figure income, and I’m over here praying my credit card doesn’t decline. This was a huge thing for me. I had to admit that what I was doing wasn’t cute, and having the latest and greatest now would do nothing for my life later down the road.
Rally The Troops
I went into my bank that same day and talked to Nicole. At the time, she was my personal banker. Now she’s the assistant branch manager, and Liz is my personal banker. Over the last three years, these women were not only my bankers but they became my friends. I know some people are like, all mine do is sell me services. Well, mine did too until I made the decision to make them apart of my family. I told them what was going on and my plan. They keep me accountable. On a weekly basis when they see me they always check on me. Regardless of the reason we set up meetings. I wanted to buy an Alexander Wang dress last year, so we discussed what this meant for my finances.
Create A Plan
I became addicted to Dave Ramsey quick, fast, and a hurry. He is blunt and truthful. He gets me and I love it. Every day from 1pm-3pm I would listen to his show live while writing content. If I missed his show the day before, the next morning either while working out, showering, or eating breakfast I would listen to it on podcast. Education is so important.
Stop Blaming Others
My parents didn’t instill some life long financial plan in me when I was younger. They did what they knew. My dad always taught me to pay with cash. I didn’t listen. My first credit card was a Neiman Marcus card, with a $2000 limit at the age of 18. We tend to blame others for our financial problems. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to make these decisions. You are choosing to live in debt. You are choosing to buy those shoes. You decided to eat out five days a week versus saving.
The catalyst for my change really was the “it’s not cute to be in debt”. I have shared this with clients. As I knock out debt every month become more and more proud of myself. I am ecstatic that there is a high chance that I will be a consumer and student loan debt free by the time I am 32. My recommendation to someone swimming in debt is, its time to get real with yourself.
You can read this article a million times. However, until you recognize the problems you have and decide to overcome them, things will not change. Start small. Get a $1,000 in savings. $1,000 in one month is $250 per week. $1,000 in two months is $125 a week. Don’t take to long to gather this $1,000. Bust your butt to get it in a month, if possible. Then the next step I took was, pulling my credit report and credit card statements. Placing them in snowball effect as Dave Ramsey says. Smallest to highest, this gives you momentum and excites you when you pay them off.
Running a business is super hard by itself, having a bad relationship with your money will make it even worse. If your finances are not in order, I strongly suggest against starting a business. It will wreak havoc on your already fragile finances.