- Terri K. Lankford, LPC, NCC, LCAS
Money Honey : Setting Intentions Series Part II
I hope you all enjoyed the knowledge and habit building tips from last week on Hydration! As we keep digging into this series of the Top 4 intentions that I see benefit my clients when they SHOW UP for themselves and follow through, we’re diving straight into ….
So you have big plans of not having to work one day… or of that dream vacation… or simply growing your family? Maybe you just have small plans next week of going out for dinner with friends, taking yourself for that pedicure, or simply going grocery shopping.
Then this next intention is for you!
Intention #2 : CREATE A BUDGET
Yep. That big hairy scary thing that we like to avoid.
It’s one of the top 3 things that couples fight about and its definitely one of the highest ranking concerns that I hear about - worrying about money! Do you have enough of it and How do we spend it?
We have some serious struggles in our relationship with money. Studies have shown that spending money foolishly is a potential predictor of future divorce. Some believe it is what will bring them happiness. And there are studies work to answer the debate over the exact nature of this relationship. Some believe its the root of all evil. And while dealing with that relationship is probably best saved for another blog (and/or several sessions of therapy), Either way you look at it, we all have to deal with it.
So if we can set our goals or financial stability, what is the intention behind that?
Budgeting is one of the biggest keys in managing your money CONSISTENTLY and helps you PRIORITIZE where to spend your money and puts you back in the drivers seat.
What is a budget?
Its pretty simple. Budgeting is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. This spending plan is called a budget. Creating this spending plan allows you to determine in advance whether you will have enough money to do the things you need to do or would like to do.
It allows you to see how your money flows. What’s coming in? What’s going out?
It allows you to see what’s happening right NOW.
How can a budget help you then?
If you don’t know what’s going on with your money, you are more likely to end up in a ton of debt and/or the more you avoid it if you already have debt, the worst it will become. Budgeting keeps from overspending.
It takes the guess work out. It allows you to take a solid look at what’s up and what needs to happen. This allows you to take action on your intentions! You take the guess work out of knowing what you need to be doing like spending less or saving more. (Pssst. Budgeting helps you SAVE money!) It tells you if you can take that vacation and actually enjoy it! Or if might need to reign it in a bit in order to keep a roof over your head and food on the table (as well as how much you can spend on said roof and said food.) Budgeting helps you stop worrying. Budgeting is not about limiting the fun in your life, but opening up opportunities and money in order to have more fun.
Budgeting can be as simple or as easy as you make it. But the more specific you get, the better results you’ll see.
Here’s how you do it:
Calculate Your Expenses : Look at receipts, bank statements, financial files etc. and add up how much your spending each month. And BE REALISTIC. Don’t forget those coffees you grab a few times a week on or the potential unexpected car expense that comes up! (Rule of thumb: take your annual spending - or the average of 12 months - and add 10% for unexpected costs.)
Determine Your Income : Where does your money come from and how much? Whats your regular salary + any extra funds that come your way throughout the year, such as cash gifts, sale of items online or via garage sales, and don’t forget other income sources like alimony, child support, interest, dividends and rental income.
Set Savings and Payoff Goals : First you have to determine you’re spending more than you’re making. If so, t’s time to do some cutting so you have something to save and don’t go further into debt. The best way to figure out where you can cut from your expenses is to track your spending and record every expense for a month HEAR THIS: DAILY. Seemingly insignificant items such as a cup of coffee add up over time or the $1 aisle in Target add up! Cut enough so that you have 10 percent to 20 percent of your income left over each month to add to your savings account. If you are unable to cut a sufficient amount from your budget, consider ways you can increase your income. ((This may be new intention setting at its finest!))
GET CONSISTENT. The best way to stay on top of your budget is to record all of your expenses and income. Pick a SET DAY(S) of the week to sit down and put everything into an excel sheet or into your notebook, whatever you’re using to track! Having to input expenses will cause you to think twice before splurging, and it’s especially satisfying and motivating to record when you’ve met a savings goal.
What is all of this working for you to do? GET INTENTIONAL!!!!!!!! THINK every time you go to pull out that debit/credit card or cash.
****Now I’m not saying FREAK OUT every time, Ok? This isn’t about using this to create more anxiety. But if you don’t create awareness of what the root of the issue is, how in the hell are you going to fix it? So if you have a budget, use it accordingly and then move on! You can find peace in knowing where your finances are even if they aren’t were you want them to be yet… Right? Where are you at now? Where do you want to be? It isn’t that you don’t have ENOUGH money. There’s plenty circulating out there. How are you going to have it flow to you? What work do you need to put in to get the balance you desire?
The KEY IS TO KEEP AT IT. It can seem a little more difficult at first as you adjust your spending in your categories but being mindful of where your money is going DAILY gives you more relief and fun in the long run!
#MarchMadness #progress #goals #finances #money #priorities #healthyhabits #tracking #makeaplan #mindfulness #motivationmonday #Awareness #wellness #stress #healthyliving #thrive