With Money - It’s the Little Things That Count!
By Sharman G. Lawson
Every day we make small decisions that impact our future. When we are young we are told that the decisions we make will directly impact our choices or lack of in our adult years. That is true. There are consequences that we bear because of our past decisions. Consequences can be good or bad, and you will reap what you sow.
One thing I know for sure, to eliminate debt you need to do three things -- make a decision, commit, and plan. Seems like common sense, but it’s the small choices we make that count. You may suffer with your finances because you’ve made some bad choices. However, that doesn’t have to be the end of your story. Every day you have an opportunity to make small decisions that bring positive results in your life. Have you ever heard it’s the little things that count? Small wise decisions prepare you for big opportunities in the future. Below are some little things you can do to make a big impact towards your financial future.
Plan your spending – Each month plan how you will spend your incoming money. First, know exactly what you are making, and then write down every bill or expense that is due weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. To decide not to know how you spend your money is foolish, and when you are in a financial crisis you are without excuse. Therefore, come up with a spending plan that tracks all incoming and outgoing money each month.
Track your spending – Daily get receipts or write down what you spend. Eliminate debt by knowing what, where, and how you are spending. Keep receipts in an envelope labeled by the month. If you forget your receipt, write the date, item, and amount on a piece of paper and put it in the envelope. Each month add up your receipts and see how you’re spending your money. How will you know where you can cut back or take out spending categories if you don’t track where your money is going?
Save your money – Automatically have 10% of your income put in a savings account each month. Come up with short, mid, and long term goals for your savings. Pretend the money doesn’t exist, and do not touch it unless there is an extreme emergency. Forming this habit will help secure your financial future in case of emergencies, and if a business opportunity comes your way you will be prepared to take advantage of it.
Start giving – “It is better to give than to receive.” Blessing others or organizations in their time of need is a mission that all of us should have. Whether it’s giving your money, time, gifts, resources, or knowledge – you are sowing into another. Don’t think that you don’t have anything to give because you currently lack the funds or don’t believe you have a gift or talent. Give to a church, non-profit or individual. Additionally, pray for guidance and direction on how you can contribute and enrich an organization or another’s life daily, monthly and yearly.
Live on less – Just because you make it doesn’t mean you have to spend it! As your income grows, continue to live on less. Pretend you didn’t get that raise or bonus, and save and invest the extra money you earn. Do not try to keep up with other family members or friends. Start establishing a new habit – live on less!
There are many little things you can do that will make a huge difference in your financial future. It’s about changing your mindset, habits, and spending. No one will make you do it, it has to be a decision you make for yourself. The process of getting out of debt doesn’t have to make you feel like you are in prison. There are little steps you can take each day that will turn your financial future around. Little steps count and little steps make a big difference.
Sharman G. Lawson is the author of the e-book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Sharman is a personal finance coach, relationship coach, and small business development consultant that have appeared on television, radio and in print media. Visit Sharman G. Lawson’s website at www.freedomconceptsusa.com.