Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Does it feel like you’re always just one unexpected expense away from drowning financially? Do you feel like you’re working so hard, but never able to get ahead?
I have been there, my friend.
Allow me to tell you a story…
Once upon a time a boy met a girl. They fell in love and got married.
They didn’t have much money, but they were happy.
They knew that they needed to live frugally since they were students with limited income, so they did the best they thought that they could…
But that Stabucks coffee seemed like a necessity when they were in the middle of an intense study session.
And the cute fall decor to make their new little 500 square foot apartment feel homey was also a must.
Honestly, those weren’t the biggest issues with their financial management, though.
Their biggest issues were that they didn’t track every single penny that came in and went out, and they didn’t save for the future.
You see, the reason they didn’t save was because it felt like they didn’t have any financial margin. (They never added up the total amount they were spending at Starbucks and Chick-fil-a, because it seemed like $2 or $5 here or there didn’t make much of a difference in the long run).
They went along like that and were okay for a while. Their income went up each year that they were married, and their standard of living increased right along with it. They still didn’t think they had margin to save.
After a while they had a rough couple of years financially, full of unexpected and very expensive events that taught them one very important lesson….
The rain is going to come eventually. You need to carry an umbrella.
Those years, while hard, turned out to be a gift for the little couple, because it forced them to take a hard look at their money management habits and realize that they weren’t habits that would lead to success in the long run. So they did the hard work of trading in those old habits for new, healthier ones. So, what changes did they make?
- They clearly defined their priorities.
- They addressed how their emotions played into their spending habits.
- They started practicing delayed gratification and using mindful spending.
- They created a realistic budget.
- They looked for ways to live frugally.
- They created margin in their tight budget so that they could live within their means and still have money to pay off debt and save for the future.
- And they realized that every little bit adds up.
As they worked on their financial management habits, they found that it required them to grow personally and as a team as well. They realized that they couldn’t change how they spent money without examining their heart, their motivations, and their values. It forced them to become intentional with how they stewarded their resources. And most importantly, it forced them to grow. They aren’t perfect, but they are learning to accept that they are on a journey and are practicing their skills as they work towards big goals.
Click here to read more about their journey.