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Money stress sucks big time. It spills over to every area of our lives, including our relationships. It creates anxiety.
This past week we had to take our son to the pediatrician. The lady making the appointment said, “I’m sorry but you have a balance of 126.34. That has to be paid or we will need to set up a payment plan when you get here. Will that be a problem?”
No, thankfully that was not a problem.
But I could tell from the conversation and her tone that it IS a very real problem for many people. THIS MAKES MY HEART HURT. When you’re taking your kid to the pediatrician, there should not be the additional stress of how to pay for a previous bill.
I want nothing more than for you to have an overflowing piggy bank so that when you have to take your child to the doctor, your main concern is not money.
It can happen. But first, you have to empty the excuse jar.
Your piggy bank stays empty when the excuses for having no money jar stays full.
If you don’t want to make your finances better, it’s okay to stop reading here. You have to want it first. If you do and it hasn’t happened yet, see if any of these excuses are holding you back. Excuses are easy but the real results happen when “I can’t” becomes “I will” and “I don’t” becomes “I can.” We’re going to replace the excuses with energy, effort and enthusiasm… and watch your piggy bank fill up!
Excuse Jar– I grew up poor.
Piggy Bank– I will achieve wealth despite my past circumstances.
There are poor people who become millionaires and millionaires who end up poor. It doesn’t matter where or when you start making financial changes, it matters only that you start. Your circumstances only define you if you allow them to do so.
Excuse Jar– I’m a single parent and just in survival mode.
Piggy Bank– I’m going to do whatever it takes to improve our lives.
I do not deny for one minute that single parents have a tough job… I was raised by one. I vividly remember the smell on her clothes from the textile plant, the cotton in her hair, and the look of pure exhaustion.
Push through! Find ways to rise above your situation, which will bring your home and children right along with you. Success in itself is not always simple, but it is entirely possible and available to anyone who seeks it.
Excuse Jar– I can’t get ahead no matter how hard I try.
Piggy Bank– I am going to get out of this situation one step at a time.
The way to get out of financial trouble is usually done the same way we get into financial trouble- step by step. The best strategy for getting past this excuse is to flip it right on its head and repeat, “I will get ahead. It will happen. I am going to make it happen.” This will take over your thoughts, which will in turn influence your actions.
Excuse Jar- I earn my money to spend it as I please.
Piggy Bank– I am going to pay myself first to keep more of my hard earned money.
Without a doubt, your money should belong to you first. But, does it? Or does it go towards so much debt and bills that there’s none of your money left to spend as you please?
The quickest way to get to spend your money as you please is to pay off your debt and save more for yourself. Until then, your money does not really belong to you and you are caught up in a cycle of owing instead of owning.
Excuse Jar– I never learned about finances.
Piggy Bank– I am going to learn about finances and teach my children.
Great news! There has never been a better time for learning about finances. You can listen to a podcast on your commute, join a Facebook group, join forums, read blogs, read books, attend conferences, and that’s just skimming the surface.
You’re never too old to learn something new and we live in an incredible time to have so much information in our hands, most of which is just a click or two away!
Excuse Jar– I can’t budget or use Excel.
Piggy Bank– I will start with a simple budget on paper.
My first budget was on a sticky note. Then I moved up to a legal pad. From there, I did start using Excel and eventually an app on my iphone. But the sticky note worked just as well as every other budget tool I used.
Many people overcomplicate the process of budgeting. It’s nothing more than writing down your expenses until you no longer need to do so. Once you know how much you spend, you can find more ways to save.
Excuse Jar– The cost of living is too expensive.
Piggy Bank– I will find ways to save money.
Some prices are out of our control, such as what we pay at the pump. What we do control, however, is how we spend our money. If the prices at the pump are effecting the budget, can we drive less? Use one of the smaller cars we probably have as an “extra” at home? Use a gas station app to find the best price? Keep cars well maintained to ensure they run smoothly?
You do not have to live on rice and beans to save money, but it will not happen living on daily lattes and being first in line for the latest gadgets. Saving money is one of the easiest places to start changing your finances. Set a goal and go for it.
Excuse Jar– I saw an offer I couldn’t pass up.
Piggy Bank– I am prioritizing my spending to fix my finances.
As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. The fine print usually tells a different story. One of the best strategies when it comes to spending decisions is to just sleep on it for awhile. In most cases, you forget about the thing you thought you had to have.
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Excuse Jar– Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong.
Piggy Bank– I will save for emergencies to be prepared financially when they happen.
This is why we need a healthy savings so that circumstances are a temporary pain instead of a financial disaster. Things will go wrong from time to time because that is just part of life. Having an emergency fund gives you a safety net and could literally buy you time if something happened and you suddenly lost your income.
An emergency fund is a much better way to handle unexpected events rather than using a credit card (more debt) or losing money (penalties) from taking out money too soon from money set aside for retirement or your children’s education.
Excuse Jar– I don’t make enough money.
Piggy Bank– I will find ways to make more money.
There are plenty of broke doctors and lawyers and plenty of wealthy truck drivers and business owners. It’s not the amount of money you make, but it’s what you do with that money. If you bought more house than you could afford, then you either have to downsize to a smaller house and mortgage, or make more money.
Making more money could mean a second job or it could mean providing a service on your own time, such as cleaning a house or walking a dog. One of the best ways to make money and declutter in the process is to sell things you no longer use or need. Have a yard sale or sell your clutter on eBay!
An overflowing piggy bank will give you so much more than a jar full of excuses. It will improve relationships, reduce stress, and lead to wealth. It’s worth it!