Ever been told you’re so tight with money that your butt squeaks?
I haven’t either….but probably only because my friends likely haven’t heard that phrase before. I get called cheap….pretty regularly. Sometimes it bothers me…sometimes it doesn’t. It bothers me when I get called cheap by people who have no financial goals, no plan for their money, no budget, no retirement plan, etc. etc. It doesn’t bother me when it gets thrown out there by friends or family who are just trying to get a rise out of me. I actually sort of enjoy it in that case…you know why? Because people NOTICE when you have a plan for your money. They know I’m not being cheap because I don’t have the cash but rather because I have a PLAN for my cash. See the difference?
Here’s the deal…
I’ve got some ambitious life and career goals, and OK OK….I may be a little bit on the cheap side….because….I have ambitious goals. See how they go hand in hand?
Some people are cheap for the sake of being cheap. I’m FRUGAL because I constantly have my career and money goals in mind.
Yeah….I might stick to water most of the time when I go out to eat….mostly because it’s what I regularly drink anyway…but also because $2.99 for a soda is just ridiculous. It’s all about your mindset. Basically, I HATE paying full price for anything if it’s in any way avoidable.
I might be frugal but I also have a newer car that is paid off, my wife has a newer car that is paid off, my school loans are paid off, my credit card is paid off, we carry no consumer debt, etc. I don’t tell you these things to brag but to show you what being “cheap” can do for your life. It can literally help your dreams come true.
Being “cheap” allowed me to leave my full time job to start my own business.
As mentioned above, it’s not about hoarding money but rather positioning yourself to be able to move forward and pursue your ambitions. It would be hard to start a side hustle business with cash if your net worth is in the negatives. Ever hear how so many small businesses fail within the first few years? If you do the research you’ll see it’s due in large part to the lack of cash available by the business owner. Often money is borrowed not only to build the business but also to support the business owner financially until things “get off the ground.”
Proper mindset and planning can greatly help avoid these financial pitfalls.
Now for some practical steps to being frugal
1. Create a Budget
Sound familiar? You’ll hear this phrase a lot from Matt and myself. It’s so vital to your financial success that YOU be in charge of your money and not the other way around. A budget is so awesome because it actually creates freedom within your finances. People who don’t budget often see them as being restricting but that’s not the case if it’s properly balanced. While they may be “restricting” within their own categories they actually create freedom because they set healthy boundaries on how money should be spent, how debt should be paid off, how long term goals will be met, etc.
If you don’t create an actual, practical plan for you money before you know it it’ll slip right through your fingers like sand. Increase the income, control the outgo, reach your goals.
2. Keep Your Goals in Mind
I’m sure you’ve heard both of us speak about this by now. Determining your goals is half the battle. If you don’t know what you’re striving for you’ll never reach the destination.
Write down your financial goals and set a time line for each.
1. Save $3000 for emergency fund – 6 months.
2. Pay off student loans – 2 years (depending on amount, income and other variables).
3. Fully fund retirement account – Monthly
Make sure the goals that you set are attainable. If they are too far out of reach you’ll feel burned out because you don’t see yourself making progress. Conquer your small goals first, build your motivation and then starting slashing through the large goals and take them out one at a time.
3. Have Fun With It
Matt is so good at reminding me (and our readers) to really ENJOY reaching financial and business goals. It can be so easy to “put your head down” and grind out your goals. Enjoy the process. No matter where you are, whether you’re debt free and the cash is flowing or you feel like your drowning in debt you can still (and should) follow the steps above to reach your goals, no matter how ambitious.
Remember, it could always be worse even if it doesn’t feel like it. You can do this thing! The awesome thing about setting goals is that once they’re set all YOU have to do is the work to reach them. Easier said than done of course but don’t over complicate the process.
Click HERE to sign up for our newsletter and get our latest material sent right to your inbox.
We love hearing from our readers. What goals are you working on? How can you speed up the time in reaching those goals?