What’s up hackers? A lot of times when we’re getting out of debt we are SUPER consumed by it (positively and negatively!) Our families might start questioning or looking sideways at us, our friends think we are a little crazy, and we are constantly checking on our cash. Here’s a quick hack for the weekend to make sure you get back on track with your spending and saving!
TIP 1: Set it and FORGET it!
Money is a written game plan for success. Just like when the Eagles won the Superbowl, they didn’t rewrite the Philly special the day of the super bowl! They set the play up, agreed on it, and then put it into practice. When you’re working with your money, you MUST remember that the number one key to success is sticking with the plan. Decide ahead of time what you’re going to do. PLEASE, I’m begging you, PLEASE budget time for fun. Please budget money for fun! Do not become a recluse and feel guilty for going to a coffee shop! I’m not telling you to go out and plan a trip to Vegas, or have dinner out twice a week. Just make sure you have time and money for you to have fun. This is critical for your emotional well being in this process. Check out this post we wrote on being HAPPY while paying off debt!
TIP 2: Stop beating yourself up for messing with the plan 🙂
When you find yourself stuck in a rut and off course from your budget, regroup! Make sure you sit down AGAIN with your budget. Sometimes, it’s okay to literally start your budget fresh. What do I mean? DON’T tally up all of last month’s expenses if you got off course and behind. Stop spending money for a few days, let your bank account transactions clear and start with exactly where you’re at right then and there. Figure out what’s due next and get back on the plan to paying off your debts smallest to largest. Seriously, nothing is worse than figuring out you completely and utterly mismanaged your money. Do NOT subject yourself to that. That’s not ignoring the problem! It’s choosing to focus on what’s next. That’s similar to someone trying to quit smoking tallying up all of the cigarettes that they took a drag from that month instead of just getting up and going to the gym when they have the urge to smoke. I’m telling you this from very personal experience, if you fall off the wagon, get back on and don’t analyze the minutia of how you fell off. YES, there is a time and a place to reflect on your actions, but you DON’T need to sit painstakingly through every single cent. Identify some bad behaviors (like going out to eat every night or ordering in because you’re tired) and then move on!
TIP 3: GO CASH
This is the big boy. Now, it may not seem like a big deal, but I swear you guard your money a bit more when it’s in cash form than in electronic form on your cell phone screen. Modern commerce has been designed to cause you to spend more. There’s no OUCH moment when you spend $125 on dinner for 2. There’s no OUCH when you buy a $55 T-Shirt. In fact, there’s pleasure sensors going off in the brain. It’s been flipped on it’s head!
Seriously. This time, this month. When you budget? USE CASH. Send all your payments out in electronic form, sure, but for your spending, use cash. “Matt, that’s dangerous! Someone could steal it!” That’s right. You’re spot on. There’s more electronic bank fraud than cash robberies now though. Also, you’re statistically 18-20% more likely to spend more money when you’re using a debit card, even MORE so with things like Apple Pay, Paypal, and other electronic touch payments. It’s MUCH more of a conscious decision to spend cash. You have to physically pull it out of your wallet, touch it, feel it leaving your possession.
Trust me, you can do this. Get back on the wagon. Let’s go! Join our newsletter HERE to stay connected and comment below with things that help you stay financially focused. We’d love to hear about it.