It’s impossible to be mentally fit when your personal finances are all out of whack.
You can’t focus on being successful when you’re stressed out about money and the poor financial choices you have made in the past. Which is why a big part of being mentally fit is making smart financial decisions — being financially fit.
Just like getting in shape physically, it takes a long time to get back into shape financially. Some days it looks like nothing you’re doing is actually working. Weeks and months go by and it seems like you’re barely making a dent in the audacious goals you have for yourself.
But being fit matters.
Even if it takes you years to get your finances back in order, it’s an investment of time and talent worth exerting.
- Build a minimum budget for saving. — Have a specific amount of money that you auto debit from your bank account each month to go into savings and investment accounts. It needs to be automatic. You can use your local credit union for savings account or use a platform like Betterment to help you invest the money with long-term success.
- Track your monthly spending and review it every few weeks. — There are countless apps like Mint and Check.me that allow you to categorize all of your bills and keep track of how much you’re spending, even on the small things. Sometimes a simple Google spreadsheet works better than all the fancy tools out there.
- Purposefully do with less. — It’s easy to fall into the trap of needing a new car, a new television or a zillion new satellite channels. Get in the habit of waiting 4 to 5 days before making any big financial decision. Refuse to make snap decisions that can keep you in debt down the road. By the way, you’ll feel better about doing with less when you notice your extra cash flow each month.
- Make sure your small spends don’t become big spends. — A few cups of coffee each day, a sandwich at lunch, and drinks after work can add up — especially if you’re doing them each day. A few dollars here and there can put you in the poor house when you look at your bank account at the end of each month, wondering where all of your money went. Small spending might seem insignificant, but being broke is a big deal.
It’s no fun being broke.
It’s stressful and confusing, and helpless at times.
But it’s also something that can be undone.
You don’t need anyone else’s help to work harder and spend less. It’s all completely within your control.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you can focus on what you were put on earth to do instead of freaking out about money that you don’t have.
To keep your head straight, you have to keep your finances straight.
Maybe the reason you just aren’t getting to where you want to be is because you need to “come to Jesus” about how you spend your money.
Game on, my friend.