If you're a spender, you know how difficult it is to actually follow a budget and save money. In fact, you might not even give a crap about trying anymore. Today’s world allows you to spend in a click of a button. Think about how easy it is to shop in 2021. Have you ever spent money on Amazon? Of course you have. As soon as you have all your information saved after one purchase, all subsequent purchases can be made with the magical “Slide to Purchase” button. There is absolutely no time to have a second thought and your “bulletproof” budget becomes a distant memory as you slide that button. As a result, spending habits spiral more quickly out of control than an unchecked pandemic (too soon?). If this sounds like you, I suggest reading the rest of this blog to hear my tips on how you can grow in this area based on my own journey and from working with hundreds of people on this subject.
- Embrace Reality: Nothing is ever going to change unless you start here. You have to face the facts. Ask yourself this question: “If I do nothing where will all of this lead?”. When I ask this question and people answer it honestly, I hear answers like "I will always be in debt" and "I will never be able to retire." Once you admit that things need to change you are ready to start your journey. The best way I ever learned to embrace the reality of my spending was from the book “Your Money or Your Life”. The author, Vicki Robin, suggests creating a login to SSA.gov, go to mysocialsecurity, and add up your lifetime earnings to compare to your lifetime savings. Ouch!! Embrace it!
- Make Data Informed Decisions: Data is key. Technology has created powerful tools to help analyze your spending and this is CRUCIAL. Your credit card apps and online bank accounts probably have the capabilities to give you easy to view reporting of all your spending for 2020. This is where you need to start. Take the time to analyze exactly where all of your money went!
- Don't Try and Boil the Ocean- The key is to make tiny actionable changes and work your way up from there. What's one small change that you can make to your spending that over time could really make a difference in your ability to save more money? I believe this is one of the major mistakes that spenders make when trying to change their behavior. Don’t try and change everything all at once, start small and stack your wins on top of one another.
- Don't Go Alone! - Find a fellow spender buddy of yours who also wants to grow in this area of life. Set up a weekly meeting with them for 15-30 minutes and share with each other how you did last week, what you learned, and what your game plan is for the week ahead. Human beings are much more likely to follow through if they do it with a friend versus going it alone.
- NEVER QUIT - This is the MOST important advice I can give anyone. Never. Quit. Just because the plan might not be working, or the results aren't coming quickly enough doesn’t mean it’s time to quit! I see this all the time in areas of personal development like health & fitness and money. People quit because they aren't seeing the results they want. The goal is to grow, and growth happens by setting goals, creating an action plan, reflecting, and repeating these steps until you get where you want to be! You can never succeed at this if you give up.
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