3 Solid Gold Tips to Beat Financial Insanity
By Jeanette Vale
“Why am I always so broke?!” I yelled up at the ceiling as if the fault lay up there somewhere.
Later that day in the public library I stood in the finance section. I pulled a book off the shelf and studied the title. It gave twenty-seven principles of finance to consider. I said to myself ‘when you read these principles take an honest measure of how well you are using them’. Because surely, I was nailing at least twenty-three of them! To my dismay, I had only been honoring ONE principle!!! No wonder I was so broke.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different outcome. I was repeatedly doing poor-girl behaviors yet hoping for a life of money rain.
Hi, my name is Katy Consumer, and I am financially insane!
My beliefs about money kept me poor. A snapshot of me: I rarely saved, and always bled.
In 2018 I found a social media influencer who proved she had the golden ticket. And I said, “Bartender, I will have what she is having please”. I watched her finance vlog several times and began implementation of one concept, the envelope hack. No, not the envelope method of cash in and spend from that. How tedious!
I followed her method for almost two years. I also began following a guy who taught spreadsheet skills. The fantastic year of 2020 happened plus under-employment hit, and I derailed from both methods. But, during my time of doing it, I saw my behavior patterns with money. I was overspending EVERY MONTH! What a painful revelation, yet what an amazing catalyst in me changing my behavior!
Here are my THREE SOLID GOLD TIPS that I bequeath to you (you’re welcome):
#1 Your savings account will fill up as you pay down your debt. The book I pulled off the library shelf that day taught this principle. My natural urgency was to pay off all my debt, THEN save money. I tried this for years. It never worked for me. When I finally saved money during debt reduction, I won. The debt evaporated as my savings filled up. It was like strange magic. Who knew?!
From the first time I read about this concept, it took me over a year to finally put it into practice. Yet, I was telling people to obey this principle that I was not obeying. "Take my advice, I'm not using it!" I don't know who said that, but its a gem.
#2 Find ways to monitor your spending. Do not give up trying to perfect record keeping, even if months go in between attempts. Get back up. I honestly did a sloppy rendition of what these mentors taught. Today I am much sharper. I get better every time I try.
Holding yourself accountable as you see the numbers will bring success. For example, I would see a particular entry and realize: I did the KFC drive through that many times this month?! Dang!!! Then the monologue:
"Girl, you better stop".
"I am going to stop!"
"And you better go running".
"No, you better go running!"
This argument with myself lead me to remember …
#3 Be kind to yourself and others while learning new money skills. There is an element of emotion to why we spend money, that gets us into trouble. For example, we might spend money in response to a sad or a happy memory. Emotions can trigger unplanned shopping. The underlying issue is our emotions and under that is our experiences, it is an onion with a thousand layers that I am not even qualified to pontificate on.
Trying to deal with emotions can take years (and probably a therapist or two). Nutshell: managing money is more than what it appears, so be kind. Being kind to yourself and others is a win-win.
I have ninety years to get money management perfected. If I say that to myself, I feel confident that I will succeed. I feel self-love. Being in that mind frame actually brings greater mastery. In the past, I have done the opposite of Polly-Anna-positivity and I end up shaming myself, becoming depressed, feeling hopeless—and back at KFC. “Hi, yeah, can I have a bucket of extra crispy regret?”
Being prepared for emergencies, and even unstable financial markets, begins with you on solid financial ground. There is a heaviness when you have debt. It is a ball and chain. But I swear on a bag of leprechaun gold, there is a magic when you make a choice and begin to turn it around.
Momentum moves you faster than you thought possible. It’s like being on the moving sidewalk at the airport.
You can do this! If you have pain because of this topic then you are already farther along than you realize in solving this because pain is jet fuel. So, step on, prep on and enjoy the ride.
Jordan Page Simplest budgeting method ever! Envelope budget you’ve never seen
How to make a budget in google sheets by Abyssal Spark (four videos on this—long but worth it)
Sadly, I can’t remember the title of the library book. I’ve tried to google what I remember and it's not forth coming.