Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Do You Not Worry About Money? Simple, By Worrying About It.

Confusing concept, yes?

I get asked all the time if I worry about money or how do I not worry about money. There is not simple answer to this because right now, I am always worried about money. I try not to worry and trust that my needs will always be meant as well as my family's and my loved ones. That concept seems easy, but in practice is very difficult to do.

Questions and doubts plague me all the time. Do I have enough money coming in to meet the flow of money going out? Will I have a little cushion this month or will it be a really tight month? Will I be able to take care of my family's needs? Will I forced to find another job outside of the home?

Or this week's current problem: Do I have enough money to cover the accidental double payment I made to the utilities with the check I wrote to the mechanic? Too late to stop all those checks so the answer will be sketchy until payday next Tuesday. This problem only occurs when I pay bills in a hurry or forget I paid online and mail a check. I have a system, but that system only works when I use it effectively and look at it every day. And now I am in a bit of a pickle trying to figure what to do. Use the system!

So now that you all know I am so far from perfect that only grace can save me, I will give you what tips I have to use for myself to help keep your worries to a minimum.

1. Use a budget. Let me say that I hate budgets. With A Passion. However, budgets are extremely useful and not very difficult to set up. I just use a notebook, list my projected income (work, child support, and book sales), list my debts (utilities, phone, satellite, internet, etc.), and assign every dollar a home after the bills are covered. I set an amount for groceries, savings, school, gas, etc. If I am working on paying off debts, I write down the beginning amount, amount paid, and end amount for each debt. I like to see my progress and write down "paid off" when I have accomplished that!

2. Use cash for your budgeted items. You can use this for all of your budgeted items or just a few. I take out $20 every paycheck and this becomes my going out money (eating out, having a drink with friends, occasional treat). Sometimes I spend, sometimes I don't. Having cash in an orderly fashion for groceries, household items, and gas will help keep you on budget.

3. Practice self-control and self-discipline. Of course, all of this takes self-control and self-discipline. I don't particularly care for those things either, but they are necessary. Practice saying no to yourself over and over again. Say no to your kids as much as you need to. Use a list when you shop and stick to it! Remember your goal to not have to worry about money and make it worth it!

4. Don't put yourself in places that tempt you to overspend. Avoid the mall, browsing through internet sale sites, stores that you do not have a need to be in, restaurants and bars, etc. Stick to your budget and view those places as very occasional treats.

5. Plan, plan, plan. A budget is plan, but you should also plan out other things like meals, household goods, pet needs, yearly doctor visits, yearly vehicle costs,and house/vehicle maintenance. An oil change or a dog needing food should not be an unexpected surprise, but expected and planned for. By making a meal plan, you know what you need for groceries and can make a list. Save your money for future purchases so you can pay cash and feel good about not accruing debt. Less worry!

6. Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do, or Do Without. Frugality and creativity are desirable traits. Reusing and recycling goods are great things to practice and do. We throw away so much that can be reused and recycled. By being frugal, creative, and learning to make do, we can save more money! Learn to make your own goods like cleaners to save a lot of money. Use rags instead of paper towels to clean messes. Many things can be done to help you not worry about money.

These tips help me to worry less about money and enjoy life more. Mistakes can happen as we are human, but with some prevention we can get a little closer to our goal of worrying less about money.

Thanks for reading!
Erica



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