bundle of receiptsYou do it.  You know you do.  And it’s okay… I do it too.

I’m talking about worry.  Specifically, worrying about your money.  How much you make, how much you spend, how to get out of debt, or how to avoid falling into debt.

I actually don’t worry nearly as much as I used to.  Here’s how I quit worrying about money:

Save Early, Save Often

Even as a 15-year-old lumber yard warehouse sweeper, my dad told me to keep back a part of my paycheck.  Over the years, as I made more, I began to save a little more as well.  I even followed Dave Ramsey’s Drive Free, Retire Rich program to help stay out of car loan debt and help pad my savings.

Saving money, whether it’s a savings account at your bank or a Roth IRA, is a great way to help you worry less about money.  It pads your life against the unexpected and it shows the progress of your smart money decisions.  And that can be very encouraging!

Don’t Rely on Borrowed Money

This one can be tricky, but the truth is that the less money you owe to creditors, the less you will worry about it.  There’s nothing wrong with borrowing money.  I’ve had a few short-term and long-term loans myself.  And I’ve always tried to pay them off early.  However, for other purchases, I’ve also saved up for the purchase instead of using credit.  This way, I save thousands of dollars in finance and interest charges.

In reality, you probably can’t avoid borrowing money.  It’s almost become a necessity these days.  But it can still be dangerous if not handled properly.  And when it starts to get out of hand, the worry can engulf your entire life.

If you want to find freedom from worrying about your finances, don’t build your life on a foundation of borrowed money.  Keep your credit cards at home, only borrow when absolutely necessary, and pay off your debts as soon as you can.

It’s Time to Plan

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times . . . to be successful at personal finance, you need a plan of attack.

You need a budget, and you need to stick to it.

One of the best ways in which I was able to rid my life of worrying about money was to plan my budget and stick to it.  My first budget was on paper, and later a simple spreadsheet.  Even today, I have everything listed out:  my income, my bills, my savings, my spending.  I see every dollar that’s coming and going.

No matter how simple or complex your budget may be, having a budget, and having the discipline to follow your budget, will help keep your financial life in order and it will help rid your life of financial worry.

Choose Wisely

Lastly, I guarantee that you’ll worry less about money if the love of your life has a similar financial outlook.  Your spouse, or your significant other, or whomever you may be sharing your life with…if that person is like-minded with you concerning finances, you will worry less.  And, together, you will be more financially successful.

Of course, this guarantee only applies to those whose outlook is wise and cautious instead of flippant and careless, lol.

You won’t always agree on everything, but starting out together with a similar outlook will help keep your family on the right financial track.  And as always, when there are disagreements (and there will be), talk about them openly and honestly.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

photo by Steven Depolo

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to do listI have a  family member who uses smokeless tobacco, which caused oral cancer in his lip and soft palate.  Thankfully, the doctors were able to remove the cancer with surgery.

This was more than 7 years ago, but unfortunately he still uses smokeless tobacco to this day.

His choices make us all sad and concerned, but it’s not uncommon.

Here’s the issue:  Too often , after our problem has been corrected, we go back to making the same bad decisions that got us into trouble in the first place.  We focus more on the problem-at-hand instead of correcting what created it.

The same can be said for our finances.

I have numerous friends and colleagues who worked so hard to fix their financial problem and pay off their debt.  Yet, as soon as their balances hit zero, they went right back to the spending habits that led them to debt in the first place.

It’s a cliche to say it, but the cycle needs to be broken.

Debt freedom isn’t just a goal to achieve, it’s a lifestyle choice that will keep you in the black.

Stop living in cycles of short-sighted debt awareness, and instead create a lifestyle of smart financial living.  Don’t just make debt freedom a short-term goal, choose to make it a lifestyle choice.

Like anything worth doing in life, it’s going to take education, patience, and perseverance.   Devote some time and energy to correcting the choices that drove you into debt.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

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