Happy New Year & Happy Black History Month! I know it has been a minute since I wrote a blog and to be transparent, I haven’t been a good steward of my time lately. BUT I shall soon. When I began my financial journey, I had no idea where it would lead me. I did not think I would help anyone, because that wasn’t the reason for my journey. I was on it, because I got tired of stressing about money, going in and out of debt & ultimately, being broke. I certainly did not think I would start a whole nonprofit behind it, but here I am. Lately, people who are in the same financial situation that I once was ask me, how did I address my finances when I was in survival mode, aka how did get I get control of my money when my income did not even cover all my bills. Well, let me tell you, it took work and sacrifice. Some days I was looking this,
Honestly, I still look like this some days. It is all a part of the process when trying to be who God called you to be, but I know one thing for sure, it is and will be, all worth it in the end. Anywho, Let’s get started! How did I addressed my finances when I was in survival mode?
AS ALWAYS MINDSET:
I had to change my mindset. I needed to tell myself that I had the capability to take control of my finances. Even when I did not believe I did, I still recited to myself that I am capable. Now I use a quote said by Ramit Sethi, “You do not have to be an expert to work on your personal finances”. Because, you really do not. You really do have the power to turn your money story around. I also took accountability. It did not matter what I wasn’t taught in school or by my family. I decided I was going to build a financial foundation and took on the responsibility to teach myself, to read books, listen to videos, and whatever else that exposed me to becoming financially literate.
I have said it before & I will say as many times as I need too, you cannot solve your money issues if you do not know what is going on. Even if you’re anxious, nervous, or afraid you have to take a look at your financial situation. I was all three, including angry, but all I could do was start where I was and where was I? On the struggle bus. I had to take a look at my financial situation overall. I had to see what I had coming in (my income) and what I had going out (my expenses). I wrote everything on paper, including my debt, excluding my students loans . . . Sallie Mae imma get with ya, but not right now.
Now that I was aware of where I stood financially, I had to decide what I wanted out of life. I know that may seem like an odd question, but in reality if I wanted to live out my true calling I was going to have to sow those seeds right? So, I really had to think about what I wanted to see happen in my life, how did my best life even look, and how was money going to give me the autonomy and ability to manifest that life. With that being said, I became intentional with my actions and my money.
Set SMART Goals & Budgeting:
My intentions are now clear, but my income and expenses on paper do not align with those intentions. I had to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) financial goals for myself that aligned with my intentions. Once I did that, I had to hone in on my budget & tailor it to my situation with my goals in mind. Now, this is where sacrifices & difficult conversations with myself happened. I wanted to get out of debt, save, invest, pay my bills on time and still enjoy my personal wants, but I did not have enough money for all that. So, in order not to over extend myself & renege on my goals I had to have those hard talks with myself constantly and see what sacrifices had to be made to either free up some money or increase my income so I could tackle my goals. I had to sacrifice a few hair and nails appointments. I even worked a 2nd job & at one time 3 jobs in total to accomplish my financial goals. I did what I had to do to ensure I was sticking to my game plan.
KEEP AT IT:
I had to keep working at my goals. As I accomplished my goals, new ones got added. Some of my goals I could do simultaneously, but some I could not. Sometimes I had to stay one thing before I could move onto the next. For instance, I had to get out of credit card debt, before I built my stock portfolio to its first $1000.00. Did staying on one step become frustrating and felt like I was making too little progress, YEP, but I remembered what I was working towards and kept at it. Remember Personal finances are just that, personal. Becoming financially secure is a process. Even when it feel like you are just chipping away at this gigantic iceberg you call your financial situation, remember, slow motion is better than no motion. These small practical habits will manifest themselves and create long term change.
These are just the first few steps I took to address my finances. Just to recap, I had to change my mindset, become aware of where I was at financially, be intentional, set goals that aligned with my intentions, create a budget, aka my game plan that aligned with my goals, and keep at that game plan to accomplish my goals. I am sure other people beginning steps will differ & that is fine. You have to do what you see fit & what is realistic for you. When I took these steps I could not implement every “financial principle”, & that was okay. I am still working towards building the life God have destined for me. I am not where I want to be, but I am also not where I used to be. I truly feel like I am on a deeper journey and finances is just a snippet in it. As I always say, start where you are and gradually work towards. You got this. Hopefully this helps you or at least help you feel a little less overwhelmed in addressing your money. If you have any questions, you can always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a session through our financial coaching services. Follow me on snapchat @iamsisidevoe, like our Instagram page, and our https://www.instagram.com/projectrise18/ Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/projectrise18