There are so many areas of our lives we are diligent. Many of us get our hair cuts regularly. We call our parents every week. We make sure we have milk in the house (sometimes!). We rush to the bookstore to buy the latest Stieg Larsson novel (I know I did!). Why not apply these disciplines to your spending, earning and managing money? A great place to start is by examining your non-money life.
Do you take your career seriously?
Most of us do. If that is the case, what steps do you take to make sure you get promoted or get ideal clients? Can any of these habits be applied to your personal finances? I used to keep a journal at work of my accomplishments. When it was time for annual bonuses or raises, I had the ammunition of everything I did throughout the whole year. I always walked away with a bigger bonus or higher percentage raise. All I had to do was read the list. Do the same with your personal finances. Alternatively, there may be areas that are unhealthy as well – perhaps you work too hard or you are not efficient with your working hours. Do you even know what percentage you are contributing to your 401k? Set a few ground rules so you can start seeing changes.
How much do you value your personal relationships?
Are you the type who talks to your friends and family every day – no matter what? Or do you just send cards on holidays and birthdays? You are probably in between but this is a good time to examine your personal relationships and figure out how to apply a new money action. If you really are the type to talk to your friends and family every day, insert a money habit there too. Every time you talk to a friend, text another friend your daily spending. Or if you want to make more of an effort to talk to your brother in Tacoma, then at the same time learn more about the mutual funds within your 401k.
What do you earn and spend hourly?
If you earn $100,000 a year, pay 30% taxes, and work 50 hours a week – you are earning about $27 an HOUR. If you are spending $15 on lunch and snacks every day, is that worth working almost 3 hours to eat an overpriced lunch? Or if you spent $300 mindlessly at Target or Bloomingdales, were those purchases worth working more than 11 hours? Once you figure out your hourly rate of earnings, you will be inclined to do the following:
- Give yourself a raise! Increase your hourly rate to $35, $40 or even $70 an HOUR!
- Spend less. When you really think about how hard you are working, you realize the purchases may not be worth it. You can have the best budgets in the world but you have to be motivated to follow them.
- Know that you are worth more. A client recently realized she wasn’t charging enough because she didn’t value her services enough. Through support from me and her friends, she acknowledged her fantastic experience and had the motivation to go for the higher paying projects.