If you’ve ever dreaded checking your bank account balance at the end of a particularly spendy month, you’re not alone. Trust me.
Coming face to face with finances can be incredibly stressful—especially for young people who might be managing their own bank accounts for the first time with little to no guidance on how to negotiate around credit cards, paying off student loans, and saving enough money to invest in the future.
Although hiding your head in the sand and flat out ignoring your accounts (“Debt? What debt?”) might seem like a good option for now, trust us when we say you that eventually, you’ll need to honestly assess your financial situation. Yes, that might be really, really uncomfortable at first—but it’s necessary to get clear on what’s happening with your money so you can feel really good about your personal finances.
We sat down with Simone Milasas, the founder and creator of Joy of Business, to learn exactly what we need to do in order to take charge of our finances and feel good about our money.
1. Get honest about your money situation
Start by taking an honest look at your current money situation. How much debt do you have? What are your expenses? What would you like your life to be like and how much money would it take for you to live – joyfully? Taking an honest look at your finances is not about judging you. Rather, it’s about getting a clear picture of where you are today. You can change anything if you are willing to look at it.
2. Ask questions that invite money
Interesting thing—when you have conclusions about money, only that which matches your conclusion can show up. For example, if you have concluded that you have to work hard for money, you will always work hard for money. You have decided it is so. It will be so. When you ask questions, you go beyond everything you have concluded so new ideas can show up. You can start to ask, “What else is possible that I have not yet asked for?” And, “If I was choosing my financial reality, what would I choose?” Or, “What can I put my attention on today that will increase my money?”
3. Write a create list
Most of us write wish lists. If you are only wishing for something, you will always be wishing. Instead of a wish list, write a create list. How much money would you like to have each month? What would you like your life to look like? Is travel fun for you? Would you like to start a business? Now, make the commitment, “No matter what it takes and no matter what it looks like, I am going to create this.” This is your life. It’s not a dry run. Commit to it and daily take action.
4. Use a credit card—wisely
Be aware of everything you are charging to your credit card and do your best to pay it off every month. If you already have debt, work out how much extra you would need to pay each month towards your credit card debt to be out of debt in 12 – 24 months. If you have more than one credit card to pay off, what are the possibilities of consolidating your debt?
If you are willing to be aware of your finances, if you will choose to commit to your life and doing what it takes to have the financial situation you desire, you can enjoy the convenience of a credit card without the difficulties misuse can create.