I Don’t Like Budgets. Here’s What I Do Instead:

I Don’t Like Budgets. Here’s What I Do Instead:

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Are you ready to do what it takes to get control of your finances, get out ahead, and start making some real money?

GOOD! I hope so.

But just so you know up front, you are going to have to do things you haven’t done before.

You’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do.

But don’t worry, it’s easy. All you have to do is change the way you think, speak,  live, and act.

No biggie right?

First things first. MAKE SURE you have the earlier lessons of financial increase down. Go back and reread them if you need to.

We have to have the spiritual foundation for financial increase before it will manifest itself here in the natural realm.

So, that being said, there are a few things we need to do now that will get us to where we want to be. I’m going to give you 3 steps I want you to follow:

1. Go to Walmart and get one of these:

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It’s a cash log so you can write down everything you spend. They’re  like $4. Get one for your buddy too.

Instead of doing an actual “budget” where you allow certain limits on what you can spend in certain categories each month (food, gas, entertainment, etc) I took more of a “spend tracking” approach.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Ugh, I hate stuff like this…I’m no good at this kinda thing.”

Ya well buck up  and get good at it.

Remember, you committed to this. Do what it takes and you’ll get the results you want.

When I first started doing this money was TIGHT. I mean if I had $50 in my account I was feeling pretty great.

EVERY single day, usually right when I got home for work, or right before bed, I’d sit at my desk, pull my receipts out of my wallet and write them all down here.

The purpose for doing this is threefold:

1. You see EXACTLY where your money is going, no more “Where’d all my money go? I swear I had more than this….What do you mean my account is negative?!”

2. It will help you pinpoint what is truly important to you. The Bible says, “…Where your treasure is, your heart is also.” If you see you are spending all your money on video games or eating out or collecting coffee mugs with boy bands on them…(ahem) Then that will reveal where your heart, or affection is at. You see, money is a revealer. The more money you have, the more it reveals.

3. It will make you aware of what you are doing. You will know for sure, that when you go out for the day you only have $43 in your account and will make you second guess yourself when you try to buy that New Kids on the Block collectible mug.

(Sidenote: If you want a New Kids on the Block collectible mug – go for it. Just make sure you make purchases out of your abundance, your extra)

I used to go through and highlight in different colors my bills in yellow, food in orange, gas in green, etc. And then at the end of the month I would add it up and see where I stood.

This seemingly unimportant task set me up to succeed financially.

I saw where all of my money was going right there in front of me. I realized how much I was spending on eating out and saw that was one of the things that kept me living paycheck to paycheck.

So I adjusted.

Yes, this approach is similar to a budget, but for me personally, this helped me stay “increase minded.”  Budgets often force you to think with a decrease mindset. Budgets always made me feel limited and trapped, while my anti-budgetapproach got me the same results as a regular budget without feeling restrained.

With the anti-budget I actually got excited to spend money in the RIGHT places. It’s hard to explain, but once you implement this method, you’ll understand.

I started coming home for lunch when possible, or  would pack my lunch. Another thing I did often was order two McDouble’s from Mcdonald’s and a large water. I got that almost everyday for awhile. It filled me up and was only $2.17.  Or I’d get two tacos from Taco Bell for the same amount. That’s a great price for lunch, cheaper than eating at home most of the time (However it may have contributed to my fluffiness in the abdomen area) But I handled it for a while, since I couldn’t go home on my lunch break,  no big deal, and I saved a lot of money.

In Matthew 25:29 we are promised:

“If we use well what we are given, even more will be given to us in abundance.” (NLT)

-And yes, Jesus was talking about money in that scripture.

You’ve also heard the term “steward.” We are to be good stewards or caretakers of what God has entrusted to us.

By being diligent and putting our hand to our finances, they will prosper. (Deuteronomy 28) God will cause it to grow because He sees that you care about his stuff.

By paying attention to the details of your spending and your saving, you are “using well” what He has given you. So guess what? He will give you more, and IN ABUNDANCE! – That’s great news!

2. Set up your online bill payments like this:

Now, here’s a crucial step to getting your bills paid on time and keeping your head on straight when they’re due.

At this point, pretty much every bank has an online bill pay system.

They’re free and you’re going to want to sign up for this. The reason why is simple: You can make all your payments from one location, at one time, or schedule them out when you’ll have the money.

So instead of logging on to 9 different websites to pay 9 different bills and remembering 9 different passwords, it’s all right there at your fingertips in a convenient bill pay dashboard where you can see everything at once.

It’ll look something like this:

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You can label them how you want, pick what bank account to pay them from, and schedule when you want them to go out.

This simple technique will keep you organized and focused and makes paying your bills easy breezy.

Anything you can do to simplify paying bills during this potentially stressful time is extremely valuable. Trust me on this.

3. Do ONE drastic thing

Okay, stay with me here.

Do you trust me?

Are you really committed to getting ahead of your finances?

Then I want you to make one DRASTIC financial move. 

Making one drastic move is usually all it takes to get the ball moving FAST towards paying off debts.  And by “drastic move” I mean I need you to sell ONE thing.

I need you to find something to sell that you have at your house, and put it on Craigslist.

Let me show you what I mean:

find your lowest debt and knock it out. Where do you owe the least overall amount of money? (Don’t worry about interest here)

It’s probably going to be a credit card. Let’s say you owe $800 on a credit card and you’ve just been paying the $25 dollar minimum payment each month because hey, $25 isn’t that much – you could keep that going for a long time right?

No! That’s the trap of credit cards and car loans, low monthly payments keep you locked in for life. The Bible says you become slave to the lender. So let’s get you out of slavery as fast as possible.

Go to your garage, your shed, your bedroom, and find something you can sell for $800+ dollars. (Or whatever the smallest debt is)

Do you have an old motorcycle you’re NEVER going to actually fix up? Maybe an old toolbox, an old piece of jewelry, some furniture, a lawnmower you could fix up and sell…find something to sell (or a few things if you have to) and SELL IT.  Put it on Craigslist today! Everybody has something they can sell to do this, don’t act like you don’t! It’s in there, go find it.  (Click here for some more ideas on coming up with $1,000)

Don’t get all sentimental, just get real with yourself. Realize you’re never going to fix that thing up, or whatever you’ve been telling yourself. You just need to sell it and knock out one of those debts.

Got it? Okay good. Here’s what to do next:

Now that you’ve got your smallest debt knocked out, keep the momentum going! It feels great to eliminate a debt, the feeling is absolutely addicting. (You’ll see!)

Next thing you know, you’ll be doing all you can think of to make more money and pay off your other debts. PLUS you’ll have the newly found money from the monthly payment on the debt you just knocked out. Take that extra $25 a month and put it towards the next debt.

If you haven’t heard of the debt snowball method then click here. It’s the fastest way I’ve found to get out of debt.

Now that you’ve sold something on Craigslist, you’ll see that coming up with money isn’t actually all that hard. It will change the way you think about money. You’ll start to get creative and you’ll come with other things you don’t need that you can sell, or perhaps it will kick off a little entrepreneurial spirit that you’ll want to explore…

 

Action Step:

1.Today, go and get one of those cash books. It’s cheap and life-changing.

(I know you’re thinking you’ll use an app or an excel spreadsheet instead. In this case please don’t. Go and get one of these books. There is something special about having a physical book and doing it the old-school way. Do it this way for 3 months.  After that, you can switch to an app, but for now handwrite it out. Trust me on this)

2. Set up your online bill pay like I showed you. You’ll connect each account to your main bank’s website. It may take 20-30 minutes max.

3. SELL SOMETHING.  Do not skip this step. I repeat, do not skip this step. It has so many valuable lessons in it and will get you started on the fast track to debt freedom.

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