Monthly Archives: October 2008

Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 5 – Follow Through

Number 5 – Follow Through

Okay.  You’ve finally decided to get your financial house in order.  You’ve worked through the numbers and sorted out your bills.  You’ve filled out your budget – and you and your spouse on the same page.  There’s just one more thing you need to do — Follow Through.

How many times have you said that you were going to focus on debt reduction, only to put it off for “one more month”?

How many times have you “thought” about creating a will or buying more life insurance?

How many times have you “really meant to” fund a Roth IRA?

How many times have you talked about saving for kids’ college, or a newer car, or new appliances?

Don’t just think about making a change – Make a change!

It doesn’t matter how many times you rework your spreadsheets or retool your debt reduction plan.  If you don’t implement your plan, the plan becomes useless.  So, turn of the TV, grab that stack of bills, get started – and keep going!

You rock!

This post was written twenty minutes after Interval Training Thursday – if it reads a little coach-like, that’s why!  🙂

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10 Things That Will Happen On The Road Between Being In Debt And Being Debt Free

10.  When you start your journey, you will be pumped!  You will read books, listen to radio programs, subscribe to debt reduction blogs (hint, hint), and fill your mind with debt reduction strategies.  After years of ignoring your debt, you will have had enough.  With enthusiasm, you will create your own debt reduction plan.  You will be ready.

9.  As you move forward, you will learn to sacrifice.  By giving up wants and focusing on needs you will be amazed by how just how much wasteful spending you had been doing.  This will bum you out, just a bit, but you’ll be thrilled to see how much extra money you have.  In these early days, you will put every single extra penny towards debt reduction.  You will be on fire.

8.  After a few months, you will really get the hang of it.  Budgeting will become second nature, and you’ll really think about how you are spending your money.  Instead of fighting with your spouse, you’ll learn to talk.  As your balances shrink (much too slowly, you will think), you will begin to dream of life after debt.

7.  Just as things are moving along nicely, you will have to deal with an unexpected emergency.  Your baby will get sick.  Your hours will get cut.  Your washing machine will die.  Something will happen.  That’s why you need your emergency fund.

6.  After the emergency has passed, you will struggle to find motivation.  The enthusiasm with which you started out will no longer be there.  Your goal date, which seemed so possible, will seem like fantasy, now that you’ve spent time (and money) dealing with the emergency.  You will think about quitting.

5.  Following some good self-talk, you will decide to press on with your debt reduction.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity, you will remember why you started this in the first place.  You wanted to be free.  You wanted to save for retirement.  You wanted to be a good example for your kids.  You will plant a flag in the ground – and you will get back on track.

4.  As you begin to rid yourself of your debts, you will find new ways to create income and save money.  You will work harder than you have ever worked before and you will focus all of your energy on one, consuming goal.  You will begin to hate your debts, in a way that you never thought possible.  You will rock.

3.  Near the end of your journey, you will see the finish line.  Six months, five months, four months, three months… No matter where you are or what you are doing, you will be counting down the months, weeks, days, and even hours until you will be debt free.

2.  After you make your final payment, you will rejoice.  You will scream.  You will shout.  You will run around your house, jumping up and down, like a child on Christmas morning.  You will be free, free, free.

1.  Upon thinking about your journey, you will be thankful.  You will be thankful for the lessons you learned.  You will be proud, of yourself and your family, for the hard work and the sacrifice.  You will have done something that very few people are willing to do.  You will feel awesome.

Need a little help getting started?  Check out my free Debt Reduction Guide (And E-Book)

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Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 6 – Work Together

Number 6 – Work Together

A good friend of mine owns a two-person pedal boat.  The last time I got in the boat, my nine year daughter and two of her friends hopped in the boat with me.  As you can imagine, I did most of the pedaling.  By the time we circled my friend’s pond and arrived back at the dock, I was exhausted.

It can be tough trying to go it alone, feeling like you are the only one working to get out of debt and save money.  If you want to succeed, you have to develop a plan which allows you and your family members to work together.

Talk With Your Spouse

Let’s face it.  If you are reading this blog post, then you are, more than likely, the person in the household who handles most of the financial paperwork – paying bills, filing taxes, balancing checkbooks.  As such, you probably feel overwhelmed, from time to time, with all of the responsibility you have.  If so, take a few minutes, maybe over a quiet dinner, to talk with your spouse.  Don’t argue, don’t condemn, don’t blame, just talk.

I’ve actually written a couple of posts about this subject –

How I Avoid Arguing With My Spouse About Money and

Is It Really Possible To Talk To Yur Spouse About Finances Without Getting Into An Argument

Talk With Your Kids

I have three kids, ages 9, 4, and 6 months.  Obviously, I have a different conversation with the 9 year old than I do with the 4 year old, but they both know that we “honor every dollar” that comes into our house.  If you are heavily in debt, and worried, some of that worry is bound to rub off on your kids.  Be reasonable.  Don’t put more on you child than he or she can bare.  At the same time, be as honest as you can and let them know that you – and the whole family – are working hard to save money.  As kids get older, let them in on, little by little, to the realities of family finances.

Here’s a post I wrote a few months ago –

5 Ways To Teach Young Children About Money

Become A Team

As corny as it sounds, when my two older kids get in an argument, I take both of them by the hand, and walk them to a quite place in the house.  Kneeling down, to their eye level, I remind them that we are a team, and that we have to work together.  The same holds true when it comes to managing family finances.  The entire family has to be moving, together, in the same direction, like minded and determined.  As an adult, you can cultivate a good attitude if you celebrate victories, those big and small.  If your daughter receives a twenty dollar bill at Christmas, teach her how to save a portion, give a portion, and spend a portion.  Let her have some freedom, but also teach her some responsibility.

Find Your Role

Do what you do best and let your spouse do what he / she does best.  Support one another.  I like graphs, charts, spread sheets, and calculations.  So, in our family, I do most of the paperwork.  My wife, she’s more of a people person, so she handles a lot of the human interactions – calling doctors, insurance companies, etc.  This works for us.

Here’s a more in depth look at the subject of family roles

How Free Spirits And Money Nerds Can Help Each Other Out

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