This post is part 2 of the “Fixing My Finances” series. Part 1, Fixing My Finances: Lessons I’ve Learned, click here.
There are times when a numbered list is the best way to communicate a series of interconnected points. So, I present 10 (of the many) lessons that I’ve learned over the past two years.
1. I need a specific plan and a specific goal. I do not work well with “generalizations”. I set a specific goal with a specific date for completion, and create a plan (budget) with specific guidelines.
2. I am motivated by the emotional impact of achieving a goal. While I enjoy considering the “math” behind certain financial decisions, I am motivated by the “rush” that I receive when I actually do something.
3. I enjoy the peace that comes from being debt free. While I know that I could use a credit card for monthly expenses, I enjoy my cash-only experience.
4. I will spend money (unnecessarily) when I feel tired, angry, or frustrated. Whenever I purchase an item to meet an emotional need, I inevitably end up feeling worse.
5. I have learned to surround myself with people who are “pulling” for me and not “pushing” against me. I need lots and lots of “at-a-boys” and “way-to-gos”. It is OK to be proud whenever you accomplish a task.
6. I should never up-size, go-large, or up-grade a meal. I am always full about 2/3 of the way into any meal, and when I up-size a meal, I feel compelled to eat every last mouthful. I should not put myself in a position where I feel guilty for “not eating”.
7. I know less about “finance” than most people who write about finance. But, I think that I have (at least) a little understanding of the “personal” side of personal finance. 95% of people (in my opinion) are motivated by their emotions (fears and hopes). If I can couple my emotional responses together with the knowledge that I am gaining, I can change my future (and my children’s futures).
8. I am a much harder worker than I ever realized. Before, I was working for someone. Now, I’m working for “my future”. I still have the same job, but now I have new motivations, desires, goals, plans, and dreams.
9. I wasted SO many years and I worry that I have waited too long to “turn my ship around…” I hope that I am saving enough, investing enough, and learning enough.
10. I am extremely blessed to have a wife who trusts me, supports me, corrects me, prays for me, and believes in me. A budget is just a peace of paper. Real, meaningful change takes place in the soul, the heart, the spirit, and the mind.
If you have changed you financial future (or are in the process of doing so) feel free to share the lessons that you have learned. Leave a comment and you might just inspire someone else!