I love the New Year, especially as a coach. I really enjoy hearing about people’s 2015 plans for their money, and nothing makes me happier than seeing people achieve those plans!
But what breaks my heart is seeing financial goals pass like many other resolutions. I never want people to stay in the same place, when I know they deserve financial growth.
Those who struggle to see growth may have very complex situations outside of their control, but the majority of them are married to one or more of the below excuses. But I’m here to retire these phrases in 2015. I’m retiring them, so that you can see greater financial progress in 2015.
#1 “A budget is not for me, it’s too restricting”
The popular misconception is that living on a budget is limiting. I usually hear it right before they say, “I want to enjoy my hard work”. And I totally get it. We work hard Monday through Friday, so who wants to limit their spending after all of that? Well I’ll tell you who, people who want to have money!
Budgeting does limit what you spend, but it limits what you spend so that you’re sure to spend on things that will make your future easier (savings and investments). What you don’t want to do is enjoy all of your hard work now, and have to work even harder when you’re older and ready to retire.
Instead view your budget as a means to get you to a brighter future (here’s a free one for you to try out).
#2 “I don’t have enough money to save”
The beauty of budgeting is that it allows you to know where you’re money is going, so that you can make sure some of it goes toward healthy items, like savings. If you don’t budget, you end up spending on other stuff, and you never will have money for saving.
Those who save aren’t able to because they have a lot of free money lying around. They’re able to save because they force themselves to. They spend less in other areas.
Realizing the control you have over your money, and the control you have to exercise over your money will open the doors for financial growth.
#3 “Don’t worry, it’ll just work out”
This is probably one of the worst phrases you can say about your money. And it’s not an attack on faith. Trust me, I know that God’s mercy, grace, favor, and purpose for my life is the ONLY reason why I am where I am. But I also know that God is not an ATM that gives funds at your request.
Either I can wait for God to work it out while I continue to spend frivolously with no regard for my future, or I can take the steps necessary to make sure that when He does it, I’m ready to receive it. I choose the latter every time. I take the steps in the natural to show God that He can trust me with a little, and however much more He wants to bless me with in the future J.
There’s nothing wrong with having faith that God will work it out, but we must align our actions with our faith.
#4 “Yea, I can loan it to you”
I know this one is tough for a lot of people. Kind, compassionate hearts want to help everyone who is in a bind, but if it consistently stops you from reaching your goals, you have to learn to say “no”.
This is especially true if you’re a first generation game changer. If your parents and parents’ parents struggled living paycheck to paycheck, you have a lot of pressure. But be wise in how and how often you help because you have the opportunity to significantly shift finances for future generations. Someone has to break the cycle.
#5 “But I want our kids to have more than what I had growing up”
We all want our kids to have a better future. But what does that look like? Is it more and better clothes, shoes, games, phones, jewelry? Or is it educational funds, savings accounts, and the opportunity to not have to go into debt? New things aren’t bad, but you don’t want to sacrifice their future for their right now. And it’s extremely important to teach them what to value (the younger the better!).
Make sure some of the spending on your kids is toward financial goals that will teach them strong money values and give them a more promising future (see 5 Lessons to Teach Our Kids About Debt).
2015 can be an awesome year with a plan. If you don’t yet have one, see how I can help!
Trea Savage Branch is a personal finance speaker and coach and founder of Trea’s Two Cents, a blog dedicated to helping young professionals live the life they worked so hard for in college. Trea received her Bachelors (Economics) from the University of Michigan and her MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Before the age of 30, she had two strong Fortune 500 companies on her resume, earning over $100,000/year. She is a woman after God’s own heart and is so grateful and humbled to be used by Him to bring career and financial success to those who did not think it was possible.