Calming Your Cash Flow.
For some, money can be a source of stress – no matter how much money they may or may not have.
Stress can be brought on by worrying about money – paying bills, buying shoes and school books for the kids, where is it coming from, why does it seem to disappear so quickly, where does it go, how can I get (and keep) more of it.
The list goes on.
The old and ironic statement, “I always seem to have more month left over at the end of my money”, rings true for far too many people.
To reduce the money stresses in your life, you are going to have to make your money work for you.
Taking control of your cash flow will go a long way towards calming down and having some financial breathing space.
In a perfect world, you want more money coming in and less money going out.
In a perfect world, you want your income to be bigger than your expenses.
When it is the other way around, it can be a very worrying and stressful time indeed.
Avoiding financial embarrassment should be high on your list of things to do on a daily basis. Controlling and calming your cash flow can be done fairly easily.
If you have money worries, the first step towards solving this is to create a budget. Being on a budget, and sticking to that budget, is going to go a long way towards reducing the stress levels you and your family may be experiencing.
A budget is simply a list of “money in and money out”. A budget is list of your cash flow.
A pen, a piece of paper and some honesty are all you need to create a budget.
Try sitting down and thinking about where your money comes from, and where it goes.
You may have money coming in from a job, or from many other or even no other sources.
The money you have coming in usually is not going to change easily (increasing your income is beyond the scope of this article).
However, controlling and possibly changing what you do with this money coming in can have a big effect on your life.
Next you have to think about where you spend your money – “money out”.
Think about your big expenses – rent / mortgage, utilities and bills, groceries and food, car expenses, your children’s school fees / education costs, entertainment, etc.
Perhaps you can take a little notepad around with you where-ever you go for the next month. Write down EVERYTHING you spend money on, down to the last cent.
If you are spending a large proportion of your money on eating out, or going to the movies, or buying new shoes every week and yet you are struggling to pay the bills, you have some serious thinking to do.
You need to list all of your expenses. Having a list will help you to identify costs that are unnecessary and can be reduced.
A written budget will help you to identify potential areas of saving.
The idea here is to have less “money going out”, as per our “money in, money out” definition from above.
It can be very stressful thinking about how many bills and other expenses you have. But in the end, you are going to reduce the financial stress in your life as you take control of these bills and expenses.
In reviewing where and how you are spending your money, you may need to make a few decisions. Some of these decisions may involve defining what you “need” as opposed to what you “want”.
“Wants” can be easily delayed or even sacrificed temporarily for things that you “need”.
One suggestion could be that you could decide that you are going to find an extra $100 per month.
This $100 per month can go a long way towards paying off your credit card or other debt, or providing a savings plan “for a rainy day”, or being able to afford something else you might need (or want at a later stage).
This could mean you don’t buy lunch every day – bring it from home.
It could mean that you don’t go to the pub every day – try once a week instead.
Can you cut down on your vices – such as alcohol, cigarettes and chocolate ?
Perhaps you could try only going to the shops once a week after work instead of every day (make it the grocery store / supermarket instead of the local convenience store).
Can you leave your credit card at home and only take a small amount of cash with you ?
Make the effort to turn off the lights when you are not in the room. Replace the light bulbs with higher efficiency ones that use less electricity. Turn off the computers and the TV when you are not using them during the day while at work and at night while you are sleeping.
Ride a bike, or walk, or take the bus or train, instead of driving the car.
Instead of going out several times a week, try staying home, or visiting a friend at their house.
Schedule in some time especially for you – to relax, to have a bath, read a book (borrow it from the library), to listen to some calming music, or maybe watch your favourite DVD, or whatever else you enjoy doing just to chill out.
Reducing your bills, and reducing your expenses, will reduce the stress about money in your life.
Calming your cash flow will help you to calm your mind.
Soon you will begin to feel better about your finances – every day, little by little – as you watch your savings grow.
Why not implement a plan that will help you create a savings account ?
A glass jar, a piggy bank, a sock in your sock drawer, a shoe box – or even a real bank account – will do.
If you get paid directly into a bank account, can you automatically send $10 a week into another self-imposed “do not touch upon pain of death” savings account ? If you never see it, you’ll never miss it.
As small as those few dollars per week may seem, if you really have an emergency you won’t need to stress about money because you will have those few dollars in the savings account that will get you through.
Learn to lower your expenses, save money, calm down and take control of your cash flow.
A calm mind and a calm wallet go hand in hand !
PLEASE NOTE: Obviously this article is NOT financial advice. Think of this article more as “food for thought”.
P.S. How do you stay calm when dealing with your cash flow ?
How have you implemented a simple savings plan ?
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