Stability is everything
Being it emotional or physical. You need a solid ground to build anything on. I tell my clients all the time that they need a solid foundation to build on and in financial terms that would be your budget. Your budget is that solid map that tells you what direction to go in. I fully believe that I am more stable in all areas of my life because I am so stable in my finances. Money connects to everything whether we like it or not. It is on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly into our own selves.
There are so many emotions around money that turn into blocks. Sometimes people don’t even realize that they are subconsciously blocking themselves from wealth. It is a mindset for sure. Diving into those blocks and negative feelings around money will only help you break through those barriers and into your new life. Stability in finances requires Balance, Consistency and Discipline which I say ALL THE TIME. When stability becomes a habit, maturity and clarity follow. Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. The struggle is real when you are trying to stay disciplined and stick with your budget. I get it.
Stability is necessary for your future economic success. Finances are not stable by any means but you have the upper hand when you are in control of your finances. You want to make your money work for you. Investing is a great tool but way less stable than your average 9-5pm job. Investing is about trends and sadly politics/media but once you figure that out its so easy. I used to think there were major calculations that I had to do in order to figure out my best investing opportunity. WRONG. You just have to know the trends and current events plus be less attached to your money. Investing requires some gambling and you have to be OKAY with that.
Stability Within Your Finances
It is almost year-end and you tend to reflect on how much you have been able to achieve in regards to your previously-set financial goals. Are you satisfied with the current state of your finances?
Imagine a world where you don’t have to worry about money to live the kind of life you have always craved for. You have enough to enjoy that vacation, buy a new home, pay your bills consistently and on time, and live comfortably at retirement. Of course, these are possible, however, only with financial stability.
Financial stability is not only possible when you are stupendously rich. In fact, it is not measured by the amount of money you have. Rather, it is all about being confident that your everyday finances are enough to help you reach your financial goals involving zero-debt, savings, and insurance. Only individuals with stability within their finances can cover their basic needs as well as enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
Achieving stability with your finances is, of course, possible, even in this ever-changing world. It isn’t rocket science. However, it is not as easy as being portrayed. You need to develop good financial habits including planning, organizing, commitment, discipline, and resilience. Financial stability leads to peace of mind, happiness, and long-term satisfaction.
How Do You Achieve Financial Stability?
On the path to financial stability, accepting the addictions that often cause financial instability is a good way to start. These addictions include overspending or impulse spending, gambling, materialism, and paying bills late. With these taken care of, you are on track to making a good headway with your finances.
It is important to note that there are no shortcuts to achieving financial stability. The steps involved require time, effort, and consistency. The following actions will help you achieve stability within your finances.
1. Create a Financial Plan
Every decision, especially involving finances, should be hinged on a plan. Otherwise, you tend to make the wrong financial decisions. A financial plan helps you gain control over your spending. Usually, a financial plan considers your income, spending, savings, debt, and insurance. In other words, a financial plan gives you an idea about what you earn as against what you owe, thus serving as a blueprint to help you develop a financial budget.
2. Create a Financial Budget
Once you have good knowledge about your self-worth, then you need a personal budget to help you have absolute control over your spending. The way you spend has a great impact on other financial decisions you make. A budget is organized based on cash inflow (income) and cash outflow (expenses). You may also want to break down your expenses into needs and wants.
Definitely, there are some basic expenses or fixed expenses you cannot avoid every month. Some of them include food, rent, and water or electricity bills. Others, such as cable subscriptions, can come under not-too-important bills or variable expenses, especially if your income cannot conveniently cater for it.
A financial budget, when you stick to it, helps you to prioritize spending and saving, reduce or eliminate expenses, spend wisely, and make wise financial decisions that can help you achieve financial stability. Nevertheless, a budget must be flexible to allow for modifications in case of unforeseen circumstances.
3. Control Your Impulse Spending
This is apparently a major problem that is common with almost everyone. Money has a way of controlling us so much that we get easily carried away when we have some funds in our wallets. We always want to show we can afford certain things. Impulse spending, especially on such activities as eating out and extensive shopping, drains our finances, thus resulting in financial instability. To avoid this, it is important to control and monitor our impulse spending. Have a second thought before deciding to make any purchase.
4. Spend and Live Frugally
One wrong financial decision is to live above one’s income. The result is often disastrous. Before making the decision to make any purchase or initiate any spending, you may have to ask yourself this question: How easy can I get back each dollar I spend? If you are able to think deeply about this, then you will be careful with your spending.
Do you need a new home or car now? Is that vacation important now or you can still have it some other time? Living or spending frugally doesn’t imply that you don’t want to enjoy the comfort life has got to offer. However, it helps you to be disciplined as well as identify spending areas that are not necessary, at least, at the moment.
5. Pay Off Your Debt On Time
If you have some debts to settle, it might be necessary for you to develop a debt payment plan. List out your debts (personal loans, credit cards, etc.) and organize them in either ascending or descending order. In your budget, make allocations for debt settlement, even if you have to deny yourself certain benefits. Remember, late payment of debts can lead to increased interest, and this means more debts.
Once this process continues, you will be surprised at how “easy” it is to get out of debt. If you have credit card debt, you may have to consider using cash to make purchases. This prevents you from spending more than you have. The debt elimination process often takes a long time. However, it is a rewarding process. When you are out of debt, you will be able to make other financial decisions. Another thing you can do that can help is to look at these 5 tips on how to deal with a negative credit card balance.
Who ever thought they would get sick at a time they are down financially? Or get involved in an accident that will necessitate treatment? The reality is that life comes with unexpected occurrences that will require your attention. How do you factor this in your budget when you barely have enough money after your expenses?
Your best bet is to create an emergency fund. Emergencies could involve a major car repair or having to take an unplanned trip. An emergency fund not only serves as a backup plan, but it also helps you to navigate through a tough time with little or no financial stress.
You are 25 and you feel you still have a whopping 35 years before you attain retirement. You will be surprised at how fast time flies. Remember that your salary will stop someday, as a salary earner. There is no better time to start saving or investing for your retirement than now. Otherwise, you may be jeopardizing your future with uncontrolled spending in the present. Little money snowballs into a large amount in no time.
Check if your company has a 401(k) plan for its employees. The plan becomes more necessary if your employer will match some of or all your contributions to your company retirement plan. You can also consider a Roth IRA.
The actions discussed above are the right steps towards achieving stability within your finances. You should have started yesterday. However, another opportunity is NOW. Remember, you shouldn’t get too focused on saving and investing that you forget to enjoy life. Sure, it costs money too. However, it also contributes to a healthy and happy life. You may only have to consider cheap options, such as going for a show, having a massage once in a while, or inviting a few friends for a game night.
Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.