Yes the economy is in the toilet, but it doesn’t mean our finances have to be. In June 2008, I sat down and took a hard, serious look at my financial situation and it was not pretty. I was in sky high credit card debt, student loan debt and virtually nothing in the bank. Three years, two jobs losses and one move later I have learned so much about myself and where my bad relationship with money stemmed from. At the risk of sounding cliched, I wasn’t happy with the direction my life was taking. After college, I made some bad career moves and my confidence really took a hit. I was taking jobs that I didn’t want , in many cases overqualified for because I couldn’t get the job I wanted…or so I thought. I felt I couldn’t control certain parts of my life, but I could control looking great going to work everyday and being the best dressed person in the office. My boss swore I had closets full of clothes and while I did overspend, I was a mix and match queen lol. A few tips:
1) Set money goals. My goal is to be completely out of consumer debt by the end of December 2011. I think I could do it and I am working on raising my income, cutting back on unnecessary trips to clothing stores and cooking more at home. You have to see the big picture. Debt could keep you tied to a job you hate. It also prevents you from buying the things you really want, taking vacations and helping out family or friends financially. The next time you want to buy that pair of shoes you don’t need, focus intensely on your end goal.
2) Spend money where it counts. My money vices are food and clothes. Period. I was buying lunch everyday, shopping a few times a week all the while my credit card balances were climbing. And I was still unhappy! I realized that if I cut back on the little things , that would free up cash to put toward my debt. If your goal is debt elimination or investing more sit down and evaluate where your money goes. I like to print out my debit transactions at the end of each month to see what my spending patterns were and it can be VERY telling .
This is just the very beginning of my series on money management as I am very passionate about the subject. Gotta get the money right ladies…and it’s never to late to start!