Do you have a money-management goal you’d like to hit in 2015? If so, you’re in good company with millions of others who want to save more, spend less, make more, and owe less!
I get it! Less debt is good and more savings is great.
I think money-management goals are fabulous. However, I also know that many of the people who set money-management goals this year will NOT achieve them… simply because they have the wrong frame of mind.
In my experience, there seems to be a very distinct difference between people who rarely ever get ahead financially (no matter how much they make) and people who seem to effortlessly grow their savings account (no matter how little they make).
For the first type of people, saving money implies a chore, being deprived, living a horrible lifestyle, and being “restricted” by their budget.
For the second type of people, saving money implies a sense of accomplishment, a rewarding life, and the thrill of delayed gratification.
Did you catch the difference?
It’s all our attitude towards our financial situation and what type of lifestyle we feel we must hold onto.
For example, you could easily make twice as much money as Dave and I do, but if you spend all of it every year, Dave and I will still be miles ahead of you in our savings goals because we live well below our means and stash away money every month. Similarly, you could make half as much as Dave and I, live an extremely minimalistic lifestyle, and pinch every single penny… and there’s a decent chance you’ll come out ahead of us at the end of the year.
INCOME is not the deciding factor here… it’s ATTITUDE and LIFESTYLE!
For one person or family, going out to eat once a week to a frugal restaurant with BOGO coupons might seem like a fabulous luxury. To someone else, ONLY going out once a week and/or going to a less-than-5-star restaurant is simply degrading and horrible.
For one person, buying used is just what they do. For someone else, buying used is totally humiliating.
For one person, premium cable, smart phones, and all the latest gadgets are optional and only as their budget allows. For someone else, they are all necessities that are paid for without a second thought as to where the money is coming from.
I’m confident that a change in attitude and/or lifestyle will NOT happen overnight — but I also know that by simply changing the way you view your current financial situation and being willing to make a few lifestyle changes will give you a much MUCH better chance of hitting those money-management goals you set for yourself this year.
Wondering where to start? Let me help!
If one of your goals is to get your finances on-track this year, I would HIGHLY recommend downloading my free, and very simple, Finance-Tracking workbook (see below to download it).
This workbook is NOT a budget in any way (there are plenty of those available on the web these days). My Finance-Tracking workbook is simply a way to track exactly how much money you bring in, and (more importantly) exactly how much money you spend in a variety of categories on a monthly and yearly basis.
The cool thing about using a Finance-Tracking workbook is that once you have a very clear idea of how much you’re actually spending in various categories, you’ll be able to make a much more accurate and achievable budget based on your current number — instead of just some generic percentages you read in a finance book or on a money-management blog.
You’ll be able to see exactly how much you’re spending on entertainment, travel, clothes, going out to eat, groceries, utility bills, etc. and when you have those numbers staring you right back in the face, it’s pretty hard to overlook your overspending 🙂
I’ve been using some version of this workbook since my sophomore year in college, and thousands of others have been using it since I shared it on my blog 4 years ago — so yes, I feel it is a tremendously helpful (yet extremely simple) money-management tool.
Using my Finance-Tracking workbook could be one small, simple step towards meeting your money-management goals this year. I hope it works as well for you as it does for our family!
Download the Free Workbook:
Clicking on the links below will automatically download it to your computer.
- Here is a link to the Excel File
- Here is a link to the 97-2004 Excel File (if you are using an older version of Excel)
More Information about this Workbook:
I realize I didn’t spend a ton of time talking about the workbook in this post, but the links below offer more information if you want it.
Here are my answers to some FAQ’s I get regarding this workbook.
Here’s my original 2011 Finance-Tracking Workbook, with all my tips for how I use this workbook