I get questions from people periodically. I thought there might be others that have these same questions. So, I wanted to share some of the questions, along with my responses, in my blog.
I hope you enjoy reading these.
Q: What’s the difference between money and finances?
Finances refers to the management of money, while money is the exchange mechanism itself. When I talk about money mindset with my clients, we talk about their mindset around making money, having money and their relationship with money. You can know everything there is to know about managing your money wisely, but knowledge is just one small piece of the puzzle. Just like we can know what it means to eat right and maintain healthy habits, but implementing that behavior is important. It’s really the same with money behaviors.
Q: How can I get it all?
The first step to having it all is knowing what it means to you to have it all. List the top five things you value in your life. Is it meaningful work? Is it a flexible work schedule? Is it freedom to be your own boss? Is it family and friend connections? Is it geographical location?
Once you understand what it means to you to have it all, determine why you value each one. Next determine what is stopping you from having each thing on your list. What do you have control over? What would need to happen to have that in your life? Determine what is the next thing you would need to do in each area to move closer to having that. Take tiny steps each day, each week, each month and keep evaluating the next step that would move you closer. Keep taking action until you get there.
Q: What is it my soul is really wanting?
Take some time in a quiet space to answer these questions:
- What is it that I really want most?
- Why do I want that most? What will it give me?
- When I have this, what will my life be like?
- When I have this, what will I be thinking, feeling, and doing?
- How will this be the same? In what ways will things be different?
- Why don’t I have this now? What are the obstacles I have faced that have prevented me from understanding what my soul really wants?
- What conflicts exist between what I truly want and what I think is possible for me? Why?
Q: Why is running a business so hard?
Running a business can be hard when we don’t manage our minds around the challenges we face in building a new business.
What we can do frequently is to check in and notice, without judgment, what we are thinking, feeling and doing around our business.
- What feels hard?
- Why does it feel hard?
- What would working in my business be like if I didn’t judge anything as “hard”?
- What would I be doing? Why would I be doing it?
- What do I want to accomplish through my business?
- Am I willing to do hard things in order to accomplish it?
- What could I do that would make it easier and more fun to work in my business?
When I check in with myself periodically and examine what is making it hard, frequently I find that it’s all within my control. When I take away my judgment, that alone will make things feel easier.
Q: How should I target paying off student loans?
Your strategy for paying off student loans really depends on your goals. When you make decisions about your financial and lifestyle goals, it will give you a filter for all your financial decisions. You can use this filter to design your personal approach to paying off debt.
- What income can you devote to paying off the debt?
- What is your timeline? Why?
- What’s your compelling reason? Is it to avoid interest, to have more financial freedom, to save for your future, to have more flexibility and fun in your budget? Understand your motivation.
- Is the need for this stronger than the need to spend money on what you currently spend it on?
- Are there additional sources of income that you can tap into, even if temporarily, to build some momentum in paying off one or more of the smallest debts?
List your debts by balance from smallest to largest.
Determine the quickest way you can get the smallest debts paid off. Is there something you can do without for a couple months?
Is there additional income you can generate for a few months?
Is there anything you can sell to get a jumpstart? If you have any savings, could you use that to pay off the first one and build momentum?
Q: What are the best budgeting strategies?
The best budgeting strategy is one that you will actually use.
Budgeting decisions are very personal. I recommend that you first establish what they value most in their life. What are your non-negotiables? Things that you don’t want to give up? Why don’t you want to give them up? Do they match the person you want to become and the life you ultimately want to live? Why or why not?
Often, we don’t budget because we think that budgeting is about what we “should” do, which feels very restrictive. Budgeting is really about being more intentional. We don’t set out with the intention to go into debt, which might be precisely why so many do end up living beyond their means.
Most of us aren’t taught how to budget. There are lots of great resources out there for budgeting (check out DaveRamsey.com or Google “Zero based budgeting”). There are many apps you can use, some of which are free. Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the more complicated you make it, the less likely you are to stick to it.
Get with someone that wants to budget and do budgeting together. This can be a spouse, significant other, a parent, sibling or friend. Set aside 30 minutes each week to check in with your budget and expense tracking. Instead of asking yourself what did I spend in the past, ask yourself what do I want to spend on this category? Tip: Don’t set your sights on perfect. Set your sights on intentional. Just like with a diet, you won’t always get it right. The goal is to become consistent with trusting yourself and doing what you say you will do. Don’t judge yourself. Instead ask yourself – how do I want to handle that going forward?