One of my life passions is to empower my readers in their daily lives with practical insights and inspiration. In January after giving you my Best Advice for the New Year, I touched on Re-Framing Your World, Forgetting Your Smart Phone, Attitude, Gratitude, Never Playing the Victim, making room for Exercise in the cracks of living life, Clean Eating and Gut Health, living the ‘Glad-game’ daily, Natural Remedies, Joy Robbers, and Mourning Mondays, to name a few. One key area I believe will change everything for you in 2017 is a topic I’ve asked my daughter-in-law Heather to share about. 

Drumroll….Mastering Money. N-n-n-n-n-n-n—NO!!!! Don’t leave yet! Heather has a lot of insights and humor about gaining traction and realizing victory in your piggy bank and not only does she know it, she does it – hers is a voice I trust. Enjoy Part 1 of Finding the Hole in Your Pocket! by Heather Mira.

We all have that ‘friend’ (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) who lives paycheck-to-paycheck. She always looks like a million dollars but is constantly stressed and seemingly scraping by, which makes no sense because she has an amazing job and a generous salary. Am I right?! Then…when she finally gets that long-awaited and well-deserved, menial raise she’s been dying for, it still isn’t enough money to make it through the month. What the heck is she doing with her money?! She keeps hoping this is like a bad joke and Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out at any minute and say “You’ve been ‘PUNK’d’!” But no, it’s real and something’s gotta give…

Working in finance, accounting and payroll for over 12 years, I’ve seen it all. Millionaires who are literally cash/penny poor and people who make 3 times as much as I did complaining about paychecks…it never ended. It seemed like there was never enough money no matter how big their salaries were that year.

I’ve never made a lot of money, just your average middle class wage as someone with experience and an Associate’s degree, but somehow I’ve always had what I needed along with some of my ‘wants’ and the pleasure of traveling occasionally. My financial condition always baffled those highly-paid co-workers of mine because we both knew who made more money – and it was never ME! So when “Sally” asked me for help to see where she’s going wrong with her money, I obliged, knowing it’s pretty much the same for everybody. I can find the hole in their pocket in minutes!

Humans – we all like to think we are unique and original, but in reality, we are all VERY similar, with common habitual struggles and feelings about life.

Here are what I see as the top 3 ways Sally, or pretty much anyone, wastes money:

  • #1  You pay interest to multiple places. Maybe you haven’t even considered this category of your ‘spending’ but it’s very likely you are making regular interest payments in many forms: Car loans, credit cards, department store cards, furniture, Home Depot, college loans, etc.  It is impossible to get ahead doing this!
  • #2 Daily splurges…when ’treat yo’ self’ has become habitual. Buying your favorite morning beverage and lunch out is no less than $15 a day = $75 week = $4000 a year and that’s just counting Mon- Fri spending! If you exceed that outgo on a daily basis, just do the math. Cray cray.
  • #3- The Sexes.
  • Women: That ‘hole in our pocket’ is most often clothing, shoes, makeup, accessories, spa services – basically anything that makes us look good.
  • Men: Look no further than takeout food and convenience items or ‘pimping’ out your car with sound, tinted windows, etc. (Rewind to ‘car’ and consider that perhaps your sporty little car payment is killing you.) How about turning that money-sucker in for something used and dependable that you can actually pay off on day 1 even though it’s not nearly so ‘impressive’?! Count the hours it’s sitting in parking lots all week while you pay the high payment and insurance and you might be persuaded.
    **basically #3 is all about attracting the opposite sex – am I right?

Just by reducing spending in these 3 areas in 2-3 years you’ll have a down payment for a home – THATS CRAZINESS! A HOME? In 3 years, you could have $15,000 in the bank by simply cutting out a few purchases and packing coffee and a lunch from home. How easy is that?!  (Come back for Part 2 tomorrow!)

Friends, we’re almost one whole month in on this new year called 2017. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a difference outcome is insanity. I encourage you to position yourself beginning tomorrow morning, to tackle Just. These. Three. Points. for the next 30 days, taking you to the end of February. (Not exactly hitting the nail on the head for you? Hungry for more? Stay tuned as tomorrow Heather will touch on a few more very practical helps to see you through to victory in your piggy bank.)