Everyone should know and read this advice. I would have liked to known this when I first started out into marketing and the internet. It probably would have saved me some headaches and money.
Every woman wants to get her finances under control, right? (At least that’s what we say.)
Whether we’re running businesses or households, or both, one of the toughest parts of getting finances under control is getting honest with money itself: the green stuff we either have enough of… or we don’t.
In turn, a lack of clarity about our numbers is the leading cause of the endless head chatter we hear, night and day. Do we have enough? How will we pay that? Can I afford it? What if some unexpected expense comes up? What will I live on when I’m old?
All that noise keeps us from seeing how our behaviors or beliefs might be tripping us up. And it keeps us from being where we want to be, with our finances under control.
Taming that head chatter is a two-step process: (1) knowing exactly where our finances stand, that is, the actual numbers that represent what we have coming in and what we owe each month; and (2) once we know that, getting our income greater than or equal to our expenses. Pretty basic.
That’s when the head chatter stops, and when we can start looking calmly at the bigger financial picture of what’s available to us.
Curiously enough, head chatter has as much to do with time as it does with money. And here’s why.
Imagine you’ve accumulated a certain amount of debt, including a mortgage, a car payment, credit cards, plus the other bills that are just part of life. Let’s say you continue to add to credit card debt each month. So, although you’re making credit card payments, your new charges are greater than that portion of your payment that goes toward paying down principal (after covering that month’s interest).
In short, the balance isn’t coming down at all. Say you’ve reached your credit limit or you just got one of those letters from the bank capping your credit limit at today’s balance – as so many people did in recent years. Suddenly, you’re worried about how to meet all your commitments with what you’re bringing in each month: How will you juggle things? What will you pay late? Where can you get some extra money?
Time as a Stressor
When your expenses are greater than your income, what you most dread is the passage of time. Every day that passes takes you closer to whenever the next bill comes due. Checking off each day on the calendar brings on a queasy feeling. Time is like a huge rock that’s rolling down the hill behind you. You’re powerless to stop its forward motion.
You pay the mortgage, have a few days of relief and suddenly it’s the 20th of the month again. The mortgage payment will come due soon. Panic sets in by the 23rd. By the 28th, you’re not sleeping. Here you go again. (And it’s not just the mortgage…)
What happens when your expenses equal your income? You’re “time neutral.” Each day that passes means nothing because now you know that you can meet your financial obligations. Even if you just squeak by, what’s important is that you can make the payments on time.
With that one detail, the burden of passing time disappears and….. To read more of this article, which also offers up, Steps to take.
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