Learning how to manage your money isn’t really about learning how to budget or what a Roth IRA is (though both are corner stones of financial planning).
To me, true money management comes from understanding how you make money, how to make more money and how to not spend money.
Here are three tips for paving your road to financial freedom with gold:
Get the Job, then Keep Looking…
Something that very few college students understand is that it doesn’t end at getting the job offer.
That’s just when the fun begins!
Once you’ve got the 9-5 job, you’ve got to start thinking about your career path. Have you found your dream job? Your for-now job? Know where are you and where you are going.
If increasing income is your priority, what kind of side jobs you can take on? What is your ultimate goal? And how can you maximize your earning capacity? Now is the time to get started on all of these aspects of building your income….
…But Take Small Steps
I’ve read a lot about goals being at the heart of a productive life and it never really clicked.
But, I realized I was looking at goals like Well Heeled maxing out her Roth IRA, which is just out of my league right now.
But what about $15 this week? Or putting in one hour to the blog on Monday night?
When you look back on a full year, it’s easy to say “Well, of course I couldn’t launch a business from scratch and earn a side income”. That’s looking too big.
But when you take it to a smaller, more appropriate level for yourself, you take things one step at a time. When you look at things one at a time, like saying “Oh, I couldn’t register a domain name in a month?” it becomes embarrassing to think of not being able to finish that tiny thing. It’s so simple… and it will get you much further ahead of your goal-less self.
And so, the same thing works for your career. If you are consumed by daily tasks and a year flies by, think of how different it could have been if you set up a goal per season. Perhaps to attend a networking event or a conference, or publish a certain number of papers.
Regardless, someone who doesn’t plan to do those things will not do any of them.
… And Then Don’t Go Outside
The amount of money leaving a person’s pocket single-handedly determines their wealth potential. No matter how much money you make, if you continue to spend it beyond your means you are still broke!
Yet for some reason, you don’t find a lot of advice about how to actually limit your spending.
I have found that it’s not about knowing that you’re an emotional spender or that you have a shoe problem, it’s about separating your emotional-spending or shoe-loving mind from your budgeting-body.
It’s important to acknowledge your weakness and your habit (spending $7 on a pizza or $70 at the mall), sure, but the life-changing moment comes when you physically disconnect your hand, wallet, cash, and card from the reality of that experience.
Write about buying the item. Draw yourself in the mall or even animate a shopping trip.
Just. Don’t. Go.
Both of these action steps are things you can do before you even start your budget – in fact, they have very little do with your budget, and yet can directly impact how successful you are in sticking to it.
Now to just put this stuff into action myself!!