Ok guys, so in part 1 of this series I asked you guys to:
1) List all of your bills, and
2) Forget everything you know about money. It’s time to RETRAIN yourself to use money as a TOOL.
I want to help you create more WEALTH, and the best way to do that is by de-cluttering your lifestyle. If you have not read part 1, stop here and read it first.
The first step towards creating more wealth is by getting rid of bills. I told you to list your bills by priority, and you’ll quickly notice that many of the bills on that list are outdated. They no longer fit your lifestyle or serve a purpose. You’re paying for a gym you don’t go to, towards cable you don’t watch, towards a magazine subscription you don’t even have time to read; it all adds up. It’s time to let go of those those “money wasters”. If you don’t use it, get rid of it. If you feel you may need your Netflix, try splitting the cost with a roommate, friend, or family member. Trust me when I tell you, letting go of the old (and outdated) makes a ton of space for the new.
Just think of all those gurus out there telling you to de-clutter your space to make room for more abundance, opportunities, and peace in your life; the same applies to making room in your bank account.
I cut most of my bills AND reduced the ones I wanted to keep. Currently I only pay rent for a room (I’m staying with family so I only contribute $250 per month), Netflix, web-hosting for my business (Hostgator), and a pre-paid cell service with Straighttalk Wireless (unlimited everything for only $45 per month). In total I pay less than $300 for everything. Whatever money I have, after paying bills, I put towards my business, and save for experiences and personal development.
My friend was spending a minimum of $300 per month, unnecessarily, and just on food alone (not including groceries). So aside from the food she had at home, she was spending about $10 on buying snacks per day. With a little planning you could avoid this. Think about what you could do with an extra $300 per month?
For all you 9-5ers; buy yourself a thermos and make your coffee at home, to take to work (be thankful if there’s free coffee at work). That can save you a few dollars a day. Here are a few other tips:
- Shop around for the best supermarket deals (buy the Sunday newspaper and clip coupons if you have to), and stock up on food…try to only go grocery shopping no more than twice per month (to avoid those unnecessary purchases).
- Prep your food at home; prep breakfast, lunch and dinner for the days you do work and treat yourself to a meal somewhere else on the weekends…don’t forget your snacks! Trust me, a little prep goes a long way. When I worked full-time, I’d make a big meal, save half for dinner and half for lunch the next day. Sometimes I’d cook something which would last me the whole week (like a whole chicken…chicken salad, sandwiches, soups…). Not good at cooking (or don’t have the patience)? No problem, buy BIG MEALS and divide them into small meals. So the whole chicken, for example, sometimes I’d get it from a supermarket already cooked (cost me between $5-$8), and then I’d prep only the sides. YOU CAN DO THIS! Food tends to be one of the top categories where our money goes. Avoid buying anything that you already have at home.
- Maybe food isn’t a black hole for your money, so what is? Take a look at your lifestyle…do you go out drinking all the time? Try inviting friends over to your house and pop a few bottles there (buying from the liquor store is always cheaper than buying at the club). Are you always shopping for new clothes? Check your closet…what haven’t you worn in a while? What can be reused? Revamped? SOLD?
- Put all your loose change in a jar…any coins you find in your couch, in your pockets…put them in a jar and take the change to your bank when it gets full.
There are SO MANY ways to save money guys. And the main purpose of doing this is not necessarily to save but to MAKE SPACE…CREATING space for more…more wealth, more money, more opportunities, more experiences. You are saying no to the unnecessary and YES to what you really want. This is a great way to really take charge of your money; take back your POWER!
I travel light in life. I’m a minimalist so I only make space for the most important. I don’t buy or use more than I need, and I enjoy (and am grateful for) every single thing I own. I use money as a tool for my business and for my pleasure. I understand it is a TOOL to help me in life, and I have power over what comes in and what goes out. My focus is always on continuing the flow of abundance in my life.
No on to the scary topic everyone likes to avoid…debt.
In the previous post I shared that I was OBSESSED with trying to pay off my debt, and in doing so I was only working to pay it off. I became a debt slave. I never got to enjoy my money or use it as a tool because I was stuck in trying to get my credit score up; to build that perfect credit everyone dreams about. Guess what guys? You won’t be able to pay off everything right away. Not at first, anyway…maybe if you win the lotto? =)
You know what? It’s OK. It’s ok to not pay everything off right away. It’s ok that you owe money…acknowledge it and move on. Why stress over something you can’t control?
If you’re a list person, go ahead and make a list of all your debt…everything you owe and how much. Then prioritize. What needs to get paid RIGHT NOW (besides your monthly bills)? And then, how much do you have, per month, and after paying bills? Do you have enough for yourself, to enjoy your life? To actually LIVE?
Point is, don’t just work to pay bills and debts. You will quickly drown in debt-slave misery. What’s the purpose of working a job you don’t really like all that much, if you can’t enjoy the money you earn? Stop working for “not enough”…never having enough…not even being able to go beyond your needs.
As radical as this sounds, I got rid of debt by not focusing on it. I gave my power towards creating more wealth, not towards focusing on debt. Focusing on wealth helped me create more wealth, which in turn help me pay things off quicker. So do yourself a favor and see the debt for what it is, then tell it “you know what? I can’t pay you right now, and that’s OK”. Voila! Little by little you will become a master at creating more wealth in your life, and actually having more fun. Live a little, huh? =)
And don’t even get me started on creating more streams of income for yourself…a little side hustle? A freelance gig? An extra job on the side? Anything to receive more…maybe that’ll be for part 3? =)