What the heck does that mean, really? In order? Personal Finance that's a class in school that taught us how to balance a checkbook.
We can be told that life is better if your finances are in order. But how? Where do we start? AHHHHH! It's just too much to think about, maybe I'm not cut out for this. Really, isn't all this financial talk just for those with money?
Calm down, and take a deep breath. That's good. :) We got this! Let's think this through.
For many years my husband and I lived paycheck to paycheck. We had the errant mentality of we can afford this or that monthly payment. Spending money made us feel good and like we had plenty of money. We lived the American Dream of using credit. We thought we had to have things. Basically just spending more than we made.
When I look back at it all, we were really in a stressful tailspin. We didn't budget. We didn't save for things or retirement. We let ourselves get into massive debt. Many times we would just pay who we could and pay the others had to wait for the next paycheck, sometimes late. We were not living a good life... WE WERE STRESSED OUT!
If it was the wrong decision financially we pretty much did it.
One of the main problems we had was that our money was flowing out of our bank accounts like an uncontrolled river. The money would gush out of our accounts like a large waterfall into a massive pool of bills and essential items. And it would trickle out of our accounts down unseen cracks of wants and perceived needs.
We had many "reasons" for not budgeting, saving, and investing.
Budgeting would be too restrictive, a lot of work, and frankly just no fun.
Saving, we didn't have extra money to save, life is just too short to let money sit around. We "really should spend it on fun stuff now because you can't take it with you". Besides, we were young and had lots of time to do saving and retirement planning.....Right?
Investing?!?!? Are you kidding me? That is only for rich people! In reality, we just didn't even know how to start thinking about investing or that we could even do it.
As we gained experience (aka got older) we realized that controlling the river of money and knowing exactly where each dollar was flowing, brought us peace and comfort. It even made it seem as if we had more money.
Life IS better when you have your personal finances in order.
Next blog post: Let's get started! Tracking expenses.