Waking Up and Smelling the Money!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.”

~ Richard Whately


You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” – John Lennon.

This quote is a perfect example of how many of us think about money. We tend to be dreamers, instead of planners. And a dream without a plan will forever stay a dream.

Finances are a tough subject to discuss in any circle. But unless you are discussing, contemplating, planning, and pushing yourself to understand financial matters, it can be difficult to put a plan in place.

Many people leave the matter of finances to the  likes of chance, fate or even luck. The unbelievably freeing moment is when you fully understand what it takes to become financially free.

It is time to live the life that you have always dreamed of. This article is aimed at jolting those who are still swaying in the bliss of Lennon’s lyrics and believing that destiny will take care of the bills and debt repayments that are falling behind. Not everyone is guilty of this dreamer state, but the majority of us are unfortunately.

Waking up financially is one of the most responsible and toughest moves that you can make in your life. Below are steps to bring yourself to a place of action and out of dreamer mode. It’s not easy, because we are emotional creatures. We must remember that the laws of money are not emotional.

If you want to become the master and throw away the old financial struggle, then read on.

Money Move #1: The Sorting Pile (aka Reality Check)

What you will need:

  • One month’s bills and bank statements
  • Two shoe boxes
  • 1 x Black Marker

Put all your bills, debts, bank statements, post-it notes of money you may owe friends or family and place it in a nice pile in the middle of the floor. Have a seat in front of it. On your right-hand side, place one shoe box and on the lid write the following, “Building my Future.” On your left-hand side place the other shoe box and write on the lid, “Breaking my Future.”

Begin sorting the pile. In the left-hand box place every single debt you have that is overdue. Place the debts that you can manage or have managed in the right-hand box. Place the bank statements of savings in the right-hand box. Each time you place something in either of the boxes read the name of the box. For example, if you place an overdue personal loan letter in the left-hand box, state, “This is breaking my future.” If you place your bond payment which was on time in the right-hand box, state “This decision is building my future.”

This sounds like a very simple exercise, but it’s a financial exercise that will allow  you to see the extent of your current financial situation. You do not need to have anything in the box on the left. There are avenues, such as debt review which can assist you in becoming a future builder and keep your life on a steady path toward financial freedom.

Money Move #2: Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score does not just impact your ability to take out loans or receive the best interest for a home loan. It affects your career as well. When you apply for a job, your employer has the right to look at your credit profile. If your job requires someone who is organised and has their ducks in a row, and your credit score looks like a Christmas tree of unpaid or neglected payments, it will not do well for your career. Get a trusted and confidential copy of your credit report right now, here.

Money Move #3: When You Have No Money to Begin With

If after the bills your salary is gone, then you need to restructure your life and make serious decisions. If you cannot meet your debt repayment obligations, there is assistance. If you are supporting many people who are not carrying their weight and sharing costs, then you need to be logical and look out for yourself and your welfare and that of your immediate family first. If you are jobless and in debt, then you need to start anywhere you can. Take the first job that you can, even if it means that you are going to waiter for a while, do it.

Currently, the world is facing an economic storm. Not something humanity hasn’t faced before, but with prices rising, not earning money is a terribly risky position to be in. If you were a director of a large corporation before and cannot stand the sight of lowering your position to that of a waitress, then you are still in the lyrics of the John Lennon song.

In this day and age, fortune comes to those who act. And action means getting up and doing what needs to be done so that you can survive to see tomorrow. Falling is not failure, not getting up because you don’t like where you landed, is..

Money Move #4: You First!

Almost every self-help book on the market speaks about the self-first. While this can sound terribly selfish and rude in many people’s eyes. But the difficult truth pill to swallow is that if you cannot help yourself, then how in the world do you expect to help anyone else? By assisting and financially babying the people around you, you are weakening them and yourself. Difficult decisions equate to success and emotion cannot be involved if you desire a financially free life.

Money Move #5: Save Now!

Saving month is around the corner. How massive is your savings? How many assets do you have and how close are you to achieving your financial goals? If you squinted or scrunched your face at any one of those questions, you need to take R10 right now and place it into a savings account. With the recent repo rate hike, you can make your savings grow even faster. Start putting money away into savings accounts. An emergency fund for unexpected expenses and a security fund of at least 6 months salary.

Set savings goals. Do it. Watch our Money Moves Channel, specifically the one about setting goals, here. You can reach the dreams and the ideal life, but we need to be realistic, logical, and completely geared for success.

There are no half measures on the road to success. Long hours, sacrifices and putting your emotions in your pocket is what the path to financial freedom requires. No excuses, just your eyes on the prize.

You can reach any dream that you desire, against all odds, you need to simply want it badly enough. How badly do you want financial freedom?

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