The theme for this month at our house is simplify. I kicked us off on January 1st with a 30-day decluttering challenge and I’m happy to say that we’re still going strong (plus, Nate has really taken ownership this year which makes me do the happy dance)!! If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late! Read about my challenge here and join us in purging the stuff that’s bringing overwhelm instead of joy.
With last year fresh on our minds, now is the perfect time to look at our past spending habits to determine what we’d like to do differently. Many times we continue in the same bad patterns, because we’ve never taken the time to evaluate what we’re doing well and what we’re doing not so well. Let’s take a look, shall we?
When it comes to your budget, consider the following questions:
-What is my stress level on a scale of 1-10 in thinking about my finances?
-How much money did I save last year?
-How many unplanned purchases did I make last year?
-Did buying Christmas gifts leave me feeling frazzled and overwhelmed?
-Am I worried about my financial state this month because of my spending last month?
-Do I feel frustrated because of my inability to give to my local church or charities because I’m financially strapped?
-Do I have someone who I’m accountable to in regards to my spending?
Finances and budgeting can be intimidating, I totally get it. Our spending habits often give others glimpses of our hearts and what we deem as important, which makes us feel vulnerable. But it’s usually the hard things that are the most important to talk about.
What if you simplified your budget this year? What if you talked with our spouse about your spending instead of trying to hide it? What if you started saving for those far-off purchases rather than scrounging at the last minute? What if you spent what you actually had and stopped spending what you didn’t have? What if you started giving to those in need rather than being fixated on your situation?
It’s changes like this that will simplify your life. Having a plan in regards to your spending is a game changer. As with most things, getting your finances in order is hard work up front, BUT it will save you time in the long run. Simplifying doesn’t necessarily mean easy; however, when you choose to do the hard thing first, it actually eases the burden down the road.
This year, I want to encourage you to make a change with your spending. Where could you spend less? Where should you invest more? What little purchases are you making that, if you stopped, might actually add up to a significant amount at the end of the year (coffee drinkers, I’m talking to you)? Who could you bless this year? How could you start saving now to ease the burden of big-money purchases later?
Put some action behind these thoughts and talk it over with your hubby, your mom, or your bestie…strategize together and make a change!! Simplify your spending and put a stop to the anxiety in that mama heart of yours.
P.S. I know that you have what it takes to make some financial changes this year. And its ok to start with baby steps!! Read about 5 creative ways to save a little here and a little there, and while you’re at it, get some tools under your belt on how to save for those big purchases. You can do this!!