Yesterday one of my sisters visited us, and one of the conversations we had was about money and how hard it has become nowadays to earn it and easy to clear your wallet. She is the real accountant and finance manager. I mean, I have experience and skills in finance and administration that I have attained while working as a program and finance associate, and as an acting finance manager, but honestly if I have to choose the direction to where I want to go forward, I rather be a CEO than CFO. And I am so glad for the finance knowledge, experience, and skills I have gained so far, because I am able to do my own personal and business finances from the scratch.
Anyway, we talked about a few reasons that can cause someone to spend money fast on things that are not really important, and things that don’t have tangible proof to show where money were spent on especially if you don’t have a system that you have established to track and record your spending.
Our levels of income, our opportunities, and some of our circumstances sometimes have less influence on whether we will overcome our financial difficulties. Many times it has a lot to do with our mindsets and habits of how we handle our money, those opportunities, or circumstances.
- Our mindsets
There is something about our mindsets that can contribute to our financial difficulties and deficit. It’s the way we think about money and our core beliefs concerning money. Our mindsets usually align with our core beliefs. So if you think and believe you don’t deserve to have money, and then guess what? Money will be departing or bypassing you. Each time opportunities represent themselves for you to make or receive money because of the crash you may have between those opportunities and your beliefs, for somehow you will find a way to get rid of the opportunity or the money you have received by spending it or giving it away.
You can’t attract what you attack. When an opportunity comes for you to make money, or when someone gives you money, say thank You God, and receive it with open heart. God wouldn’t have brought it your way if He thought you didn’t deserve it. The Lord Jesus said don’t worship money above God. Don’t love and depend on money, more than you love and depend on God. He said that you can’t serve two masters; you will esteem one over the other. So it’s up to you to choose God as your Master, or money as your master. I truly believe God wants us to have money, more than enough so that I can be a blessing to others also.
This is how I see it. Let’s use a commonsense perspective example. Let’s say one day an opportunity represented itself to steal money, maybe somebody left his or her wallet accidentally and you saw it but kept quiet and wait until he or she left so you could take it. But let’s say you happened to be someone who fears and honors God, since God is your Master, because you know God is not pleased with such kind of character, so you hesitate to do it and reach to that somebody and give his or her wallet back. Not only your reverence for God helped you control the urge to take that wallet, but through your action and response it proved that who your Master is. So that’s one of examples you don’t make money your master over God. Money isn’t everything, but God is. Without God giving us breath of life, we wouldn’t even know there is such thing called money on earth. All we need is God. All you need is one good business idea from God, His empowerment and favor, and right people and money will be chasing you. God knows where money is, and He can direct you where to go for you to create money making opportunities for yourself.
Your perception on money is very important. Maybe it’s an issue of self-worth. Who told you its only certain kind of people that deserve to be rich and wealthy? One of the major reasons why most of us cannot overcome our financial difficulties and deficits is how we think; about money and ourselves.
Henry Ford has been quoted saying, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” So whether or not you think you can be rich, you’re right. It’s all start with your thinking. God is good, and He loves us and wants us to have money, and use it for good. We need to get rid our limiting thinking, and wrong mindset concerning money and our capabilities. In the Bible in the book of Philippians chapter 4 verse 13 it says, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
Read more about money and mindset <<< Men Make Money, and Not Vice Versa >>>
Think like wealthy and rich people. They always think in terms of prosperity and abundance, and it is why they are rich and wealthy. They think of how they can make more money, and not to spend more money. They think about how they can use their money or other people’s money to make more money for themselves and others. They look for opportunities to acquire more money through investing, but also to keep some of the money in savings.
- Our habits
One of the reasons I stopped drinking was because that habit was contributing to my financial difficulties. I never really liked beer; I was more into wine and cocktail drinks. Coming from a family that has alcohol consumers, hahaha, it took me a little while to quit even after becoming a born-again Christian. It was The Lord Who helped me quit, I couldn’t do it on my own really, hahaha. Not only He took the desire of wanting to drink alcohol away from me, but He also brought into my awareness the benefits of me stop drinking. One of them it helped me become more productive. Another is it saved me money, because drinking alcohol costs. I’m talking a lot of costs, because I started drinking secretly in my late teenage years. I remember waiting to become twenty one to be able to drink publicly. In fact when I turned twenty one, my sister and her husband took me to a nightclub that night. I celebrated my birthday in the night club…hahaha. I remember how I was looking forward that night to seeing that tag on my hand that I am qualified to drink publicly…hahaha. And I wasn’t a really a troubled kid, like I said I was living with alcohol consumers, one day I tried it, I liked the buzz it gave me and that’s why I was consuming it until the Lord delivered me from it.
Another major reason why most of us cannot overcome our financial difficulties and deficits is because of our bad habits. It’s really not much because of our circumstances, our financial status, or our income levels. Yes, it’s true there are situations like a long-term illness that can deplete your money away. But I’m talking about the circumstances that we can control such as bad spending habits.
Okay, I feel like I’m confessing a lot today…hahaha. So one of my ex-habits was to go clubbing, and in some weeks I could even go more than one time. Eventually it became a habit and a weekly thing. And you know when you go clubbing; you spend a lot of money on weekly basis. For instance; I spent money on buying skimp clothes, six inch hills, let alone paying for my own drinks and entrance fees. I spent money on things that I consider not really important to me right now. But it was part of my youth experiences that helped me in my today to be able to make more wise decisions.
Those examples show that our habits cost. So if you know that you have habits that are not supporting your right now financially, then it’s best if you can do something about them. If you have a shopping habit like I do that maybe is not really hazardous but it can break your bank account, and you know you can’t stop it completely, then minimize it. Create yourself a budget of how much you can afford to spend on shopping each year. It will help you control this habit and save you money.
So you have got to get rid of your bad habits and develop new good habits that can help you spending your money on the things that are most important to you and are best for you and your loved ones. You have to ask yourself, do your current habits and cravings helping you achieve the things that are mostly important to you and good for you? If they don’t, then you know you must do something about them.
There are two things that I have discovered that can help us eliminate some of our bad spending habits.
- Develop self-discipline
You need to self-discipline yourself towards your money. And one way you can do it is to disassociate yourself with spending money on immediate pleasure. Practice the habit of delaying gratification. Don’t make rush decisions and run into buying things based on your emotions. You know our emotions, whether high or low, can sometimes cause us to make dumb decisions. A lot of us we accumulate a lot of material things because we are unhappy. We shop even when we know we can’t afford it, but just because we want to fill the void of our unhappiness, disappointments, or emptiness to make us feel better. But usually it ends up getting us into financial difficulties and more unhappiness. But also comparison is a thief of joy. You have to understand, there is always going to be somebody else better than you. When you constantly comparing yourself with others; your work, your life, or whatever else, you crack open into unhappiness situations. Just do your best, and don’t compare yourself with others to the extent to jeopardize your own happiness.
Read more about comparisonitis <<< When Comparison Becomes More of Competition>>>
- Create a budget
You need to create a budget for yourself to guide you with your money. Getting out of financial difficulties is something that you need to intentionally think about, and actually be doing about. You have got to create a plan of how you are going to manage your finances from now on.
You need to create a budget so that you can be able to accurately manage your finances. A budget can show you whether you can afford the lifestyle you have been living so far. It can help you track and understand the flow of your income and expenses, and identifying some of your bad spending habits. Your budget can help you to come up with a plan of how to spend less than you earn. It can track exactly how much you earn, how much you owe, and how much you have available to save, invest, and spend. It can tell you whether you’re over spending, and where exactly you are overspending.
The budget can also help you determine where you stand financially. How much do you earn, how much you have in savings, how much you have in investment, what are your liabilities, and how much debt you have to pay.
So in order to figure out where you stand with your finances you have got to establish for yourself a system that can help you track and record your money activities.
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