Hope you had a great holiday! Chris and I spent the last two weeks of the year visiting family in New Jersey and Queens, New York, stuffing our faces along the way. On New Year’s Eve, we made sure to walk outside at midnight, watch the fireworks in Central Park and hear the cheering in Times Square. (You can hear it all from all the way across the Hudson River).
Feels great to be back in the swing of things this month. It’s always exciting because the first three months of the year are when I hear from people who are finally ready to change how they manage their money so they make better choices in the future. Already this week, it’s been great to connect with people who have declared: this is the year!
It’s great to be able to help. In fact, if this sounds like you, keep reading to find out how you and I can spend some time chatting to see if I can help you get a hold of your finances, too.
Today’s article is all about systems.
Oftentimes, when I talk to people about their finances, I ask them what kind of system they’re using to manage their money.
Most people say, they don’t have a system.
And I politely challenge them. “Oh you have a system, alright” I will gently tease. “It’s just not working for you.”
One of my mentors Steve Chandler always says that we’re all using some sort of system. If it’s a bad system, you’ll get bad results. Good system, good results.
So I want to invite you to think about what system you’re really using to manage your money. With the help of an objective outsider it becomes pretty easy to understand why you’re getting the results you’re getting with your finances based on the flaws in the system.
I remember when I finally totaled up everything I owed, it dawned on me that the debt didn’t show up overnight. I just had a terrible system for managing my cash and when I was short, I’d reach for the credit cards. And over time, this bad system resulted in 30,000 in credit card debt.
Once I finally “got” that in order to get different results, I’d need a new system… everything changed.
So I created a Spending Plan (my system) that worked for me (and it happens to work for other people too).
After about two or three months, the process became automatic, the system was working smoothly and after 18 months, I was debt free. New system, new outcome.
So, what system do you use?
Even if you think you don’t have one, remember you have some series of actions you take with money on a consistent basis. Every pay day, when every bill is due, when you’re planning to take a trip, when you switch jobs… etc.
- Are you tallying everything in your head? That’s a system.
- Do you pay bills as soon as they come in (without a plan for how paying each bill will affect your cash flow?) That’s a system.
- Do you use the hope and pray method? Swipe the card, write the check, hope and pray there’s money in the bank to cover it? That’s a system.
- Do you log in to your checking accounts to see how much cash you have on hand often? Or only when you’re afraid of what you spend the night before?
(I never did ANY of these things of course…EVER! wink.)
A system is just a series of repeated, automatic habits that become a routine. Switch up the routine, you get completely different results.
If you’re using a system that’s creating financial chaos, it’s time to get help and create a new plan. And then once you’ve found one that works consistently, cling to it like the dickens. Because this is your ticked out of overwhelm and into financial freedom!
Now if you’re overwhelmed and would like some help putting together a customized system that fits your lifestyle (and that you can actually STICK TO this time) then you and I should definitely chat.
Click here for more information on how to apply for a complimentary 30 minute session with me, to see if I’m the right guide for you. Very easy! (Spots are extremely limited.)
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