Tis the season of giving but instead of buying things on credit, which is technically spending money that we don’t have, let’s give out some financial discipline. My gift giving campaign for the giving season is called “giftsofknowledge”. Wrote “Before you can reach your lifestyle goals, you need to master the basics. One of those basics is the practice of financial discipline.” In my view, before you can get more, you have to learn to make do with less. In other words, spend less to get more or getting more by spending less. My mother would say “live within your means” and “Money gives you opportunity” so I took it to mean “live beneath your means ” so I could have “more opportunities.” When I have more opportunities, I like to share those opportunities with others because I believe that sharing is caring. I am sharing the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) tips that we employed to make opportunities for others by spending less to get more.
My accountability partner is Tara Colquitt also known as The Credit Woman. She tells me not to use the word budget as it indicates “a diet” but call it a “spending plan”. PlantingMoneySeeds.com writes “Budgeting software is not only inexpensive (there are many programs available free of charge), but it can have an immense impact on how well you’re able to stay disciplined about handling your finances. Because this software often requires you to manually enter transactions, you’ll be forced to pay close attention to exactly what you’re spending your money on. You can categorize your purchases and set limits, which is a great way to ensure that you don’t go overboard at any point throughout a given month.” I say know what you are going to spend (with a ceiling price and a floor price) before you spend it. A budget, I mean, spending plan, forces people to write down the number so people are less likely to be reckless with the money.
In that regard, knowing that business is cyclical, in addition to developing a spending plan also have to develop a savings plan. Business has highs and business has lows. The savings account is there to keep the business operational while the business is in a low period. The Grow wise money website article on 7 Techniques for Financial Discipline, writes to use these tools for financial discipline.
“1) Set up an automated transfer into your savings account each pay period
2) Cut up your credit cards, or freeze them in a large chunk of ice
3) Get a financial mentor or someone you trust (i.e. accountability partner) who would have to approve every time you wanted to withdraw money from the bank
4) Keep a record of everything you buy, (i.e. develop a spending plan)
5) Train your mind to say NO to instant gratifications through meditation
6) Make A Dream Board (see below for the Vision Board Workshop on January 11th, 2017 2-5pm at Soiree Philadelphia)
7) Carry very little cash – Only carry what you need to get buy and keep a prepaid debit card that is used for emergencies. When you carry lots of cash, you feel urged more to impulsively buy things.”