5 Day Money Challenge
When clients approach me for help with managing their money, it is often because they simply don’t know where to start. Like a cluttered room, the organization with which they approach money management is messy and certainly lacks vision and intentionality. Many hours are worked and many paychecks are cashed, but no progress is made. I always start the process by asking what their goals are. Money is a means to an end. It is a necessary resource in the world we live in. When poorly managed, it creates a distance between where you are and where you want to be. Welcome to the iFireFinance 5 Day Money Challenge. If you follow this process, by the next time you are celebrating the weekend you will have clarity about what to do with your hard earned cash.
Day 1- Daydream
This is part motivation, part visualization. What money problems keep you from living your best life? Where do you want to be 3 months with your money? What about 5 years? You can make real progress by starting to set measurable goals. If you’re grinding and struggling right now, that’s okay- Success starts with intentionality. If you have money you don’t quite know what to do with, take this time to figure out what energizes you. What would add to your life the most right now? Here’s your challenge for day one- narrow down the top three things you’d like to accomplish with your money in the next six months.
Day 2- Set a Short-Term Goal
Today we take your top three #MoneyGoals and narrow them down to ONE. Those who try to accomplish too much at once often accomplish nothing. Pick one singular goal that you’d like to accomplish in the next six months. WRITE! IT! DOWN! You need to look at that goal every day! You can make copies and tape it to your mirror, keep one on your car visor, or make it your phone background. Keep it fresh in your mind and right in front of you- it’ll help motivate you when you lose sight of it in your day to day life.
Day 3-Analyze Your Spending Habits
Here’s where the work starts. Look back at your bank account history and see where your money goes. Your heart and mind is where you spend most of your money. Think about it- you spend time working in order to earn money. You then spend that money on things, experiences, etc. When you look at where you spend the most money, does it line up with your values? Does it line up with your goals? If not- change it! Where is all your money going? If you’re carrying a lot of debt, chances are the majority of your income is going to debt payments and interest. Do you want your hard earned cash going toward lots of interest? Take measured steps to budget extra money toward getting rid of that debt earlier and save on interest!
“When you tell your money what to do, you don’t have to wonder about where it went.”
Day 4- Make a Plan.
We’re in the thick of it! It’s time to put pen to paper and make a BUDGET. You will not be successful without a specific plan in place. We have our end goal, so now we have to define measurable steps to get there. Your budget is your road map on how to navigate to your goal. In the beginning of a new month- figure out what your income will be for the month ahead. Assign EVERY DOLLAR a job. When you tell your money what to do, you don’t have to wonder about where it went. You must put together a budget- not sure how? Follow @iFireFinance on Instagram and Facebook. I offer personal finance coaching services online. You will learn how to create a singular #MoneyGoal and how to take steps to get there including a complete written budget.
Day 5- Increase Your Margin of Living
Let me introduce you to a concept I call “Margin of Living”. Your margin of living is the distance between the amount you make and the amount you spend. This amount of money is what you use to achieve your #MoneyGoal. If you spend everything you make, you have no margin of living. You have no extra money to put toward your goal. So we need to find ways to not only increase your income, but reduce your expenses in order to expedite the process. Your challenge today is to find one concrete way to increase your income this month, and one way to decrease your expenses. Use these to increase your margin of living and put more cash toward your money goal.
Congratulations- if you complete this 5 Day Money Challenge you made tremendous progress with your money. Do what you can to keep your eye focused on the goal you made on day two. Once you meet that goal, use the same process to choose another one, and so on. Choose intentionality with your money and you will see progress. If you need help setting goals, making a budget, or increasing your margin of living, choose @iFireFinance to help you.