THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE FOR DETAILS.
If my head were to split open, blobs of financial material would spill out. The latest stock prices of Amazon, Veeva, Comcast/how much I plan to save this month/the order that my bills need to be paid to meet my savings plan/ Trump’s tax proposal and his idea of tax rates that are going to enhance working lives/what sector of the stock market is on the verge of growth/how much I plan to spend this month. Small splashes of yoga poses that I plan on attempting might be in the brain matter, but at a minimal level. I gave up on twisting myself into a helix years ago. What I’m getting at is the majority of my mind is focused on financial elements. I realized that most people don’t have a grip on this topic and I had an idea to put it into a book.
In How Ally Found Her Financial Freedom, I take the reader through common financial problems – no idea how to manage money, accumulating debt, little knowledge of financial instruments. Ally is a working professional with no money management skills. She’s deep in debt and wonders why she impulsively spends money. Ally acknowledges that she doesn’t have all the answers and finds a mentor. Cue Victoria, a family friend that Ally feels has the accomplishments and successes that Ally longs for. Victoria commits to her mentor role, providing sound advice and guidance. Ally is compelled to examine how she thinks about money, especially her personal money script. She’s challenged to think about money every day and remain disciplined. Ally takes bite-size actions, baby steps to pursue financial contentment.
This is meant for individuals that are searching for an easy-to-follow start in learning to be financially responsible. Most people don’t know where to begin.
The emphasis is on setting financial goals and consistently moving towards them. As in, every month and every paycheck. In addition, I combine money disciplines with topics that overlap. In my view, every other aspect of life traverses your money life. Taking control of your health, being the CEO of your life, career advice, and how to honor your financial goals are embedded into the story. Ultimately, I want the reader to replace thoughts that interfere with money goals with actions that foster accumulation of resources. It’s simply about being intentional.
Here’s an example of my financial discipline:
When I decided to pay off my mortgage, I had to suppress my spending and shoe habits. This really cramped my style but I replaced the thrill of buying shoes and things with watching the interest portion of my mortgage statement decrease each month. To say I was determined is an understatement – this goal became my primary purpose. My salary still wasn’t at its peak and my savings had suffered. I intended to simultaneously increase my meager savings balance while paying off the $110,000 of debt.
As I paid off more and more of the principal, the mortgage amortization table reset. The total payment was the same, but the components of the payment changed. I could clear a room mentioning this at a party, but my intention was to see the principal portion of the payment greater than the interest portion. Keeping the statements allowed me to monitor my progress. In the life of an accountant, this constitutes fun. Even after paying off the entire mortgage, I kept the statements to remind myself that I did it and could achieve an insurmountable goal. Oh, and, when all was said and done, my savings balance hit $50,000.
Throughout the four years that it took to conquer that amount of debt, I broke it down into bitty steps. That meant applying part of my paycheck every time I got paid. That’s how it’s done.
Financial issues don’t discriminate. Ally is about a young woman but all the situations can be translated to a young guy’s lifestyle. Where Ally spends on girly things, guys get in over their heads with cars and gadgets, eating out, and partying.
How are you taking control of your finances?