Posted on

Ease Your Money Nerve by Journaling

Ease Your Money Nerve

Ease Your Money Nerve by Journaling

Is your Money Nerve causing pain? Identify what causes your Money Nerve to flare up. Once you determine what financial choices cause you emotional stress, you can find new avenues for positive change.

One of the best ways to explore your thoughts and track your progress is to start a journal. Why? A journal gives you a good sense of where you are, review where you were a year ago, and assists you to investigate and plan goals for the future.

Breaking Down a Big Goal

Sometimes a big goal seems like one giant leap, but as you begin to tackle that goal, it is often made up of six, eight, or ten steps before you can complete it. Many small details are not always visible at first, creating a sense of being overwhelmed. Let’s make a comparison. Think of your current situation as a snapshot of “now.” We tend to make long-term judgments based on a quick glance at our life. It is easy to forget parts of the storyline, remembering only negatives or failing to see the full potential for our future.

You are so much more than your present situation! 

Begin Your Journal

To begin the journaling process, purchase something to write in, it doesn’t matter if it is a spiral notebook or an expensive leather-bound journal. Set aside a designated time to capture your thoughts. By investing a few moments of your time in the physical act of thinking and doing, you give yourself a powerful tool to initiate change. Journaling has been proven to create a more healthful lifestyle.

If your Money Nerve causes emotional stress because your finances are in disarray, don’t lose heart. Stop worrying that you will never attain anything better than the current snapshot. You are not limited to today’s state of your life. Explore your ambitions, dreams, luck, or love. Consequently, when you realize that you’re not comfortable with your life, you are ready to change.

Dream Big, Accept the Rewards

Use the journal to allow yourself to dream boldly! Start recording your thoughts. Write down challenges or roadblocks that have popped up. Document what successes (large or small) you achieve each week. Begin taking action steps, based on your journal notes. It is often easier to accomplish big visions with smaller, more manageable steps. As a result of more positive actions, the pain of your Money Nerve will begin to fade. Reward yourself for each small success. Acknowledging your small wins keeps you energized and focused on additional long-term goals.

Your journal becomes your roadmap for an abundant life!

Posted on

Unconscious Choices: Time To Stop

Unconscious Choices

Stop Making Unconscious Choices

Do you ever try to juggle payments on numerous credit cards to stay afloat? Is it an unconscious choice to constantly transfer money back and forth to pay bills?

Do you free up expenses on one credit card so you can charge more on another card? Do  you “need” a new pair of running shoes? Have you made a payment on a credit card, crossed your fingers, and hoped your paycheck would be deposited in time to cover the check?

If you have too many things going on financially, make time to stop. Take a deep breath. Your unconscious choices are wreaking havoc with your financial journey.  Become more aware of your actions and begin to focus on streamlining your life. You cannot keep all this mumbo-jumbo going on and ever expect to reach your dream destination!

Slow Down to Make Conscious Choices

Unconscious choices create an “auto-pilot mentality.” This happens when people fall back on old habits, and make choices without thinking.Determine where you are today, and where you want to go tomorrow. As a result, you can make better decisions moving forward. Set up a proactive plan and use conscious choices to reach fiscal goals.

One unusual tool to get out of this cycle is to freeze your credit cards. Once you have a place to live, enough money for food and access to transportation, most other “things” are “wants.” If most purchases are for entertainment, fine dining, clothes and extra things you could live without. Stop! Freeze Your Credit Cards!

Cool Down Your Emotional Impulses

Take all the credit cards you have maxed out, and put them in a container. Fill it with water and place in your freezer. Many people buy more impulsively when using credit cards, which results in purchasing tons of unnecessary items. Since your cards are in the “deep freeze,” you must thaw the cards out to use. As a result of waiting, the unconscious urge to splurge will pass.

Create A New Mental Map

 Maybe your current mental map tells you that life cannot be enjoyed without using credit cards. Do you even know what the interest rate is? If you don’t know, you could be paying 20 percent or more on your credit cards. Create a new mental map about money.  Shift your perspective to move toward your financial goals. As a benefit of curbing your expenses, money saved from interest charges could be a down payment on a new car or a romantic trip to Italy.
Posted on

Paying Off Student Debt

Paying Off Student Debt

According to the Wall Street Journal: Should repayment of student loans be a family affair? For those who answer “yes,” there are ways to give financial assistance, while still holding the young adult accountable. Listen to this informative podcast from WSJ. Dive into an in-depth discussion of student loans and best options for becoming debt-free.

Parents who want to help their children paying off student debt need to be sure they have taken care of their retirement plans first. To avoid reaching out to their adult children for money as they age, it is essential that parents take control of their personal finances. Don’t allow well-intended emotions to dictate personal financial security.

Some parents offer to pay the loan payments until their child’s salary exceeds the loan amount. Then both parties can create a plan to allow the student to finish paying off the remainder of their student debt. Some parents agree to match payments made by the student. It is often best to pay off private loans, with set terms. Let students deal with the government loans, which may have negotiable terms. Parents need to be aware of the gift tax when assisting a student unless they co-signed the loan. Any payments made by either party would not be affect taxes. Parents should all pay the bills directly rather than giving cash to the young adults.

Other Options

One popular method for paying off student debt is the “debt snowball” method. Pay off the smallest loan. As that loan is canceled out, apply the same payment to the next smallest loan. If you currently owe money and need help, this resource from nerdwallet.com (below) is very helpful.

If you have excellent credit: Student loan refinancing can save you money by lowering your % of interest. Earnest is one of several companies that refinance student loans. To make sure you are getting the lowest rate, get several estimates before choosing a lender.

To qualify for refinancing, you typically need a credit score at least in the mid-600s and enough income to afford all of your bills every month. Not sure what your score is? Find out with NerdWallet’s credit score tool.

***Important fact: If you owe money to the government, you will lose access to income-driven repayment and forgiveness if you refinance federal loans.

Budgeting Tools for Today’s Students

If you have a student beginning their journey into higher education, be sure to check out the online budgeting resource from the affordablecollegesonline.org. This company specializes in ranking the best online college offerings and assisting people to earn college credits while keeping costs down.