Right now I’m laying in bed with a cold craving chicken nuggets. I hate McDonald’s and all it’s done to fast track the assault on healthy eating. Yet, I still love me some McNuggets.
I was sick enough that for second breakfast (lunchtime) I cooked bacon and eggs. Well, 2 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, and an entire pound of bacon. Now, I didn’t eat it all! But, yes, it made my sore throat momentarily disappear. Surprised? Well, I do run a Manliness blog so utilizing bacon as the cure for the common cold shouldn’t be a surprise!
I’ve got a 4 mile run planned on the beach Wednesday, and my calves are already sore from running yesterday combined with the achy-ness of being sick. I’m not sure if I have the discipline and self-control to deny nuggets and to sleep enough to run on schedule tomorrow.
Discipline. It’s what helps us trump the small things to get where we want to go. It takes us further in life. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Even relationally. And discipline helps us take our money further in life as well.
I was recently reading that I might actually be completely wrong about this discipline thing. That self-control isn’t always attainable like I make it out to be. What is attainable? Setting systems and parameters in place that help us get to where we want to go. Well, yeah, you might call that discipline. But it’s more than just some brainy self-control. It’s setting up a careful plan.
With that, I’ve gathered insight from some of my favorite Personal Finance blogger friends. In the tips they map out below, they’ll help you create systems and craft the little pieces that form a plan to take your money further. Enjoy their inspiration of how they overcame fear to get their finances on track, and make sure to check out their blogs!
A Lot of Thanks
Before I proceed my Fearless Men partner John and I must give a huge shoutout to Average Joe @ Stacking Benjamins for inspiring this post when he started his new blog just a few months ago. As well, let me state a major debt of gratitude to Jeremy @ Modest Money for all the help, insight and coaching he’s given us (by the way, you can hire Jeremy to consult!).
Also, major thanks to John @ Frugal Rules for the insight and experience he’s shared. As well, Kim @ Eyes on the Dollar, Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents, and Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff have all been extremely helpful in understanding monetizing a blog. If you want to learn how to make money online, go read their websites!
Let me say thanks to JW @ AllThingsFinance.net. He’s a really wise financial advisor that’s helped John and I come to a better understanding of Personal Finance and Investment blogs.
Lastly, John @ Fearless Men–thanks for being my homie and business partner these 18 months and venturing out into Fearless Dollar. I’m exciting we’re going to help men and women trump fear and take their money further!
As for all our blogger friends, I know many of you are coming to FinCon and I’m really really bummed I won’t be there to meet you. I didn’t plan ahead financially to make the trek. I wish I could meet you all in person this fall! If any of you wants to send me via an angel gift let me know! 😎
Fearless Dollar Thoughts From Some Friends:
John S., Frugal Rules
One of the best pieces of financial advice I ever received was when I was wallowing in credit card debt. That advice was simple, yet so powerful and true – to start and have a plan. We often hold ourselves back from starting because we feel that we can’t make a difference if it’s a small amount. Don’t let the amount hinder you from starting as the key is to start. By starting (whether it be paying off debt or investing for retirement) you begin to train yourself to become financially disciplined. That discipline will serve you well and will allow you to continue to be wise once you do have more to work with. Lastly, have a plan for your money. What do you want it to do for you and where do you want to be? Having that plan will help direct you, keep you accountable and help mark your accomplishments.
Jeremy, Modest Money
Great theme for a blog guys! Fear and finances are definitely deeply interwined. For me that fear focuses around my career. I happen to be working in an industry that has a very questionable future. The industry is always getting turned on its head and there is always the possibility that those changes could make my job obsolete. That fear forces me to think differently about my finances. Really more people should be taking this kind of approach with their careers. Rather than assuming your career and job are set in stone, do what you can to build side income and a backup plan. The more extra income you can develop, the quicker you can reach your financial goals. It also gives you the security to limit that fear. That side venture could even turn into a full time gig producing more money than you could’ve expected.
Crystal, Budgeting In The Fun Stuff
My financial mental breakthrough happened early in life. I realized even as a child that the larger the difference between what you make and what you spend, the faster your money builds up. I’m now 30 years old and thinking about early retirement in the next 15-20 years. That means that my husband and I are concentrating on making that gap between income and expenses as large as possible. We’re investing and saving the difference. It’s a very easy equation for success – spend less than you make and use the rest for your future. Good luck!
Kim, Eyes On The Dollar
I’m not sure how it happened, but one day I woke up and found myself with over $30,000 in credit card debt. That isn’t true. I know exactly how it happened. I was using credit fill a void created by working too much at a job that was becoming less rewarding. I was afraid to change the status quo. Aren’t we all supposed to have debt and work until we drop?
It’s scary to face that much debt and stop the behaviors that caused it, but I’m living proof that it can be done. I am thankful now for my debt and how paying it off has shown me that anything is possible.
The first step is to decide what you want in life. Is it things, or is it something else? After you know the end goal, it gets much easier to make choices for today and tomorrow.
Janine, My Pennies My Thoughts
My biggest money fear is two fold. First, I’m absolutely terrified of not having enough money to pay my bills. As a student there are sometimes long stints in-between pay cheques. This means I have to ensure that I have enough money to cover my bills months in advance. Saving a lot when I’m working full-time in the summer is key. Being properly prepared for my expenses during the year alleviates a lot of unnecessary stress.
The second aspect of my money fears builds on the first. I’m scared of not having enough money while I’m a student and then having my significant other having to foot the bills. Yikes! I don’t want someone else to have to support me. I think especially before you are married you should be able to support yourself. I’ve seen what happens when one person pays for all of the expenses. Spoiler: it isn’t pretty. My significant other works full-time and he doesn’t mind paying for things, but I never want it to get to the point of him supporting me while I’m a student. I don’t want him to think I’m unappreciative, but I have to be able to support myself on my own!
Rocks hide things between their bottom edge and the ground on which they rest. In the darkness of that space, creepy crawly creatures find a home, ones that might startle us if we took a peek.
“Why look then?” you ask.
Because I have to. It’s the ugly things under the rocks of my life that hold me back.
Your financial life may be a train wreck. For a time mine was as money flowed through my fingers like a waterfall streaming over a cliff. I’m a natural spender and buying whatever I wanted, when I wanted, made me feel real good.
Until the end of the month came, when I had to pull money from savings to pay my credit card bill. Each month this occurred and my savings gradually dwindled away. I didn’t know where or how to turn the tide.
Ultimately my faith challenged me. Through reading and prayer, I felt spiritually convicted about my spending habits. I hated admitting my failure then but honesty won out. I had been a poor steward of my resources.
Those moments of self-analysis and commitment changed my life. They can for you as well. But it will take overturning some rocks in your life and confronting whatever ugliness is there.
Be fearless about your finances. Have the courage today to say “Enough! I’ve had it!” It will be a step you won’t regret. =
Anna, Are Ya Gonna Eat That?
A mental breakthrough, or “a-ha” moment, I had when I resolved to pay down my debt once and for all was to simply practice conscious spending. By doing so, it helped me identify purchases based on if it was a need versus a want, and if it was a want then it helped me assess if it was something that genuinely made me happy. After just a few short weeks of practicing conscious spending, it helped me gain some self-awareness of how I was just mindlessly spending on just “stuff” before, whether it was that $5 beer when hanging out with friends or a $30 blouse simply because it was on sale and I thought it was a good buy. Beyond learning about my spending triggers and habits, it helped me realize how much money can accumulate in a short amount of time once I stopped mindless spending, which not only helped pay down my debt faster but also made me realize how my previous thoughts of never making enough money were just mere excuses.
Peter, Design A Fearless Life
For most of us, money is a subject that tends to be surrounded by mixed signals, mystery and confusion. We’re taught that the love of money is the root of all evil, yet just about everyone we know spends most of their waking hours trying to make more of it.
We’re taught in school for 18-22 years of our lives about everything under the sun except the subject of money. Then we enter the workforce and spend the rest of our lives trying to make money, which is a subject we’ve learned nothing about.
It’s understandable that we fear the subject of money. And the best way to overcome that fear is in two simple words:
Take responsibility of your financial life once and for all. Stop depending on “experts” and “advisors” who are simply looking to make a commission of your hard earned money.
If money scares you, then study it and become your own expert! Create spending, earning, and investing goals and then go out and pick up 3 books that you can read on this subject.
Below are 3 books I recommend starting with:
1) I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi
2) Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
3) Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
Money is a fun and wild subject to learn about. But you must realize that no knight in shining armor is coming to rescue you from your confusion and fear around money.
Learning about money takes fearlessness. It takes courage to tackle this incredibly confusing subject and fortunately, that’s exactly what FearlessDollar.com will help you do.
You know what dumbfounds me about people and money? It’s the rampant lack of education considering the financial resources that are at our fingertips.
If I could give you any insight regarding fear and your dollars, it would be don’t be afraid to learn. Basic money growing principles can be learned by anyone and everyone. Not just white collar folks with grad school degrees.
I took a long, hard road to overcome fear and debt. I dug myself into a $38,000 hole! And just last month, I finally finished digging myself out of it. It wasn’t easy. It took a big decision, and lots of little tiny decisions afterwards to make the big decision come alive.
I made my debt a project. Take your money seriously. Make your debts, goals, growth, whatever, a project of your own. Aim down the road, get a goal in place and don’t be afraid. Run hard after it.
Katie, Ask The Young Professional
Creating my first budget was an intimidating process, but overtime I realized it wasn’t as scary as it seemed. From my own trials and errors I discovered that all I had to do was be realistic about how much money I could make in a month, be honest with how much I needed to spend each month, and then I could set achievable goals for saving money.
Cat Alford, Budget Blonde
Many people have a mental breakthrough in terms of their finances when they get in a really tough spot. For me, it was when I couldn’t check out at the store because two of my cards were declined. It was mortifying, and that was the moment that I decided to get rid of my debt once and for all. Of course, I would never want anyone to be in that position, especially because it is so preventable. My biggest advice to have a mental breakthrough and get your finances on track is to regularly tell yourself “no.” We live in a culture of YES, but when it comes to money, you simply can’t let yourself buy whatever you want. I like to keep a running list of everything I turn down, from that extra cup of coffee to that fabulous pair of shoes. When I see how many things I resisted, I feel so accomplished, and I’m more likely to put my money towards something I really do want, like a great vacation or an extra deposit to my retirement account.
Trump Fear and Take Your Money Further
Fearless Dollar aims to help men and women get really practical about every day living, spending, saving, and growing.
See how everyone above had their own struggle, fears and insecurities? You’re not alone in this journey. Life isn’t easy to navigate. Keep checking out my friend’s sites, they’re honest with their own journeys and you’ll be wiser for reading them. Thanks for being a part of Fearless Dollar! Make sure to join us on Facebook, Twitter and Google +!
What is your best strategy when it comes to taking your money further and navigating life’s windy roads? Join us for more fun in the comments below!