Battle Plan Series – Phase 1 (STEP) – T.rack Your Spending

Now that you have figured out how you got here, where you are and where you want to go, its time to start getting things lined up.

The next stage is to put your spending habits on paper, create a budget and squeeze the most you can out of it.

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Creating Your First Budget (Made Easy)

By: Amber Moore

You may have watched your parents budget their paychecks and you’ve probably heard many people say that a budget is the best way to control your money (instead of feeling like it controls you!), but if you’ve never done one before, the thought of it might seem overwhelming!

It’s really not, I promise. I’m going to show you how to create your very first household budget without making your head spin.

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Battle Plan for Financial Freedom

CAM offers a two phase program. STEP is for people just starting out on their path to financial freedom and walks you through getting completely out of debt. Once you graduate from STEP, you will enroll in DFAS where you will build up savings, retirement and pay off your house. If you are interested in learning more about the program or would like CAM to walk with you on your journey contact us me at Charles@CAMFinancialCoach.com.

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Dreaming for Others

Reading Meg Meekers, Boys Should Be Boys, I started to reacquaint myself with my youth. I want more than anything to represent a man for my boys to resemble and replicate. In order for me to do that I must continuously grow through faith, family, education, and work.

grandparents-1969824_1280As my wife and I dream about our future, we regularly discuss our children’s future families and our future grandchildren. We also discuss our sacrifices for their education and continuous intentional money decisions that all of our children see everyday. We regularly discuss with our children our dreams and where we want to be as a family. We intentionally discuss our path and dreams for them and why our decisions affect and shape our family and all of our lives. We talk to our children about their dreams. This is important because we want to hear their intentions and goals. We want them to grow and develop their dreams.Depending on their age we have gone as far as making a plan to attain future dreams (such as starting their own business or what they want to do when they get older) or just helping them with ideas. Each child is different and graduation-907565_1280allowing them to talk about these dreams makes them smile which makes us smile and enables us to include their dreams in ours.

I want to press the need to dream for others and that was why I started with our children. We can all accept that we want more and better for our children. It is parental instinct, I believe, to only want to push them for their best and beat ourselves up for every little thing we forget to show or help them with. Dream for the possibilities that they may have and that we can provide them through our teachings.

Dream for your friends and family. Dream that they can reach the potential and get everything that they dream of. We can always dream for ourselves or friends or even family but I urge you to dream for the people around you. Maybe dream for that person that just bumped into you and didn’t say excuse me. Dream for that person that cut you off on your way to work as you were running late already.

When we find ourselves dreaming for others we somehow fall into our dreams. When we dream for others it does something to us and we become less concerned with just us and want more for everyone else. If we are able to allow ourselves to dream not just for ourselves but to dream for others, we allow ourselves to reprioritize what is important. It is not important to have the biggest dreams but it is important that our dreams are vivid and as we intentionally dream for others we will intentionally grow into ours.

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charlesheadshotCharles Moore is a veteran, rocket doctor, financial coach, and blogger. If you’ve decided its time for you to suit up and fight for your financial freedom, check out his website at www.CAMFinancialCoach.comwhere you can get information on the coaching process, package options, and an unbeatable library of knowledge on winning financial battles.

 

Start to Dream

moon-landing-60582_1920As a child we dream about the future, about becoming a a firefighter or an astronaut. As we get older into our teens, our dreams turn more superficial. Teens start to think about cars and making their own money and how they can buy the things they dream about.

Through the years and generations, dreams have become different as we get older. The monetary dreams have moved from more realistic dreams that are within our lifestyles to larger-than-life dreams that are extravagant and financed with debt and a new credit card.

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How to Get Back on Track After the Holidays

If you are anything like my wife and I, you may have let the holiday spirit run free and possibly got off track with your finances. It’s okay to intentionally let go of the handlebars bicycle-1279907_1920and coast on rare occasions, but we never want to completely lose control. If you missed our blog for letting go you can find it here.

 

Now that the holidays are over, we want to recover and set ourselves back on track to success. Just like when you let go of your handlebars while riding your bike and go to regain control, we don’t want any sudden movements or adjustments. Don’t go to regain control of your finances and over correct. Don’t come and look at the budget and say, “Oh well, I guess we can’t buy food this month because we bought Grandma Bette those bottles of Italian wine” or “Hey little Johnny, you got all the toys you asked for so now you have to go work in a sweatshop down the street to make up for it.” We want to intentionally take back control and assess where we may have allowed some slippage.

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“Look Ma! No Hands!” How to Temporarily Let Go of the Handlebars

With all of the holidays, it is easy to focus on just the season and giving and to forget about all other plans. I want to give you permission to put things on autopilot while you deal with the holidays. Yes, that is right: you can have an autopilot schedule for your finances during hectic times.

Does this sounds too good to be true? Who would say to have an autopilot for finances? When we think about the absurdity of this, it is a little hard to grasp. However, for most of us, having our finances on autopilot is how we handled our finances before we started taking control and being in charge of our finances with a budget. BUT just like riding a bike, you can, momentarily, strategically take your hands off the handlebars without crashing.

bicycling-1160860_1280While controlling your finances there will be times where everything just takes over and you may forget something. This is when you take another look at your monthly budget and adjust. Or maybe some things came up that weren’t really planned for, but you still have a sinking fund for, so there is no need for concern.

During the holidays there are always surprises, whether that be gifts under the tree or family and friends showing up or inviting you over to share in holiday cheer. The holidays are for spending time with family and friends and not the time to be stressing over every penny in the budget.

Now don’t jump out of one ditch and into another. This does not mean blow the budget! What it does mean is you are in control and have been doing great so allow the budget to work for you. Just like you do with the bike allow the momentum and wisdom you have learned over the past couple of weeks or months to give you the confidence you need to take your hands off and have a controlled moment of autopilot. And just like when you regrab the handle bars on your bike, there will most likely be a slight correction needed, so street-962796_1920prepare for that.

But don’t get too excited because, unfortunately, this cannot be for everyone. Just like with our children, I would not recommend to my two year old, who is new to a bike, to ride without hands. So, if you are new to a budget and still learning how to control your finances, don’t let go. You need to keep control of your finances through the holidays and maybe if your momentum slows just a bit, that is fine. The biggest thing is don’t lose momentum all together. And definitely don’t allow yourself to go backwards. All of those deals, stores handing out credit cards like candy, can be very tempting. Don’t fall for it. Keep your hands on the handle bars, keep your budget fresh on your mind, but know that a budget is a learning process.

 I really hope no matter where you are in your journey, that you realize that its not going to be easy. You will fall, you will scrape your knees, but the important thing is to get up, wipe it off, and keep pushing. Strategically place people around you that will keep you accountable, offering encouragement when you fall, and cheering you on when you make a win.

DW and I sat down with a family recently. We were helping them get ahold of their finances. Now, this couple was going through Financial Peace University and were sold into making a change.

The hardest decision to make is the decision to change.

We were just there to help them wrangle everything in, to offer support and accountability. We went through and put all of their information into a CAM Workbook for them. It was obvious through talking to them and presenting the information that change was needed and the question was just how much change were they going to commit to. We did a budget together. They did a budget multiple times before committing and signing to the change. Everything looked great. The first day on their budget one of them forget their lunch at home and some coworkers wanted to go to lunch. They fell off the bike and went to lunch. Later that evening they were going to buy groceries (and following the cash system they had pulled cash out so they could feel their spending) and the money was lost. This wasn’t just falling off, this felt like being pushed straight into a thorn bush and crashing off the bike.

Many people would have just quit here. They didn’t. They had fully and irrevocably bought into change. In fact, since our meeting they have made more progress than they had committed to on paper in our home that night. They didn’t let the nicks and scrapes or battle scars of a new decision keep them down.

And for those of you new to a budget I want you to use that story of perseverance to hold on through the holidays. For those readers not on a budget or wanting accountability partners please reach out to us. We are here to help and want to help everyone to be able to take your hands off the handle bars.

charlesheadshotCharles Moore is a veteran, rocket doctor, financial coach, and blogger. If you’ve decided its time for you to suit up and fight for your financial freedom, check out his website at www.CAMFinancialCoach.comwhere you can get information on the coaching process, package options, and an unbeatable library of knowledge on winning financial battles.