When I was in D.C. last Spring , it dawned on me that I was periodically scrambling to move money from one account to another to pay for an overdraft of mine. Because I’m paid twice a month, I looked at when certain charges and autopays were being deducted.
Check one covered credit cards, streaming services and student loans. Check two supported my spiritual practice and charity efforts.
For one month, I gave up the dumb shit that is pretending to not know what will happen when the card is shoved through the machine.
Once it greedily attacks my plastic, it is time to take a breath, welcome the sweats and allow the heart rate to increase. This is what happens when you have no idea what your finances look like. You wait patiently to see if the charge is allowed and your items are yours.
I’m okay sharing this with you because I know you do it, too.
And here’s my action tip for handling your finances…
Get out those credit statements and check on your balance before you take that debit card out for a spin. Give up the shock and heart pounding excitement that is “not knowing if you’ve got “enough” to cover this purchase and stop letting these small seemingly harmless charges (mid day coffee, Redbox, lunch) eat away at your millions and your budding fortunes.
Let me switch gears for a moment.
Whenever I recall my struggles and time of great learning in NYC, I remember two things: money and creativity.
Money was a constant struggle – for one thing I never knew how much it cost me to live every month.
My philosophy was simple and misguided- keep a roof over your head and your ass on a stage.
While this provided wonderful and ongoing opportunities to perform, skill up and grow in my craft, it screwed me to the wall financially speaking.
Paying rent was not the only bill I had.
When your worldview is that tiny you will invite a shitload of problems no matter you’re intention. Without a flexible ongoing plan that consistently adjusts to match clearly defined goals, you will wander around in ignorance and poverty forever.
Stop playing the guessing game with you finances.
I get it.. for those of us who pride ourselves on living drama free we often invite financial upset into our lives in ways that are dumb, predictable and exciting.
My challenge to anyone reading this is to give up the foolishness that is ignorance regarding finances and instead opt for the boring certainty that is having your financial ducks in a row.
What does that look like and how do you do it?
Taking a look at your bank accounts everyday for a month might seem extreme but will at least get you into the habit of facing your coins and making some better choices that are based in reality and not fantasy.
People often say that you can’t change a habit until you look at it. I say you can’t change a habit until you’ve replaced it with another one.
We all underestimate the power of small, committed actions. We also underestimate the ones that jack us up as well.
One of my favorite quotes is from Mel Robbins: No one wakes up and says this is the day I screw up my life”. We march into dumb as hell decisions that put us into this category.
Going back to my years of struggle in NYC, I can clearly see one bad decision quickly lead to another one. While I could blame the culture or fellow artists, this would only get me so far and as I’ve come to recognize, nobody gives a shit about excuses and most importantly, all the folks offering advice were also making dumb ass financial choices.
Here’s a test to find out if you’re still doing dumb shit with your money: Are the same results showing up? Do you have the same simpletons giving you bad advice (solicited or not) that you take ? Check your coffers and find out if you’re making any headway or are you still slightly confused about this charge or that automatic deduction that you forgot about?
In short, stop doing dumb shit with your money!