271: How to Organize Your Finances | Tanya Dalton
Tanya Dalton Quote on Money and Finances
August 30, 2022   |   Episode #:

271: How to Organize Your Finances

In This Episode:

Money is one of those topics that people tend to shy away from, but once we make finances easy, we take back our power. In today’s show we’re talking about strategies and systems to make saving money simple and painless. We discuss how to organize and streamline paying bills, paperwork, and expenses. We also dive into the steps to create a system to streamline savings while getting rid of debt. Using the steps to organize your finances will be empowering and confidence building, and today’s episode will make it all feel easy.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Money doesn’t have to be a dirty word

Questions I Answer

  • How do I create a system to organize my finances?
  • What can I do to make it easier to save money?
  • Is there a simple way to organize paperwork?
  • How can I make bill paying easier?

Actions to Take

  • Make bill paying easier by setting up a  rule in your current email program so ebills automatically route to a specific  folder
  • Decide on a day for your finances – example: Financial Friday, Wealthy Wednesday, Savings Sunday
  • Create a system to make it easier to save money with automatic withdrawals

Key Moments in the Show

[03:13] Stop thinking of money as a dirty word

[05:27] How to create a system for  your paperwork

[10:50] 3 Tips on organizing your finances

[17:42] My favorite financial automations

[24:00] How to save money, even if you aren’t a natural saver

[27:50] How I bought my house at the age of 23

[30:50] 4 strategies for getting out of debt

Resources and Links

  • How To Organize Your Kitchen Video
  • 3 Kinds of Finance Automations: Withdrawals, Payments & Reminders
  • RELATED PODCAST EPISODES: 
    • 111 – How to Organize Just About Anything 
    • 35 – Automations: Systems that Work for YOU
    • 265 – Achieving Financial Freedom with Grant Sabatier
Show Transcript

Hello Hello everyone. Welcome to the Intentional Advantage podcast. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. This is episode 271. This is our final episode of the summer series, where we’ve been doing a little refresh, a little update on some of y’all’s favorite podcast episodes over the years. So far, this season, we have talked about making your least productive day, your most productive. We’ve talked about stretching time and making stronger memories. And today I want to close out the summer series as a way to respond to so many of your emails. You all loved last season. When we talked about reclaiming your power. And we had an episode during that season with grant, somebody who came on and talked about financial freedom and how all that works.

You guys were asking me for some more concrete strategies for how to organize your finances. You wanted some tips and some strategies on how to actively save money while saving time, saving stress, all those things that I love to save you from. So I knew, I actually knew I wanted to refresh this episode episode 112, which first appeared in season nine, a season that was called New Year, True You instead of new year, new you, it was all about new year, true you that season. We had episodes on how to organize anything, how to get better sleep, how to motivate yourself. It was a great season, but it was quite a while back. I mean, this is episode 271, that was all the way back hundred episodes, more than a hundred episodes back. And so I thought it would be great for us to do a little refresh and dive into some really concrete tips, tools, all the things that you need so that you can feel better about your finances, creating a system to organize your finances is empowering. It really is.

And I think the other side of the coin here is this it’s time to stop thinking of money as a dirty word. I feel like money and finances. Those are things that we’re just like, oh, we don’t talk about, we don’t talk about in front of other people. We don’t have discussions about it. So there can be a lot of shame, a lot of guilt, a lot of all that crap, right? Tied to that word, money, finances. 

And when we don’t have a system for them to feel more organized, they can feel very disempowering. It can make us feel like we don’t know what we’re doing or that we’re kind of a hot mess. So let’s, let’s do away with that.

I want you to stop thinking of money as a dirty word. Money is an incredible vehicle for your success. That’s the truth. Money is just another form of energy. It’s another way for us to do the things that we want to do in our lives, in our world, around us. I often tell business owners, you need money for the mission, right? We can’t go out there and make our impact in the world. If we’re worried about paying the bills, Reverend Michael Beckwith has this great quote. I think it’s his quote, where he says, you can’t be a light to the world, if you haven’t paid your light bill, because that takes you out of all the greatness that you can do in the world.

If you’re worried and you’re stressed, and you’re thinking about all those things that you haven’t done with your money, right? Or that you need more money or you, your money feels unorganized. Let’s flip it on its head and let’s get started today. All right. So today our focus is really on creating those systems, making some headway, we could say into feeling more confident with our finances.

So let’s dive into today’s show because I want to talk about finding systems to help you save how automations can make it all so much easier and can really help you with that. We’re going to discuss some strategies to start getting out of debt and avoiding the Diderot Effect. What’s the Diderot  Effect? We’ll get into that in a little bit, but let’s start with how to organize your paperwork because this is where a lot of it starts.

One of the things I hear over and over again with so many people is that you have piles and piles of paperwork, and that can feel really overwhelming because most people don’t find it to particularly fun, to go through mountains of mail and bills and invoices and expenses and magazines. Those piles get pushed aside day after day after day, we’ve all done. It we’ve all been there, but what happens is these piles grow and grow and grow until suddenly there’s a mountain of paperwork to go through. It’s kind of like laundry, right? And we’ve talked about laundry before and automations with laundry and making all that stuff easier. 

But what happens is when it becomes a big pile, it becomes a really daunting task to conquer. So if you feel like you have a Mount Everest of paperwork to sort through, we start by digging into that first, get that mountain of paper de-cluttered; get it organized. And when it’s more manageable, you can move on to setting up some future habits and automations in order to keep that mountain down to a molehill, we’re going to dive into all of that today. 

When it comes to organizing paperwork, it really is just a matter of tackling this in the same way you would, if you were giving your mud room or your kitchen, a space lift, if you’re doing a little bit of organizing. Now, I’ve talked about this in the past. And I definitely dived into it back in episode 111, when I talked about how to organize anything, really any room in your house. 

 I talked about a system of prep, sort, purge and organize. We can use that same system prep sort purge and organize when it comes to your paperwork. Now, normally we also have trash keep donate bins, right? But instead of having those, you might have three different bins because unfortunately they’re not going to accept donations of your bills at the local charity.

Yeah. It doesn’t work that way. So you’re not going to have a donate pile when it comes to paperwork, but you can have a trash file shred. Now, when I say trash, I really mean recycling generally. Right? But some of it we’re going to want to throw away. We’re gonna want to recycle some of it. We’re going to need to file away.

And some of it’s going to need to be shredded. Okay? Some of the things you can toss into the recycling bin and it’s totally fine. Some have private information on them and need to be shredded. I generally err towards shredding, just everything. I have a shredder it’s super affordable. You just shred it and then you pop it into the recycling bin, right? But then you’re going to have other items that need to be filed away. And that goes back to this idea of everything has a home philosophy that I’ve talked about in the past. We don’t want bills to be mixed in with invoices, which are mixing with expenses and field trip forms from the kids’ school and artwork and all those other saying all these other things that happened with paperwork.

When they all compiled together, we want to start separating those and kind of putting them into categories. Now, if you have a business, I really want to encourage you to keep your business paperwork and your business finances separate from your home paperwork, from your home finances. Those should always be separated. Okay. So if you own a business right now and you’re like, well, I still use my personal checking account. We need you to go out, get a business, checking account, get a business savings account. We want to keep that separate. It’s important for tax purposes, but also because we want to have different compartments, right? Which you make it work. If you own your own business, isn’t necessarily your take-home pay.

And we want to make sure all of that is organized. Alright. Now, remember, as you sort through things in this giant pile, you’re going to have a good size pile for filing, right? What we want to do is we want to put similar items together so that when you go to put them in their place, you have all the medical bills together or all the travel expenses together in a pile or all the car expenses.

As you’re going just to a quick little sort, doesn’t have to be perfect. Walk away from perfection, right. Just start popping them into piles. And then you can use accordion folders or file cabinets to sort and organize those documents that you want to keep. That’s the easiest way to go. Just don’t worry about it. Just pop things into the medical pile.

Then you pick up that medical pile and you go back through and you’re like, oh my gosh, there’s a hospital bill from like 25 years ago. Right? Okay. That needs to be shredded. Right. But let’s start by instead of just having one giant pile that’s filing, go ahead and start separating them out. You’ll start to see the categories start appearing.

Right. And what we want to do is we want to basically create little bundles for these. This is very similar. I have a video on YouTube. When I talk about organizing your kitchen and I talk about having zones, creating zones in your kitchen, I’ll put a link in the show notes for that video, but it’s the same idea here, right?

You might have a car zone where things like car insurance and car payments and bills for, you know, mechanical repairs and things like that. You might have a kid zone for things related to your kids. You might have a zone separated for each kid, even right. This again, will really help you when it’s time for tax time. 

All right ,then what we want to do is we want to organize your finances and I know how to organize your finances is something that I know you’ve Googled probably time and time again, because it feels daunting. But here’s the thing. We get that mountain of paperwork conquered. Then we can move on to organizing yourself so you can avoid this paperwork, beast in the future.

All right, here are three tips to help you organize your finances. These are all strategies and tips that I use on a regular basis. Tip number one, sort your mail every day. If you’re not already doing this, I can’t tell you what a game changer. This is. I recommend sorting through your snail mail every day and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

I literally do this on my way back down the driveway from the mailbox to the house. So I walked down the driveway, get the mail on the way back up. I’m literally sorting. I pass by our big recycling bin. I toss things into recycling. I don’t need, and I keep the things I need to keep, right? So just get into this habit where instead of just piling the mail into a stack, and then you’re like waiting till this magical moment down the road that you’re going to go through it. It feels daunting because that stack is so big. If you do it every day, it’s quick. It’s simple. It’s easy, right? 

That’s what we want to do. So just very quickly sort out the stuff that needs to be recycled, pull out any bills and put them in a,to be paid basket or have a special spot where those go that way you have pulled out what you need and what needs your immediate attention right away. When it’s time for bill paying, you’re like everything’s together in this pile. What happens is that 20 pound restoration hardware magazine that comes in the mail gets lost in there. Right? And that pile seems huge.

The bill paying pile seems huge because it’s got all these like flyers and coupons and everything else in it. Let’s keep bills separated. A To be Paid Basket  is an ideal way to organize this. Everything else, magazines have their own spot recycling go straight into recycling. Right? Okay. 

Second tip have a dedicated email address for bills and for bills only I have a special email address that I use only for my electronic bills and nothing else.So I’ve set up my email so that anything that’s set to that special email address gets forwarded to my main email account. And I have a rule set up. So that rule is, it automatically gets sorted into a special folder. That’s called bills. You can name your folder. Anything you want, you can call it bills. You can call it finance.

You can call it. I hate bills. It doesn’t matter. Name it, whatever you want. But the main idea is to streamline this and put all of your emails in one place. Just like what we were just talking about with sorting your paper bills from the mail and putting them in a, to be paid basket. We’re doing this in our email inbox.

Now, if you don’t want to set up a separate, special email address, that’s totally fine. You can still have your mail or your email sorted into a special smart mailbox or a special folder within your email program. Most of them have rules that you can set up. Like if it comes from, you know, Duke energy or if it comes from AT&T you know, it automatically goes into that folder, right? And here’s the, here’s a little extra bonus tip for you. Most email programs actually will allow you to have a separate alias email address under your regular email address. So you can filter into that same inbox, go straight to that folder. You’ve created, right? All of it’s happening for me in my same email inbox.

I’m not having to log into a different system because that email address that I have goes straight into my regular email address, but everything that’s labeled, like everything that comes or is forwarded from that email address to my main email address goes into my folder and that way on bill paying day, which we’re going to talk about in just a second, I’m able to just open that up and all my bills are right there.

Got it. Okay. That brings me to tip number three, which is pay your bills on a consistent day. Oh my gosh. This is huge, right? Because the thing is, it’s incredibly helpful to have a consistent day. You have time set aside to work on bills and finances. Now for me, I like to do this on Fridays.

I call it financial Friday because I love alliteration. You might remember back in episode 35 when we talked about automations and how you can theme them on certain days. So what I do is I set aside 45 minutes to an hour each week on financial Friday to go into that special email folder and my to be paid basket, right for my physical bills. And I spend time batch paying all the bills that have accrued at that time.

That way it really takes no time at all. And it streamlines the process to just, you know, a little bit of my time. It’s so easy. And since Friday is my dedicated financial day, I save all the budgeting, finance type tasks for that one day. I’m not stressing throughout the week about, Ooh, do I need to pay this bill or this hasn’t been paid?

Or when do I need to take a look at my bank account? I know it’s happening on financial Fridays. Not stressing about it. I know it’s going to get done on Friday. Now. I personally like to do it on Fridays because it makes me feel like I’ve ended my week with a big win and paying the bills for the weekend. That feels good to me.

Now, if paying bills before the weekend feels like that’s a buzz kill. You don’t have to do it on Friday. Pick a day that works for you. You could do wealthy Wednesday. You could do. My sister does Sunday, Sunday savings. Okay. Yes. I know I’m a bit overboard with the alliteration, but I like it. Okay.

My sister, she does Sundays. So she can start the following week knowing she’s put the bills behind her. I have a friend who does it on the 10th and the 20th of each month so that she has enough time to get the bills in before the first of the month or by mid month. Ultimately the end of the day, like everything else I talked to you about,

it’s up to you. Just make sure you make it into a regular habit, pop it into your calendar. You can set it up as a recurring events. That’s what I do. It’s just listed out there and it’s set up. So it repeats every week at the same day, or if you want to do the 10th and the 20th set it up for those days.

So it repeats every single month. We want to take the thinking out of it, right? As much as we possibly can. We’ve talked about that. Even this season of the summer series, taking the thinking out of it. And that’s incredibly important when it comes to staying on top of your finances. And one of the tools we can use is automations.

Automations, totally take the thinking out of it because they are things that happen automatically. You know how much I love creating good habits in our daily routines because they’re automated tests. We don’t have to think about, we just do them. They’re second nature. They don’t require any extra thoughts. It’s like brushing your teeth. That’s what automations are in the world of finance.

Automations work pretty close to the same way they won’t brush your teeth, but they do keep your finances healthy, which is important, but they can create an automatic task that happens before we even have to think about it. So a couple of ways you could use automated systems are automatic payments. So an example would be if you use an online banking program that features recurring payment options.

For example, if you know that your rent or your mortgage is the same every month, you could set it up a recurring payment. So it automatically leaves your account on that same day, right? Like the day before rent is due. So that way it goes to it. It’s done automatically. 

Now this doesn’t work for things like your gas bill or maybe your electric bill that varies each month, but for ones that are consistent. Yep. That definitely takes the thinking out of it. Car payments is another one. That’s great to have automatic payments happening. The one thing you need to be careful of is making sure you have sufficient funds before automated payments go out, right? Which brings me to automatic reminders. That’s one of the things you can set up an automatic reminder.

If my account has dipped to a certain level, I need to transfer money over or however, whatever it is you need, right? That’s the great thing. Now with so many banks, you can set up automations for your bank balances and other reminders. You can opt to get a bank alert. If your funds dip below that certain dollar amount or an alert on online banking payments.

If the payment hasn’t been made in a certain timeframe, right? So you can set up reminders, see what your bank already has established. These are not extra costs. These are things that are already part of you being part of the banking system. The last one I want to talk about is automatic withdrawals. Oh my gosh. Game changer because automatic withdrawals make saving super easy and it makes it painless.

So let me give you an example of an automated withdrawal. So an automated withdrawal system would be, if you have money automatically pulled from your paycheck and put into a 401k or some other form of savings or investment payment plan before the paycheck even hit your bank account. Now, especially if you’re having ACH, like if your payroll is automatically deposited into your account,you can set it up. So it automatically siphons that money away. And then it goes off to this investment account and the rest goes into your bank account. You can do that with your business, wherever your business is, or whoever is your boss, you set it up through them or you can set it up through your bank. There’s a lot of great benefits of truly having automatic withdrawals.

The first one is you don’t even notice that you’re saving money. That’s glorious. I have to tell you, it really is rolling money into an alternate savings area before you even think about it, or you’re tempted to spend that money. Yeah, that’s huge. Right? But there’s also some tax benefits of taking money out. Especially if you’re putting it into a 401k, taking that money out before it goes into your paycheck, putting it into your 401k, your IRA, or your set plan or whatever it is you have that makes that tax-free so lots of ways we can set up these automatic withdrawals. And what I love about automatic withdrawals is it really makes saving money so much easier. So that is what I want to talk about.

And just a second, I want to talk about some systems for saving money and some strategies for getting out of debt in just a moment. Let’s quick, take a mid episode break. I hope you’re enjoying today’s episode. I wanted to talk about finances because I think it’s really important to make this as easy as possible so that you feel empowered and you feel excited about looking at where your money is going and where you want to go.

This is exactly the same type of things I love to share with you in my courses and programs. I have two courses I have just refreshed and rereleased at a discount, my extraordinary life blueprint and multiplying your time, which is a, it’s an amazing course to help you find more time in your day. So you can find both of those at Tanyadalton.com/courses.

As I mentioned, I’ve discounted them for a short time. Go ahead and take advantage of that. Go to Tanya dalton.com/courses today. All right, let’s get back to the show because for this part, I want to talk about systems for saving money, because I think saving money, isn’t always easy. We touched on that idea of the automatic withdrawals, right?

Which makes it easier. But here’s the truth. Some of us are natural savers. Some of us are natural spenders, and you can probably see this in your past. I see it with my nieces, one of my nieces, she’s going to be the saber. She gets candy at Christmas time. And somehow it lasts her through the following summer. My other niece, her sister, though, she’s going to be the spender. Her bag of Christmas candy is lucky to make it even to new year’s Eve. So some of us naturally have a little more control when it comes to saving. So it’s okay though, if you’re naturally a spender or you’re naturally a saver, neither one’s better than the other. But what we can do is we can make it even easier.

We touched on that idea of automations just before the mid episode break, right? And that’s a great way to encourage yourself to save money without thinking twice about it. In fact, my biggest and best tip on saving money is having it pulled out for investing before you get your paycheck, set it up as an automatic draw, and it makes saving painless because it happens without you having to think about it.

It happens without you, you know, negotiating with yourself. Well, I could use this money for this, or I could use it for that happens automatically. And as I mentioned earlier, lots of big tax benefits can happen when you do that. All right. Another way to save money is live on one income. If you are a dual income household,

try living off of one of the incomes and then siphoning all the other one into a savings account or an investment account or some other way. So it can start accruing some interest when John and I got married, we always lived off one income. We saved the other person’s paycheck and we lived off the other person’s income. 

So when we were both working, my teacher’s salary was going straight into the savings and his salary, he was making was what we spent our money on. Right? And then he went to school and he got his MBA, his master’s of business administration. And we lived off that teacher salary while we had a baby. That sounds crazy. But the truth is it was so easy to survive on a teacher salary when we were used to living on one paycheck.

So that made it really manageable and really simple for us to do. So we still do this to this day. We don’t use both of our salaries. One of our salaries goes straight into savings, straight into investments. It gets kind of siphoned off into different investment accounts. And that makes it really painless. 

The other way that you can really save money is a technical called get a raise, raise your savings. Okay? Anytime that you get a race from your work, whether you own your own business and you’ve increased the amount you’re making or your boss or your manager gives you a raise, try to increase the amount that you’re saving and investing. So one of the things that I’ve always done is when I get an increase in pay, when I’m getting more money in my payroll check, I save a portion of the difference. 

Let me break this down for you. For example, for the sake of ease, I’m going to use some really simple numbers. Cause you know, I don’t like math. So let’s say I make a thousand dollars in my paycheck, but my boss gives me a raise and suddenly I’m making $1,500 in my paycheck.

Woo. Right. Amazing. That’s awesome. What I do though, instead of saying, oh, now I have $1,500. I can spend all of that. I bump up my take-home pay to 1200, not the 1500. So I’ve increased it from 1000 to 1500. But instead of taking that 1500, I only take 1200, the extra $300 automatically deposit into my investment account.

Right? Here’s the thing that increase from a thousand dollars to 1200, it’s going to feel like a little life upgrade. It’s going to feel good. I don’t need that full amount to experience the bump in lifestyle satisfaction. And here’s the thing. Now I’ve increased my savings. I’m saving $300 a month, $300 that I didn’t have previously that I now can siphon aside.

Right. So I can retire early so I can get the house I want so I can do whatever it is I want. the Diderot is how I bought a house. When I was 23 years old on a teacher salary, I was single. So it was my only income. And yet I was able to do it because I was constantly siphoning money away from my account.

And anytime I got an increase or I got a bonus, I didn’t take that full bonus. I gave myself some of it, but I stuck the other parts away. I put it away into my investments. That’s what makes that happen. All right, because what happens is you get a raise, you get an income increase. It’s really easy to live up to that new payroll amount.

What happens is we acclimate to nicer lifestyles. As our paycheck increases, we feel like we’re making more money. So we need to spend more money. Right? And here’s the thing. There is nothing wrong with wanting to live nicer, but it’s okay to live just a little bit nicer. You don’t have to go out, buy a yacht, mean less.

That’s what you’ve been saving for, but we don’t need to spend all that money. Making more money. Shouldn’t mean you automatically go out and spend more money. I get it. It’s hard to not want to go out and celebrate and spend your new paycheck on something new. Go do that. You don’t have to spend it all though, right? There’s actually a name for this phenomenon.

It’s called the Diderot Effect. What happens is you get a raise, you decide, oh, you know what? I’m going to buy that new couch. I’ve been looking at you buy the new couch. You bring it in, ah, the two chairs next to it. Look totally dingy. So now I got to get two more chairs.

You get two more chairs and suddenly the rugs don’t look good. I got to change the accessories in that room because the new couch and the chairs, and next thing you know, it’s a pillow and a coffee table. Oh, there’s so yesterday, right? And unthinkingly what’s happened is you’ve done a complete makeover, a room. When the raise you got didn’t really cover the cost of the pillows on the new couch and all the other fancy things,right? 

You spend more than you originally intended. This is the, when you give a mouse, a cookie effect, you know those books by Laura, Numeroff you buy it, give a mouse, a cookie. He’s going to want a glass of milk. When you give him a glass of milk, he’s going to want a straw. Then he wants a napkin, then a mirror and it just keeps snowballing. Right? So get careful not to get trapped into the domino effect of spending. This is really easy to fall into the trap of, especially when it comes to home repairs, right? I, when we moved into our house, I wanted to the stove. Wasn’t very good. I needed a new stove, so needed a new stove, which meant we had to cut into the granite, which I didn’t really like the granite in the first place. 

So then we’re like, we got to replace the countertops. We’re replacing the countertops while why is we’ll go ahead and replace the cabinet fronts, see, give a mouse, a cookie. It happens. So you want to make sure that you’re staying within your means.

So having those automatic withdrawals, right, pulling money out automatically makes it easier not to fall into that trap.   the truth is we can’t talk about finances without talking about debt. Getting out of debt can feel hard. Yeah. But the majority of Americans are faced with debt at some point in their lives. So you’re not alone. It’s okay. And here’s the thing: Let’s not make this shameful.

Let’s not feel guilty about what we’ve done in the past. It’s in the past. All we can control is what we choose and moving forward. So let’s think about what you can do to get your bank balance out of the red, first thing you can do. And this is the easiest is just start tracking your spending and your budgeting, right? 

And a lot of times our credit cards, they can get us into trouble because we don’t realize how much we spent until suddenly that bill is in our hands. And if that bills in that giant stack of paper, do you have an organize? It it’s easier to pretend it’s not there, right? But if you track your spending, you’ll be able to see where you might be able to trim up some of that extra spending fat that you’ve got.

And the good news is a lot of credit cards will do this for you automatically. And if your credit card doesn’t do it, there’s lots of apps that can help as well. They slot your expenses into categories, making it so easy at a glance to see how much you spent. Wait, how much did I spend last month on groceries? How much do I spend on eating out?

Oh my gosh. Right? It happens. It’s easy to do, but numbers, numbers tend to tell the truth. So seeing your numbers is going to help. I like to look at my spending categories as part of financial Fridays once a month. So I have my regular financial Fridays where I do a quick check-in maybe check my bank account balance. I pay my bills.

And then once a month I do a deeper dive. I usually do it around the 10th of the month. So I can look at the month before I want to look at the month before fully closed out. And then I can see, gosh, wait a minute. How much did I spend on eating out? I love food. So that can be a really big expense, right? So tracking how much you’re spending. 

Second thing you can do start small. Don’t get caught up in that. You have all this debt, this big mountain. We just chip it away bit by bit, right? There’s this idea out there that it’s good to work on. Paying off your smaller debts first, get a little momentum. And that’s a good thing.

I tend to agree with that. But if those smaller debts have low interest rates, you might be better off tackling those debts with higher interest first, right? Even see if you can transfer over debt on your higher interest accounts, over to those with a lower interest account, consolidating the debt can be really powerful. Instead of having 10 credit cards you owe on, bring it down to four, right? Then you can work on eliminating one debt at a time, lowering the amount of monthly fees that you might be accumulating, right? Cause that’s what happens with these balanced carry overs. 

If you can close out one credit card or one debt, the following month, you shift the monthly minimums. You were paying to that card towards the next card,right? Or paying down for something else. And then once you close out, once you have paid it off and that credit card is paid off, cut it up, get rid of it. Don’t use it right. We want to minimize how many credit cards we’re using because that’s an easy way to fall into this trap of overspending. The other thing you can do is not use credit cards,try paying with cash. If you go on a credit card diets where you’re no longer using credit cards, you’re going to find that it’s easier to skip the frivolous things because you got to pull that money out and you got to physically look at it, right? This is a Dave Ramsey technique–paying with cash.

So that’s another way you can do it and thinking about want versus need. That is probably the biggest one. Shifting your mindset. I want you to start thinking in terms of want versus need. When it comes to spending, you need to put gas in your car to get to work. Do you really need that morning latte? Right? Probably not.

It’s more of a want. And I’ve talked about this on the show before, instead of, you know, John going out, cause he likes really nice coffee instead of going out and getting a really nice coffee every day, we invested in an espresso machine that he loves. That makes a really good coffee, that it’s not a cheap machine. And yet over the course of time has more than paid for itself because he’s not going out for fancy coffees.

Right? So what I want you to think about is money wasters, no money, wasters and time-wasters are exactly the same thing, right? I can’t give you a list of money wasters, just like I can’t give you a list of time, wasters, this something I dive into on purpose. My second book in On Purpose, we talk about this idea of time-wasters that what’s a waste of time is different for each of us.

Money Wasters are the same thing, you know, and grant talked about this when he was on the show last season, which I’ll put a link to that in my show notes, we talked about this whole idea that if going to get a manicure and a pedicure with your sister is a highlight for you. And this is a time for you guys to come together and to have fun.

And it makes you feel connected and it brings you closer together. That’s a great way to spend that money, right? It’s not a money waster. Now, if it’s just like, oh, I go to go get a pedicure every week, probably a money waster. But think about what that money does for you. You know, recently my Pilates went up and this is something I’m going to talk about in my email.

I think going out this week is I spend what I think is a really high amount on Pilates. But for me, Pilates is everything. Before I just start doing Pilates, my daily pain for years, for years and years and years, my daily pain was like at an eight. I had days where I couldn’t walk. I lost the use of my legs at the end of the day because the pain was so bad.

The nerve damage was so bad. Everything was really bad. It was an incredibly hard time for me because I couldn’t do half the things. I couldn’t do a quarter of the things I wanted to do, but I spend money on Pilates because it’s an investment in me and it makes me feel good. I’m happier spending more money on Pilates than I am on other things.

I don’t get my hair dyed at the salon because I use that money for Pilates, right? For you getting your hair dyed at a salon might be very different, right? It might be very different for you. That might be something you’re like, no that’s a priority. It makes me feel confident. It helps me roll my shoulders back and feel confident walking into the world. Great. Then that’s not a money waster, but really start looking at your money wasters the same way that we talk about time wasters.

 I think we’ll dive into time-wasters even more next season, I think, which is going to be starting up next episode. And you know what? I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you what it is because it is because I’m really excited about it. Our next season is going to be Purposeful Productivity diving into, I do think we should talk about time-wasters. There’s a lot of things we’re going to talk about. I’m super excited about it. So that’ll be heading your way with the next episode. That’ll be the kickoff of our new season on purposeful productivity. But here’s what I want you to take away from today’s show.

I know managing finances can be daunting. I know there’s a lot of guilt. I know there’s a lot of shame that can be around this. I want to encourage you to let that shit go. Let it go because that is not serving you. Yes, you may have made mistakes in the past and yes, you might not have done things exactly the way you would do it moving forward.

But you have learned so much from that. Let’s think about what we can do in moving forward. As you move forward and you begin organizing your paperwork, using automation, setting up good habits that keep you on top of your bills, tracking your expenses, avoiding the late fees. That will totally make a difference that can work towards you. 

Feeling very intentional with your money, feeling more empowered with your finances and the way that you’re spending money. That’s what I want to encourage you because when you take charge of your finances, when you feel good about how you’re spending your money, that is when you have the Intentional Advantage.

**Please note: Transcripts are created using AI and may contain misspelled words or grammatical errors.

Tanya Dalton is a female keynote speaker who speaks about purpose and how time management is killing your productivity. To book Tanya to speak to your corporation, company or Women ERG group go to TanyaDalton.com/speaking.

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