I want you to know I am here for you. My goal is to help you remain consistent and empower and support you to be intentional with your finances even during this season.
Now, more than ever is the opportunity for you to show up for yourself.
Maybe you still have income coming in.
Maybe you experienced a recent loss in hours.
Maybe you have lost your job.
My question for you this week is, have you taken the time to look at your numbers?
I know you may feel like keeping your head in the sand but I want you to commit to using this time of uncertainty to be your own source of clarity.
This week, I want you to look at your finances and think through your expenses. Using the three tips below you’ll be able to categorize your expenses in three ways so you can operate with a level of certainty and adjust where needed to account for fluctuations.
1. Identify your essential expenses.
Right now your essential expenses may look different than they did a week ago or even a month ago. Go through your spending plan (budget) and ask yourself, what do I need to live? Put an “E” beside those essential expenses. If you do not have a spending plan create a list of all the expenses you need to live. A few examples of those expenses might be groceries, gas, utilities, or debt payments. Knowing what your essential expenses are will allow you to make adjustments if you experience fluctuations in income.
2. Identify your nonessential expenses.
Now, go through your spending plan and identify your non-essential expenses. Ask yourself, what expenses are a part of my lifestyle? Put an “N” beside these expenses. If you do not have a spending plan create a list of all the expenses that are not essential for living. A few examples of those expenses might be your gym membership, landscaping services, or eating out. Knowing your nonessential expenses will allow you to think through how you can reallocate money and or what expenses you may want to pause or cancel so you can save more money.
3. Identify opportunities for trade-offs.
Now, go back through your expenses and identify which expenses have been higher or lower this month. Then go back through and identify which expenses you predict will be higher, lower, or on pause for the next 30-60 days. For example, last week I spent more on groceries than I normally would and realize this might be normal for the next few weeks. Similarly, I know that my utilities will be higher this month because I’m at home more. Instead of being worried about these higher costs I identified my opportunities for trade-offs. You see with most of the businesses being temporarily closed and knowing I am staying in the house I’ll spend less on eating out, gas, and my gym membership is on pause, for now, it’s almost as if I have extra money. I can now use the money I’d spend in other areas to go towards expenses that are higher. Knowing your trade-offs will allow you to be in control and plan for fluctuations.
Remember simple actions can help you be more intentional with your finances.
Where do you need support in managing your finances right now? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me so we can chat about what’s possible if you’re willing and ready to create your own clarity during this season.
P.S. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands and want some additional tips and resources for managing your finances during uncertainty catch the replay of a free webinar I led last week with Keila Hill-Trawick from Little Fish Accounting. In this webinar, we share a three-part framework to help you take control of your finances during uncertainty.