I like to say that my life changed when I took control of my money.
And, more importantly, I want Cash for Tacos to help you take control of your own money and change your life as well.
So what does it mean to take control of your finances?
In short, it’s when you know where your money is coming from and where it is going. And it’s using this information to create an intentional plan to use your money on the things that are important to you.
When you take control of your money you will feel empowered instead of constantly stressed out when it comes to your finances.
And this will change your life.
If this sounds like something that will change your life too, then read on for my tips to help you get there.
But first, let’s look at my own life before I took control of my finances.
My Life Before I Took Control of My Money
Taking control of my money is what motivated me to start Cash for Tacos.
The feeling I had once I took charge of my financial situation was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. I felt empowered and like I could accomplish things I had never dreamed of.
But what did my life look and feel like before I took control of my own money?
My life looked like what I expected a “successful” life to be.
I had a decent paying job, financed a nice car, went on nice vacations, and bought all the clothes and kitchen gadgets I wanted.
I was making a life for myself as I thought I should be.
But at the same time, I was constantly worried about whether I had enough money in my checking account to cover all of my bills.
Each month I had to get out the calculator and figure out if my paychecks would be deposited into my account in time to avoid the overdraft fees.
It was a mess.
I had no idea how much money I was spending each month. Money was simply flowing aimlessly in and out of my life.
It was frustrating. I felt like my money was controlling me.
And that is when I decided to flip the script and take control of my finances.
The feeling of being in control of my money was amazing and I want you to feel the same way.
Let’s dive in and see the steps you can take to take control of your money.
How to Take Control of Your Money
Track your Expenses
How much of your money is going to your bills, your savings goals, and your wants?
When you don’t have control of your money, you simply hope that you have enough money to cover your expenses each month. And that’s not a fun place to be.
Knowing exactly where your money goes each month is the starting point to take control of your finances.
This is because it removes your blindfold and exposes all of your spending habits.
You may not like what you see at first. You may find that you are spending more money than you would like on clothes or going out to eat.
But the information that tracking your expenses provides will be the fuel you need to start feeling like you have control of your finances.
I like to track my expenses using the budget software YNAB. But you can track your expenses any way you like.
Check out this list of the best expense trackers to help you get started: The Best Expense Tracking Apps
Or you can simply get out your credit card and bank statements and create a spreadsheet to categorize your expenses.
It’s completely up to you. The only thing that matters is that you find something you can commit to and start to learn where your money is going each month.
- 6 Reasons Why Tracking Your Expenses Will Improve Your Finances
- Monthly Living Expenses: What They Are and Why They Matter
- Where Did My Money Go? Review of 3 Years of Spending
- 9 Reasons My Love Affair with YNAB is Worth the Money
Create a Plan for Your Money with a Budget
A budget is a plan for your money.
And when you have a plan for your money, you are telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it disappeared to.
So where do you want your money to go?
Do you want to get out of debt, take a sabbatical to travel for an extended period of time, buy a campervan to spend more time outdoors, or save up for that vacation home? It’s completely up to you.
Unfortunately without a plan for your money, achieving these goals becomes difficult.
I know, budgeting sounds like a restricting pain in the butt.
And yes, it can feel that way, especially in the beginning.
But I’m here to tell you, that it’s completely worth it. And that after budgeting for a while it won’t feel restricted anymore. It instead will feel empowering.
It does this because having a budget helps to ensure that you spend your hard-earned money on things that are important to you. It’s a way to align your money with your values.
And this is what taking control of your money is all about.
- Do You Need a Budget? 12 Reasons Budgeting is Important
- Which Personal Budgeting Method is Right for You
- How to Budget When You Hate Budgeting
- The Massive List of Budget Categories You Need for Budgeting Success
- Start Meeting Your MOney Goals with a Yearly Budget
Spending your money intentionally is the opposite of letting your money flow in and out of your life aimlessly.
When you spend intentionally, you are making an effort to think about how each expense affects your finances as a whole.
For example, maybe you want a new bike, but you haven’t been saving up for it. Therefore, you have to decide whether or not you want to use that money you’ve been saving for a new computer to buy a bike instead.
And you don’t have to feel bad if you spend money at the expense of another goal, as long as you are aware of the trade-off you are making.
And when you have this awareness, you are taking control of your money.
When I wasn’t in control of my money, I chose to buy a new juicer with no clue that I was going to have to pull money out of my savings to pay for it. When I spent this money with no knowledge of the trade-off, I found myself unintentionally dipping into funds that were earmarked for something else.
This is the type of situation you don’t want to find yourself in.
Being intentional with your money means understanding that there is a trade-off for every money decision you make.
It’s up to you what trade-offs you are willing to make. But by simply being aware of those trade-offs and making decisions with them in mind, you are taking control of your money.
You Got This
Telling your money where you want it to go, instead of wondering where it all disappeared to, is a powerful feeling that I want more people to experience.
It changed both the way I live my life and how I feel about my ability to do things with my life that I thought were never possible.
Your hard-earned money is a tool you have to make your dreams come true, but that won’t happen if you don’t have control of your money.
You need to be your money’s boss and start getting it to work for you.
And that all starts by taking control of your money: to know where your money is going, have a plan for your money, and spend it intentionally.
So go ahead.
Be the boss, dream about what you want your money to start doing for you, and start making the necessary changes to finally take control of your money.