Love yourself with money? Some of you are already thinking "Yippee! Time for a spending spree!"
Sorry to ruin the moment, but, really, that is not at all what I have in mind.
Loving yourself and your money is about making adult-like, responsible decisions. It's about treating yourself with both grace and discipline. And it feels far better than the self-esteem draining emotional fix you get from buying something you can't really afford.
So, if you're ready to leave the quick-fixes behind and start loving you and your money, here are four ways to get started.
1. Love Looking At Your Income And Expenses
Loving yourself with money truly begins when you make a rock-solid, non-negotiable pact with yourself to always, always, always live within your means. There's a Charles Dickens quote that makes the point quite well:
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness.Pretend like there is no such thing as credit. You have "x" amount of income each month and you get to decide how you want to spend it; regardless of your choices don't spend more than you make.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery."
- For specific budgeting ideas see Save & Budget.
2. Love Paying Yourself
Next, choose to pay yourself. Whatever amount you earn, set some aside so it's waiting there for a future you. Track your savings or investments accounts as they grow. Love the feeling of seeing money in the bank.
- For more savings incentive, read The Power of Cash Reserves.
3. Love Learning About Money
Commit an hour or two each month to focus on your finances. I read a great blog post on TIME titled How Inertia Can Cost You Big which suggests that instead of blindly paying your bills each month (which we all do when we get busy, yes, me too) you thoroughly tackle one bill each month, taking the time to study it, and call the company to find ways to reduce it.
Focusing on your finances could also mean spending an hour browsing your company 401k plan website to read articles, reading a book on finances, or subscribing to and reading a financial publication.
- For more ways to learn read 4 Easy Ways To Learn About Investing.
4. Love Paying Less
Negotiate before you pay. And this doesn't just apply to purchases of goods; talk to your service providers too. Tell them you are looking for ways to reduce expenses and ask if they have any discounts you qualify for, or a smaller service package that would serve you just as well.
- For more ways to pay less read 6 Ways To Buy Things For Less.