What Do You Need to Win with Money?

What Do You Need to Win with Money?Have you ever seen the movie the “Wizard of Oz”? It is considered an American classic and it debuted 75 years ago this year.

My wife has been participating in a local musical production of the “Wizard of Oz” as a pianist. I had the great opportunity of watching the performance last week.

In the story, young Dorothy gets swept out of her home in Kansas by a tornado and she lands in the magical Land of Oz All she wants to go is to get home and she is told only the Great Wizard of Oz can help her.

So Dorothy goes off to see the Wizard and along the way she meets 3 new friends: a Scarecrow who lacks a brain, a Tin Man who lacks a heart, and a Lion who lacks courage.

All 3 of them join Dorothy on her quest to see the Wizard in hopes he can help them as well. In the end, they all get what they need, but the Wizard had very little to do with it.

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When I think about our finances, I think we all have the same needs Dorothy and her friends did.

Let me explain:

  • We need our brain to be activated. We need to be involved with what happens with our money. We need to learn new information and we need to be wise with our financial decisions.
  • We also need our heart to be engaged. If we are going to change our financial situation, a lackadaisical approach is not going to cut it. We need to put some passion and emotion into it.
  • Finally, we need courage. Courage to make tough decisions. Courage to make sacrifices and changes in our habits. Courage to be honest with our spouses in terms of finances.

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And most of all, like Dorothy we all need to go home. What do I mean?

You need to make sure your home is well taken care of in terms of your finances.

Do not disengage. Do not abandon your spouse in the management of money. Do not neglect the future of your children.

Go home and take care of business.

Fortunately for you, just like with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion you already have what you need. You don’t need a Wizard.

You have what you need you to take care of what needs to be done with your money.

Get after it!

Question: What do you need today to begin to take control of your money?

Back to Basics: Regain Control of Your Money with a Budget

Back to Basics: Regain Control of Your Money with a BudgetHave you ever had one of those weeks where you don’t know if you were coming or going? The sense of being totally out of control with your life? It happens to all of us.

The feeling of being out of control is familiar to me because that’s how I used to feel about our finances a few years back. Even though we had a great income, I could not figure out how to maximize it for our household.

Basically money came in and went out and I could not tell you where all of it went. Sure, we took care of the major things like mortgage payments, food, utilities, etc.

But there was also a lot of waste. Things had to change because I was tired of being out of control and we had nothing to show for all the money we made and all of our efforts to earn it.

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Over the next few weeks here on the blog,  I will be spending sometime going back to basics for winning with your money.

And today, we will start with how to regain control of your money with a budget.

We discovered the budget is the best tool to regain control of your money. I know that to some of you that it is an offensive word, a reminder of a strait jacket or something that limits your fun.

Or you might think: “I have tried that and it did not work for me”. Or you might think: “it is too hard to do it”.

But I will promise you this: the key to regaining control over your money, the key to maximizing the efficiency of your income is a working budget.

It was this way for my wife and me so I know it can work for you as well. You can do this!

What is a Written Budget?

Basically a written budget:

  • Gives you a blueprint to help you manage and control your finances.
  • Provides you with a way to objectively and comprehensively discuss money matters with your spouse (or accountability partner if you are single).
  • Will help you live on less than you make.

The budget is the plan for your money.

How to Establish a Budget?

  • Keep it simple (you don’t need an Excel spreadsheet with 17 tabs!). A yellow note pad will suffice if you just do it.
  • Prepare it every month before the month begins. Every month is slightly different.
  • Lay out all of your monthly income.
  • Lay out all of your monthly expenses.
  • Spend every single dollar “on paper” and “on purpose”. In other words, allocate every single dollar to a spending category.
  • This is what is called a “zero-based” budget.

Income – Expenses = Zero

Important Reminders

  • Do it every month. Plan it and live it. Keep up with your spending.
  • Work with your spouse (if single, find an accountability partner).
  • Use your budget to gain insight into your spending patterns.
  • Prioritize giving.
  • Focus on needs, not wants.
  • Adjust as necessary. It will take you about 90 days to get things under control with your budget. But you will do it!
  • Stay with it!!!!

“A budget is people telling their money what to do, instead of wondering where it went”.
John Maxwell, Author & Motivational Expert

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Question: What’s keeping you from living on a budget?