As we wrap up the month of April, we are also wrapping up Financial Literacy Month. This time is dedicated to teaching us all something new about responsible money management. In the B Chic Financial Literacy Month series, our focus has been money mindset. Although you may be well versed in what you should be doing with your money, I give you practical tips on how to actually make that happen despite irrational money tendencies.
Listen to this podcast episode here or on your favorite streaming platform:
Join the B Chic Money Mindset Coaching Program
If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you understand the importance of your money mindset and all the work that goes into effective execution. Implementing all of these tips and tricks on your own is very difficult and damaging if you don’t get it right, right away. In my coaching program, you will have a guide, accountability partner, and sounding board for all your money woes. We will work through an actionable plan for your immediate and long term money goals while building healthy money mindset habits and thoughts. Getting started is actually very simple. All you have to do is schedule your free 1:1 consultation call with me! Hop over to calendly.com/thebchic to get started.
How We Ended Up In Our Own Money Mindset Exercise
So this last post is a look into a very recent series of experiences with my own finances. Me and my husband really had to work hard to maintain a positive mindset when dealing with emergencies this week. We actually experienced our first major home repair that dug a deep deep hole in our savings. This past week was literally a lesson that showed us that continued practice of healthy money habits can make a difference.
With our home being about 30 years old, we have to keep an eye on core functions, so to speak, that may be nearing the end of their working life. Consequently, one of those things finally went caput. We had to replace our entire electrical panel that houses all the breakers controlling our home’s power. This had to be accomplished within a day of us even determining the problem because it was just that serious.
As anyone else, we were a bit shocked to have to shell out the money for the repairs, but I surprisingly had peace about the situation. Now it did take a bit of scrambling to pull our various savings into one place but I noticed:
- We were able to cover the entire emergency without using a credit card or loan
- This was still during a pandemic and we weren’t put on the edge of a financial crisis
- I was grateful for my savings habit because these are the moments they were created for
- I wasn’t left empty trying to figure out my next move, I returned to my savings system that will help me build back up to a respectable level
By the end of the week, and now including yesterday (when this episode was supposed to come out) we’ve had about three financial emergencies back to back that threw off upcoming spending, saving, and traveling plans. If I hadn’t been in the financial mindset that I’m in now, I would’ve found myself feeling depressed and helpless very quickly but that didn’t happen.
Even still, it is possible that we can get discouraged as we continue to work our way back to normalcy where we’re not spending $1,500+ on emergency after emergency. But I think it is important to recognize the power of positive money thinking. That has truly helped us so far. So I encourage you to also build healthy money habits and a positive outlook that will get you through good and tough times. Because they’re both going to come.
Our Steps Towards Normalcy and Rebound
So, how did we move on? I honestly went back to saving and allocating money to my savings goals. Goals that were completely depleted, I put at least $10 back in the bucket. All money was strictly allocated for the upcoming paychecks and projected savings will outweigh spending plans for at least the next month.
Part of my healthy money relationship is acknowledging that sacrifice is not a negative thing. Particularly with this situation, I am making a conscious effort to put future Brittani in a better position rather than indulging in temporary spending concerns. I literally put off buying some beauty products to save instead. Now, I do have some social obligations that I committed to before all of this happened, but I’m maintaining those social outings that will pull from my funds to have some balance between disciplined savings and still living my life.
An Overall Money Mindset Recap
I think there are some good takeaways as it relates to Financial Literacy Month from my own experience just this week. So in recap, let’s go over some money mindset principles I discussed this month and had to put into practice myself.
A positive money mindset shows its benefits most when faced with adversity. You are so focused on showing gratitude for the financial flexibility, that managing any discouragement or self doubt comes easily. That’s exactly what we experienced this week and will continue to put into practice. We’re not out of the dark tunnel yet, but practicing positive thinking and focusing on our new savings goals will keep the light at the end of the tunnel in view.
Next, in spite of life’s curve balls, it is possible to still have a budget and adjust. As long as you have a clear idea on what your financial goals are and what your budgeting strategy is; you can bounce back from any emergency (or series of emergencies). Of course, it won’t be a night and day experience. I fully expect it to take time. I even half expect additional emergencies to pop up along the way. But what we have been building up to this entire month is having the mental resolve to continue saving, addressing setbacks, adjusting, saving again, and then finally reaching our goal. It takes some perseverance but the reward of making it to the top is so worth it. Having a budget along the way takes any guesswork out of the equation and keeps any thoughts of giving up at bay.
I also experienced, and we discussed, the benefits of smart spending habits. Using up mental energy to make good spending decisions while in the middle of a crisis is just not going to happen, because your judgement is clouded. You’re bound to make a bad decision when you’re in a pinch. That’s why it is key to establish dummy proof (or crisis proof) systems that take the mental toll out of it all. I talk about this more in the Money Mindset Over Mismanagement post and practical strategies for laying this foundation. So if you haven’t listened to that episode or need a refresher, now is the time!
In the past I struggled with making very silly credit card purchases because I had already dug a credit debt hole. But in reality, a bad decision on top of a bad decision gives you a bigger mess. Avoiding these decisions overall gives you more control over your funds and clarity in decision making. I could’ve went out and spent the little money I had left over after our emergencies with the logic that it didn’t matter because I was already broke. However, strategizing my money to rebuild savings will get us back into a good place a lot sooner.
Lastly, the goal of this series and money management approach is making the process easy. We didn’t spend days racking our brains about the next decision to make after the emergencies. Although my husband has a slightly different approach from me, we quickly adjusted to our new situation and moved forward. Having systems in place and a healthy outlook on money and the role it plays in making life run smoothly, gave us the fortitude needed to act quickly and almost effortlessly in making even the biggest money decisions.
I have to end this series with acknowledging that none of this positive and effortless money mindset work miraculously fell in my lap. This was honestly from years and years of prayers that God would show me a way to be smarter and responsible with my money. I take pride in the B Chic budgeting system and money mindset because it was birthed out of a place of self discovery, hard lessons, and prayers for a better way. With research, trial and error, and faith–I made it here and am so grateful to be able to share these tips and insight with you all. If you’re struggling with your finances and need to get to a place of confidence, not just ways to increase your earning potential, but true smart management, start with my system:
- Learn the basic budgeting strategies
- Adjust your lifestyle to match your goals
- Build your positive money mindset and habits
- And tweak the system to work for you and your situation
All of my blog posts, podcast episodes, templates, courses, and more are great resources to start with. You can dig in with the free resources first and then graduate to the paid ones once you realize that my content is literally the truth. My goal is simply to put easy and effective budgeting tools in as many people’s hands as possible.
I pray that this series has helped you in any way tackle your own financial life. I understand we all have different journeys and backgrounds, but at the end of the day money is just a means for all of us to live a life we deserve. Keep that in mind and you’ll always be on the path to a healthy relationship with money. Again, happy Financial Literacy Month and thanks for joining me on this journey.