Busting It And Breaking Out
The first step is the biggest step.When you were a kid playing on the swing set, remember how you had to rock back and forth as hard as you could just to get started? But after a short time, you barely had to lean back in order to go sky high. The hardest part is getting started. That’s true anytime you begin a new journey, especially with getting your money act together. The good news is that by starting your Total Money Makeover, you’ve already beaten 90% of the people out there. That’s because so few people want to put forth the effort to get to a better place. They just look at the convenience that starting takes out of their everyday lives and think, Ah, not worth it. But it is—and then some.
First Things FirstLet’s take making a budget as an example. It doesn’t require anything drastic. You just sit down with your spouse with a pen and a yellow pad (or an easy-to-use online tool) and write your income on the left side of the page and your expenses on the right. Make sure to balance the budget so that income minus outgo equals zero. After that’s happened, stick to it for the month. Just spend your money like the paper says. Presto! You’ve made your first budget and followed it. You’ve been through the toughest part of the ordeal. Now it has become more of a habit, so the next month you do it will be easier. Then the next and the next will be even more so. Lots of people don’t think about that, but it’s true. After you’ve begun the process and have the ball rolling, you’ll find a change isn’t as difficult as you thought it would be. The new path you’re on becomes part of your new life. You get used to it, and the change becomes easier. What’s more, a person who does it has put themselves on a path to prosperity. One that they never would have known about if they quit before getting started. Get over that first hump, and you are on your way. Be derailed by it, and you stay stuck in a rut. The budget is just the beginning. Once you learn to say no to eating out all the time, you’ll be amazed at how much you save on restaurants. Once you talk a couple of times with your spouse about money and have the chance to discuss your fears and hopes, it becomes simpler to talk further about it. You’ll reach a new level of peace and communication, too. Prosperity is out there waiting for you. But you’ve got to get started first.
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