Today, let’s talk about the two most important financial habits you can build as a single adult, so you can truly master your money.
Imagine… by the end of our lesson today, you’ll be a more successful single adult with regards to your money, all because you learned two very important money habits, and the distinct reasons why those money habits are so critical.
Right now, we’re in the fourth paragraph on Page 37, under the title ‘Budget And Buddies’, in Chapter 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.
And here’s my lesson for the day:
The two most important money habits for you as a single adult, at any age, are to, 1) create a monthly written budget, and 2) find an accountability partner.
The most important habit is to “have a monthly written budget”
As a single adult, each time you get your paycheck, you feel in control. You get to make decisions on how you spend that money.
Which feels very good at first, until you realize that the control’s making you struggle with your financial life. You’re always fighting that inner battle within you to buy X item or not buy Y stuff.
In other words, the control you have over your money has become a curse.
How about you let off that control to a habit that works, so you can breathe easy?
According to Dave, the way out is for you to prepare a written budget every month.
So, what happens when you write out your budget every month?
Great things happen.
To be more specific, when you have a written budget for the month, suddenly, you now have a blueprint, a masterplan of precisely where you want your money to go.
Rather than the money giving you on worrying and frustrating episodes throughout the month, now you’ve taken that power back and you’ve now become a master to that money, sending it to wherever you wish.
And you took that power back by not letting your inner desires and cravings decide for you. Rather, you’ve let your financial plan / budget make the call.
In short: having a written budget helps you master your money, especially if you’re a single mom, single dad, or a single adult at any age.
Even more, having a written budget as a single adult:
- Clears your mind, so it’s easy for you to say “no” to unnecessary expenses that are sure to crop up throughout the month
- Empowers your daily will and drive to stick to your written money plan / budget, that way, you don’t fall off the money mastery wagon after just a few days into the month
- Gives your budget the power to determine your spending; better than having your income determine your spending
A new month for your finances is like a first-time road trip.
If you’re going on a first-time road trip that you’ve never been on before, and you plan to get to your final destination in one piece…
… you’ll always need a map to help you navigate.
Every month is a new first-time road trip for your personal finances. Why? You’ve never been through that financial month before.
And so, you need a written “map” (or monthly budget) to help you successfully navigate the bumps, curves, and turns that your finances might serve you that month.
Every 1st of the month, check yourself. Are you going blindly into this month without a written budget? Having a written budget every month is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.
Think back to this last month. Did you find yourself winging your finances, figuring it out as you go?
If so, pause for a moment, have a seat, and don’t stand up, until you have a written monthly budget for this month, that you’re comfortable with.
The other important habit is to “find an accountability partner”
We’ve already established that many single adults struggle because they lack an accountability partner.
As a a single adult, whether you have kids or not, it’s often tough to stay on top of your finances, all by yourself.
We all need someone to hold us responsible and accountable for our financial decisions, and for married couples, it’s often a spouse who’s financially literate.
Often, in a marriage, your spouse will tell you what you don’t like to hear.
Friends, strangers, even family may not want to point out your faults, for fear of hurting your feelings or ego…
… but your spouse won’t mince words to let you know how you can do better.
You might be the most powerful man in your office with all the power, control, and attention, but when you come home, you get to check all that prestige at the door.
At home, you’re a loving husband and dad… that’s it.
Your wife will speak truth to your power, something your employees might be scared or too afraid to do.
Same with your finances as a single adult.
As a single adult, you want an accountability partner that can speak truth to your power. This person is not there to cuddle you, excuse your financial blunders, or even make you feel good.
Their job is to look you in the eye, and ask you whether the purchase you’re about to make is really necessary.
Their job is to help you and make you better at your finances, even if that means you hating them for telling you to curb your desires, wants, and cravings.
Often times, this could be a mentor or guide that you look up to, and with whom you’re in close proximity with.
And if you have a friend who’s got their financial life in order, this person could also be your accountability partner.
As a single adult, it’s okay to struggle with staying committed to your finances, but it’s not okay to go without an accountability partner who will make sure you can keep up, stay dedicated, and not continue to make financial mistakes.
As a single adult, it’s very possible to build habits that help you master money…
… You’ll just need to have a consistent monthly plan in form of a written budget, and have someone who holds you accountable for your financial decisions.
Or put another way:
The two most important money habits for you as a single adult, at any age, are to, a) create a monthly written budget, and b) find an accountability partner.
That’s all for today, my friend. We’ll continue in the third paragraph on Page 38 of the book tomorrow.