Control What You Can Control

by Kevin on February 9, 2011

Starting your journey to get out of debt is the first step in truly changing your life. The best part is you are not only changing your life, but the lives of those around you that see you go through the transformation. They should naturally become intrigued as you consistently show discipline in your spending habits. You’ll also change the lives of those to follow you on your family tree.

All this because you made a simple choice. The choice to take control of your financial life.

But please be careful! I’m all for diving in head first, but doing so can cause a lot of frustration right at the beginning.

It’s time to learn to control what you can control.

What Can You Control in Your Financial Life?

Look at your current financial situation. You’re in your current situation because of decisions you made in the past.

Like the weather you can’t control where you are now. You can’t control being thousands of dollars in debt now. You can’t control your credit card interest rate now.

You can only take control of certain things moving forward. Remember the past, but move on.

Seize Financial Control… Where You Can

What exactly can you control? There are three categories to focus your efforts on.

Control Your Expenses

This is where you can see the biggest impact initially. Get out your budget and spending scissors… start cutting! If it isn’t an absolute necessity it needs to go. You’re in debt! You’ll get over it.

Got cable? Cut it.

Got the fastest internet? Drop the speed or negotiate a better price.

Eating out? Not anymore.

Money keeps disappearing into frivolous expenses? Get a calculator, figure it out, then stop. (If the people in the clothing boutique know you by name, that’s not a good thing!)

Control Your Mindset

If you’ve already started down the “I’m never going to be in debt again, darn it!” path then you’ve probably already nailed this. I’m still obligated to remind you: don’t ever lose that feeling. Get on the wealth building and debt eliminating path, and don’t stop. Keep on trucking.

It’s hard, it’s painful, and it requires sacrifice. But just like losing weight is hard the end result is well worth it. Keep it up.

Control Your Income

Yes, you can control your income. No, you can’t make money appear by snapping your fingers.

If you are working a full time, 40 hour per week job that is paid on salary you know how much money is coming in every month. (This is a great place to start budgeting.)

But you might be thinking… so… exactly how am I supposed to control my income if I get paid the same every month? Just because you work one job doesn’t mean you can’t work a part-time gig at night or on the weekend. Or take your skills and use them as a freelancer. No one is saying you have to stop once you reach 40 hours in a week. There’s a lot more work to be done, and if you’re working you’re probably not uncontrollably spending money.

And for those of you not on a salary? Embrace the world of overtime. Get as much as you can without putting your job at risk, and still consider picking up a side gig.

There are not many things in life we can control. No matter how long it’s been out of control, know this: you can control them. Kick the unnecessary expenses, get in the right mindset, and start earning more money. It’s tough sledding, but worth the ride.

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