The thing with money, is that like it or not, each and everyone of us has to continually work on it throughout the course of our lifetime. To me, managing my finances is tantamont to watching my health and fitness levels. If exercising is a given for a generally healthy life, then taking ownership of my money in order to live a life without the need to worry or face frustration with financial matters is mandatory.
I know facing something that feels at times, abstract (e.g. investing in the stock markets) or hard to come by (e.g. working your butt off but not earning as much as you would like) can sometimes be a pain, really. However, this is still not reason enough for us to turn a blind eye to budgetting expenses or planning financial investments. I am financially trained at the tertiary level and have worked for slightly over a decade in the banking industry, but that doesn’t make me a financial guru as opposed to common logic. Far from it I would say. I do however, try to dabble a bit in the financial markets since this is a must-do if you ever wish to preserve, at the very least, the value of your monies instead of letting inflation get in the way.
In my mind’s eye, financial markets are man-made. Not quite au naturel, unlike of the things I typically like to associate myself with. However, this is the way the world has progressed and sticking to a more traditional way of life of solely earning/saving may or may not be apt anymore. There is a Chinese saying, “跟上时代”, which literally means “keeping up with the times”. From the non-financial side of things, we are now frequently bombarded with life hacks and it is just mind-blowing sometimes to see things from a different perspective.
I’m a firm believer of a growth mindset and it honestly helps you a great deal to get into the groove of things if you put your mind (pun unintended) to it. Getting your head around something almost always entail shifting perspectives. And if like me, you are currently keen on working out those figures in your head, then see if you agree with my approach for a start. You can refer to the feature image above where I have shown a sample of how I would break things down a little, in this case, where my money is flowing in from. Likewise, break down your monthly expenses and run simple Excel formulae to compute and find out your largest cash outflows by percentage. This method identifies what is eating up the biggest piece of your financial pie to aid you in devising a cost-cutting plan for instance. It helps hugely to get your focus on the more significant things in need of change than leave your brain clouded with a list of bills to pay and not knowing where to effectively trim the fats.
Going back, to get your focus on money coming in, compute your list of income streams and dream about how to build each one up because this is exactly what I’m going to do 😁. Getting centred on the things true to you and working hard on them helps to cut out noise and confusion. If need be, your brain works almost intuitively to prioritise as well. You will most certainly find yourself moving in one of the three directions:
- A logical, coherent path to tackle option 1, 2, 3 and so on, in fixed order.
- A seemingly haphazard path to cover the items on your list, by placing what you want to upskill on in your subconscious mind and then springing upon any that comes up along your way because this is what you are looking out for.
- Doing a bit of both approaches.
For me, I find it exceptionally inspiring and effective taking the second path. Oddly, this approach helps kill my procrastination problem to get things done as well 😅.
Let’s he-ack it!