This was my aha moment. The moment I realized that I can live in the future.
Yes, you got that right: I can live in the future! You can’t even imagine how relieved, exhilarated, and happy I am. You all know by now how I came to the United States from Greece, and how my husband and I got into debt.
So, the story continues.
One day I sat down looking at the mountain of mess that was our finances and decided to do something about it. I already knew the basics about Excel and QuickBooks, so I started a game. I opened an empty Excel spreadsheet and started a column called FIXED EXPENSES. The next column was FLEXIBLE EXPENSES, and the next I named INCOME.
I then decided to put ALL of my “fixed expenses” on auto pilot. I went to the web sites of all the companies I do business with and set my monthly payments on automatic payment mode. Now I know that every month I need this predetermined, “x” amount to cover my expenses. There is a little amount left each month from my income, which I DO NOT spend. This gives me peace of mind, and this is what I call living in the future.
I personally use QuickBooks and I enter ALL the bills for the next month way before they are due, and I know how much money I will have left at that specific date. I NEVER look at how much I have in my bank account, because this is a huge trap that a lot of people fall into.
You have to look at the actual amount of money you need every month to pay all of your responsibilities, before you start saying, “Ah, I have $4,000 in the bank.” This is how we overdraw from our accounts, and this is how our checks bounce.
Don’t look at the amount you have today. Pre-calculate how much you will have the first week of the next month, and you will be good to go. Today for example, I already know that after paying ALL my bills for next month, I will have about $780 left. So, I live in the premise of $780 and not the $4000 that I have in the bank today.
I can go to the supermarket and put gas in my car and still have some left. This is what I call living in the future! This is what saves me from making mistakes, from creating false needs, and from spending money that I don’t have.
If you all start this game, I am sure that you will breathe a sigh of relief and will find this an exhilarating process!!!