You have probably seen violin players getting ready to perform in an orchestra. They hear a tuning note and then turn the knobs at the end of the violin to make the strings sound in perfect harmony with other instruments, right? The reason this is important is because violins get out of tune very quickly and must be brought back in line with the rest of the instruments in the orchestra.
Another example of staying well tuned is with athletes. We have all watched Olympians and other collegiate or professional runners warming up within minutes of running a race. Without this warmup, they may injure themselves, or at the very least, be unable to perform as well as they have practiced. The body doesn’t do so well when it is cold, so this “tuning” is necessary.
Just as a violin needs tuning before a performance and the body needs warming up before a race, you need to be tuned up, stretched out, and ready to spend money before you do it. What happens if you spend money before you know how much you have to spend, not only in the entire account itself, but within a specific spending category? Or what happens when you use a credit card and have no idea whether you can pay the bill when it comes in 30 days or not?
To get in tune with your finances, it is crucial that you decide in advance what money you have available. Create categories for spending, then prioritize in which categories you will spend money first. As you spend, track how much, where, and by what method you spent the money. Finally, compare each day how you spent money with how you planned to spend so you can make adjustments where you are not handling things as well as you should. If you will do this each day you will quickly get in control of your spending and find you have extra money you were wasting that you can apply to debt or put into savings. For more information about how to do all this, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.moneymastery.com/spending. Get your financial life tuned up today!