I’ve just figured out my biggest money mistake. I’ve been making it for years. Now I sit here dumbfounded and kind of silly admitting publicly.
I’ve been living in the future instead of focusing on today.
What does that mean exactly?
Well let me tell you, I love spreadsheets. I love putting in figures of how much my net worth will be if I do (a), (b) or (c ). I love looking through realestate.com.au and daydream about owning dozens of investment properties. I love thinking now in ten years time I’m going to have x amount of dollars in the bank.
Now there’s nothing wrong with that per se, day dreaming is perfectly normal and evening encouraged. But it also has to be followed by action that is relevant to today.
Do you know what my biggest fear is in regards to money? I have a couple.
1 – Having to work hard in a job I don’t particularly love until I’m 65 just to make ends meet.
2 – Not being financially prepared for a disastrous emergency.
Thinking back to how much money I have wasted over the past 20 years makes me want to cry. Had I used my grandparents as a positive example and the theory of investing I’ve had since I was about 18 and put everything in practice, well, I’d be well into enjoying the fruits of my labour and being financially free.
There’s been plenty of opportunity but instead of grasping it and holding on, I’ve wasted too many to mention. And yes, I want to cry. But I won’t because well that just won’t be cool and it won’t help me in the slightest, ok maybe it might like for just a second.
It’s time to stop just day dreaming and looking towards the future. It’s time to act with what I can now.
Being still on maternity leave has it’s pluses and minuses. The downside is that I’m not earning money and my paid parental leave ends tomorrow which means there’s three months of no guaranteed income. Nada. Zilch. Didly-squat. None. Zero.
Am I screwed? Not really. If we stick to our budget we’ll be fine and won’t have to dip into our savings. Yay, clap clap for at least being a little bit prepared.
And did I mention it’s ‘no guaranteed income’? That’s the good part because it also means that I have the ability to get off the couch, stop wasting time and create some income because I have the time. Twenty-four beautiful hours in the day, 16 after accounting for sleep, ok so let’s be fair about 5 hours a day after considering parental duties and every other responsibility that befalls me.
Five hours is huge. That’s like a full days work if you don’t include lunch, morning tea, and the half dozen tea and coffee breaks you have throughout the day or catch up on office gossip at the photocopier.
So it’s no more looking into the future. It’s time to start acting now. With J being at home at a reasonable hour I can leave our precious with him for a couple of hours and get to work. Plus my mum needs nanny practice too as she’ll be taking care of baby J two days per week once I return to work. Huh, easy peasy, that’s plenty of time for me to get my shit together.
What can I do today to ensure my financial future?
1 – Reassess the budget
2 – Limit my coffee dates to 2 per week (that’s my $9 sanity allowance)
3 – No more magazines, go to the library instead it’s cheaper and so relaxing
4 – Finish editing the novel (I’m 55% through – yes I have a spreadsheet that’s counting!)
5 – Source an extra income stream (already being done and will bring me anywhere from $0-500 per month but I’d like another one)
6 – Submit articles and queries to blogs, print magazines, e-zines
7 – Limit surfing the net…i.e. limit reading personal finance blogs to under 1 hour per day (they’re addictive, you know)
8 – Post regularly on MMGR (mymoneygoround)
9 – Approach other personal finance posts with guests posts
10 – Get some feedback on what’s working and what isn’t on my blog
11 – Get social media savvy (or hire someone to do it for me, I hear social media’s the current rage)
12 – Clean house (an organised house equals an organised mind…at least it will be for me)
I’ll try to remember update next month and let you know of the progress and what’s been effective and what hasn’t.
Do you ever look too far into the future instead of focusing on what’s doable right now? What are you doing today that will make a difference for tomorrow?
Do you need a writer for your site? Regular or one off? Interested in writing a guest post on MMGR? Send me an email and let’s see if we can help each other out.