The Willow Brook Life

Balancing Time, Money & Life

7 Things They Never Taught You in School About Money

We spend 12 to 16 years in school on average. I don’t know about you, but I never once learned about how to get rich, retire comfortable, or even budget my personal finances. So today we are going to go over the 7 things they never taught you in school about money!

Ever since the day I got married I have been on a quest to see how I can save the most money possible. Saving money and budgeting is a game and a job all rolled into one.

It’s a game because you must keep coming up with strategies for doing it differently or correctly over and over. You are always on the hunt for the cheapest option or best deal. You must keep tweaking the budget, finding alternatives and adjusting your habits. It all boils down to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

It’s a job because it’s an everyday conscience effort to make sure your money isn’t flowing out of your hands as fast as it is coming in or faster! It’s such a fulltime job my husband nicknamed me the “Stay-at-Home Economist”!

Recent research suggests that more than 25 million middle-class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Becoming free from the chains of living paycheck to paycheck takes diligence and discipline.

Here are some things that I have found extraordinarily helpful to help me turn the tables and get ahead of that paycheck!

7 THings They Never Taught You in School About Money

1: Identify and Cut the Waste in Your Budget

This one is huge. Waste in our everyday lives costs huge amounts of money.

I am always on the lookout for wastefulness. Having children makes it even harder to staying on top of this! Plates of food, running faucets of water while brushing teeth, 3 loads of dishes a day!!

Food alone can break the bank account!

Did you know on average a family throws away $2,200 of food a year?! That’s over 300lbs of food! Which is broken down to 20 lbs. of food per person in the U.S. every month!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like grocery shopping enough to warrant throwing away 20 lbs. of food per person in my family each month!!

Just by being more aware of waste will greatly help you reduce it and save money.

Check out How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half!!!!

2: Put Your Wasted Money to Work For You

By saving what you would normally be spending on wasteful behaviors you can put it aside into your savings, or retirement, or have that money start to work for you. Then in time these accounts will be able to become investment accounts and soon your money will snowball into making money for you! How exciting right?!

3: Consider Cash Flow

This one is a game changer. Get organized when it comes to your cash flow.

Knowing what bills are coming out and when you are getting paid so there is an even flow throughout the whole month, not only brings a peace of mind, but saves money. This way you are not “rich” one weekend and “poor” the next!

Over draft fees and bounced check fees are a ridiculous waste of money that nobody can afford!

This can all be avoided by creating a budget. If you are looking for a quick and easy (non-techy) way of starting a budget you can read my budgeting post by CLICKING HERE.  The budget will help you know what is coming out, what is going in, and when to tighten all the reigns. However; this action is not enough on it’s own. What took us a while in the early years is ACTUALLY STICKING TO THE BUDGET! Sure, it’s great to see the spending plan on paper, but it’s a whole other ballgame to live by what is on that paper!

4: Add Income

This one is personal and can only be determined by you and your family life. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have battled the ever-unresolved discussion of whether one of us should get another job.

The timing must be right for you and your life.

However, if this is a possibility for you, adding a second part-time income would change your finances drastically. This money should be used completely for getting ahead and reaching your goals! It is easy to just let it go towards the “lifestyle” and forget that there is any extra money coming in at all.

Seriously, how many of us have been excited about a raise only to look back a month later wondering how the heck we made ends meet without it? This is the mistake of letting the “lifestyle” rise to the income level rather than setting a modest lifestyle to reach long-term goals with extra money. It takes consistency and self-discipline, as well as a clear vision and focus on what we really want!

If your life doesn’t allow for you to get another job, you can check out my post: 9 Side-Hustles You Can Do From The Comfort Of Your Bed7 Things They Never Taught You in School About Money

 

5: Get a Month Ahead

This one can be a bit painful the first month. You will have to make the “rice and bean” kinds of sacrifices to be able to do it. But after you have that extra month in the bank, in a separate account, you create what Dave Ramsey calls a “buffer between you and Murphy.” Getting a month ahead was what was key to my husbands and my own peace of mind and feeling like we had a bit of control.

6: Automate Your Savings

Learning your options for automating your saving is a fantastic hack for getting a savings account good and healthy. Sometimes things like putting money to savings needs to be automatic in order for us to do them. One of the biggest obstacles for people getting their adult life together is that they think it is just too hard, or that they don’t have the right tools to do it.

When it comes to money, the truth is that 90% of the battle is just getting the key automated systems into place. Once you set them up most money actions don’t need to be thought about that much, especially if you choose the right ones. StashInvest is a fantastic way to save money without really thinking about it. It’s an organizational app that allows you to save, budget, and organize your finances all in one crisp and clean app. I highly recommend this app as it has everything all in one, and you can start with as little as $5.

7: Dream With Your Goals

This one is just as important as the rest. It may seem superficial and not necessary to mention, but without a dream there is no vison. By keeping your eye on the ball, you most definitely will succeed.

Life has it’s ups and downs, it’s ebb and flow. There will be months it seems smooth, dare I say easy. And months you think nothing else could possibly go wrong. Getting out of the paycheck to paycheck life and putting some cushion between you and what life throws at you bring you peace. Setup smaller achievable goals with your money that lead to those big dreams that you have in you heart!

 

These 7 things they never taught you in school about money can be a life saver when applied to your finances. I’d love to hear if you were taught any of these things in school? I’d love to know if any of these steps helped you to move forward in your finances. Please drop me an email or leave a comment and let me know of any steps you’ve learned in your adult life that you didn’t learn in school that have helped you transform your money situation!

 

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