There are times when everyone feels like their life is spinning out of control and all hell is breaking loose.
Perhaps you are hating your job and home life sucks balls.
Maybe your finances are in turmoil and you’re worring about eating and paying rent or mortgage.
Your car might need some serious repairs and you just don’t have the cash to get it repaired, but you need it to go to work.
Things like this happen to everyone, not just you.
It sucks when it’s happening and it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel just went out.
Here are five things you need to do in order to regain control of your life and finances.
1. Master Your Morning
Studies have revealed that some of the most successful people get up early. Some get up ridiculously early.
The first thing that you need to do in order to regain control of your life is to get up early and get your day started before everyone else.
Using the extra time you have in the morning should be devoted to a few things:
a. Personal Care
Take the extra time to really clean off in the shower every morning. You could think of it as washing the previous day off and starting anew. Take time to really brush your teeth, do your hair and get dressed.
Putting on clothes that make you feel good and look good does wonder for your spirits and emotions. Even if everything else around you is crashing and burning, you’ll look and feel like you’re in control of the situation.
Take some time to sit and focus on your life’s goals and aspirations. If you feel like you don’t have any, this is the time to start figuring them out.
It’s a time when you can also think about the things that you need to do, which brings us to #2.
2. Plan and Prioritize Your Day
Knowing exactly what you have coming up for the day and what needs to take precedence is imperative to becoming the master of your life and finances.
Being organized with your calendar, tasks, and commitments is going to be your saving grace from the chaos that is creeping into your life.
Just knowing what’s next and what has to be done can help to boost self-esteem and focus.
3. Manage Your Finances Every. Single. Day.
If you don’t look at your bank accounts and credit cards to check the balances every single day, then you’re not in control. You need to know what’s going on in your account, plus you have to know where every penny of your hard earned money is going.
If you don’t have a job, get a job. Get any job. Just start getting the money to come in.
You can be choosy with job hunting when you already have a job, but if not, then take what you can get and know that there’s no shame in taking manual labor or food service jobs if you have to. You can hold your head up because you’re making money.
4. Get Your Finances Under Control.
Keeping your finances in order could be a very long blog post on its own, so I’ll save the bulk of it for later, but you need to do three things:
a. Figure out what your monthly critical expenses are.
These are food, rent or mortgage, insurance and such. They’re the things that if you didn’t pay, your life would be drastically altered for the worse.
b. Live below your means.
Simply put, you know how much you have to make in order to survive. You also know how much money you’re making. At the very minimum, you need to make more than it costs to live, so if you have to, get a second job or find another source of income.
5. Save At Least 50% Of The Difference
Assuming that you make more than you have in bills, save 50% of what is left, only saving less when absolutely necessary (like you’re short on rent, not because you misspent money, but because you were sick and missed some hours or something like that).
That probably means you have to cut way back on your frivolous spending, but for now, you need to start saving money.
You could put the money in a bank, or you could save it in a box under your bed, but the smart thing to do is invest it so your money makes money.
6. Investing Your Money
Saving money isn’t as hard as you think if you put it in the right place. While many people will just put it in the bank, you should take your hard-earned money (the 50% you saved) and invest it.
I’m not a guru on investing, but I do know that Stash is a great place to transfer your savings too if you want to see it grow.
Most investment firms require minimum deposits of $500 or more to get started, and I don’t know about you, but it was hard enough to even save that much, to begin with. It seemed like I was always spending it before I had it.
With Stash, you can open an account with just $5, and each deposit to your stash account can be as low as $5 as well, making it easy to start saving money.
Before I go on, let me just say that I am not affiliated with Stash, nor do I receive commissions for referring you to Stash. I just like the product because I’ve made a bit of money. 😀
As you can see, I’ve been testing it out with a low amount of money ($29.00) so far. For context, it’s been 61 days since I opened the account, and I have increased the value by $4.36, for a total of $33.36.
Obviously, you’re not going to get rich by doing this, but the idea is that you’re putting your money somewhere where it can work for you.
From the image above, you can see exactly what I invested in so far. There’s an Opsie on my part because I forgot to transfer the low-performance money from the blue chips investment to the high-performance Amazon investment. I did that right after taking the screenshot. 😀
If I’d done that last month as I’d intended, I would have approximately $2 more in my account.
Stash does charge a $1 monthly fee, although you get the first month free (honestly, that’s not much of a deal, but whatever).
The trick to this is that you need to invest in stocks that can return more than $1 as quickly as possible. That’s why I chose high performing stocks like Amazon.
Depositing Money In Stash
The way the deposits work is that you need to have deposited the money in your bank account first, then initiate a transfer in the Stash app or dashboard if you’re using a computer. There’s no fee for the transfer.
The deposit usually one day to move to stash, then there is a mandatory 5 business day hold on the funds before you can invest it. After the hold is cleared, you can browse the investment offerings and select the ones you want.
Withdrawing My Money from Stash
Stash does not charge fees for selling investments or withdrawing funds, but be aware there is a 2 business days wait for your funds to settle in your account (per SEC regulations). After the settlement period, you can withdraw funds to your bank account. There are no issues with getting money back. I’ve done this with the money I’ve made on investments and it works just the way they said it would.
Things to Keep In Mind
Stocks are like rolling the dice in some respect. You may lose money. As I said earlier, I’m not a stock broker, so please don’t take use this information as financial advice, but rather talk to a real financial advisor about this type of trading and if it’s right for you.
This isn’t a great option if you’re in a position where you need money immediately (e.g.: Child Support Non-Payment judgments, parking meter money, etc.) because it does take close to a week to get your money after the share sells and transfers.