You’re probably thinking there’s no way just being confident is going to reduce my bills…and you would be correct. 

You’ll have to take action steps with this confident attitude, which I’m going to share with you today.

So, let’s start here.

What is confidence?

confidence – a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities

Why do you need confidence when trying to lower your expenses?

Well, number 1, we have to actually ask. If you won’t ask, guess what? It’ll never happen. So, just ask.

Number 2, if you don’t believe your bill should be lower, neither will the person you’re talking to.

So, how can you lower your bills with confidence?

Here are a few options.

Ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card

Look, creditors want their money back. If you’ve been a good customer, paid on time, and not missed your payment, the likelihood that they’ll say yes is high. 

Just call your credit card company up, ask them if you qualify for a lower rate. If they won’t give you a lower rate, shop for a zero interest balance transfer card. You can transfer your balance to one with no interest charge for up to 18 months. This will save you tons of money.

Ask for lower payments on your (student) loans

Call your student loan originator and ask to lower your payments based on need. They usually will do income-based payments so that they get paid. They would rather get paid something than nothing. It will take you longer to pay off if you lower payments, FYI.

Ask if you can pay it off in full for a big discount

This is most useful for medical bills. Let’s say you had to be hospitalized or had a baby and have a chunk of money to pay back. If you were to have the cash readily available, you can call and ask for a 30-50% discount to pay in full today. They won’t always do it or may come back at you with a smaller discount. It will save you money in the long run!

Ask for a downgrade on monthly utilities

Cable is the first one that comes to mind here. Cut that cable bill down. I usually call when I notice mine has crept up and ask what kind of promos they have to offer me for a lower rate. Sometimes it’s cheaper to get a package than it is to just get one thing, like internet.

Another area you can downgrade is your cell phone bill. With all the competition these days, it’s easy to find the best deal. If your current carrier won’t lower your payment, then go to another carrier with a better deal.

I don’t want to leave this last one out, but you will have to check what’s available in your area. Here in Tennessee, the electric company offers a payment plan so that in hot summers and cold winters you don’t get hit with an outlandish bill you weren’t prepared for. So, you will pay a little more in the spring and fall that you use but it keeps you from having to pay double or triple in the extreme temps.

 

If you want more information on how to pay less each month and make more money, check out my latest podcast episode here: https://anchor.fm/s/4f47758/podcast/rss

 

Go out there and change your money story!

 

*Disclaimer: This information should not be used in the place of speaking directly with a professional. These are my opinions and are not to be taken as advice without consulting a professional about your specific situation.

One of the most common complaints I hear from my clients about money is that there is never enough. No matter how much they make they can’t seem to figure out where it is going, which can be super frustrating! You’re working hard for that money. You put your heart and soul into your work, but you have nothing to show for it. Cue the trombone…Womp wooooomp. 

So I thought I’d write about a few reasons that may be happening for you.

 

You have no idea how much you are actually bringing home each month.

You may think you are bringing in the big bucks on your semi-monthly paycheck but a large portion of that is going towards taxes, insurance, retirement, etc. You don’t “bring home” your actual salary.

On the other hand, you have an irregular income, meaning that you don’t make the same amount all the time. This could be anyone from bartenders to entrepreneurs to commission-based salespeople. The truth is unless you are tracking it, you are just guessing at what you made. 

Here’s how you can change that: Start recording your take-home pay every time you take home money. I know as a bartender or server that could be as frequently as every night. Write it down. You could simply write it in a journal or on a calendar and add it up weekly or monthly. I suggest weekly to keep your goals in line. You could be a bit techier and record your take-home on an excel sheet or a Google Doc. Either way you choose, just get it out there so you have a clear view of what’s really going in your pocket.

You have no idea how much you are spending each month.

You probably pay your bills on time. When you pay them you see how much they are, but do you ever see how much they are all added up right next to each other so you have a snapshot of what’s due each month? If not, it’s probably time to do that. Decide what works best for you and get it down on paper. At the BEGINNING of the month. I get it. The electric bill varies but you could estimate it. Always estimate more rather than less you think it’ll be. That way you get a little surprise at the end of the month if there’s leftover money!

You have no idea what you are spending your money on. 

This kinda goes along with the previous point but more so on the mindlessly pulling out your card whenever you have to pay for something and forgetting that you made that purchase later. Maybe you’re impulse buying sh*t you don’t need. You’ve stopped at Target for some laundry detergent but end up leaving $150 later. What did you buy? Did you need all that? The next time, stop yourself before you get to the checkout line. Look in your cart. Are you going to use everything in the cart? Do you already have something similar at home? Would you be okay if you left without buying it?

*Disclaimer: I’m all for treating yourself and buying some fun stuff, but if it’s become a habit, it’s time to look at what you’re doing and see if it’s worth a change. Are you working on other financial goals? Which is more important? That fancy candle or saving for your trip out west?

You’re stopping for a fancy latte 5 times a week.

Ok, ok, it doesn’t have to be lattes, but sometimes it is. Those suckers can add up. Make your coffee at home. As a matter of fact, make most of your meals at home too. If you are eating out for lunch every day that’s gonna add up as well. You can probably make a sandwich just as delicious as the one you’re shelling out $6 for. 

You’re paying for a gym membership that you never use.

Yep, I went there. If you’re using your gym at least 4 times a week, please disregard. If you aren’t using the gym and you’re stuck in a contract, call them and try to negotiate a lower price or getting out of it all together. They may just work with you. If not, go check out the gym. You’re paying for it anyway! 

 

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. You could have other leaks but we’d have to meet and go over your finances to figure that out for sure. If you want a clear way to look at your money and keep it in check, I have an easy budget guide and template with all the formulas done for you so you don’t have to do the math. You can get it for free here -> https://nikiferguson.lpages.co/budget-ebook-opt-in/

You’re probably asking, what do self-care and money have to do with each other?

 

First let’s start with defining self-care, which according to Miriam-Webster is care for one’s self. 

 

I would argue that it’s much more than that…

It’s identifying your own needs (mentally, physically, emotionally) and meeting them with a daily practice.

It’s taking time to nurture yourself – body, mind, and spirit.

It’s addressing anything that is affecting your health.

 

So, what does that look like?

It could be a daily walk, an evening bubble bath, eating more nourishing foods, talking with a good friend, napping, or practicing yoga…sometimes it’s as simple as brushing your hair when you don’t even feel like getting out of bed.

 

How Money Can Affect Your Health

You may not realize how stressed money makes you feel. You may be in complete denial and think if you don’t look at it, it can’t and won’t hurt you. You probably avoid checking your accounts and just make payments to satisfy the bills. 

Worry over debt or expenses doesn’t have to be. We can experience amazing amounts of anxiety over our money. We worry we will never pay off all of our debt. We don’t see the end in sight.

We worry we won’t have enough money next month if we don’t get any new clients. We don’t know how to bridge the gap between having too little and having too much. And when we get too much we automatically go out and spend it, uncomfortable with excess.

 Inversely, we feel happy when we can pay our bills on time with more left over at the end of each month. When you can start looking at your money and debt without judgment then you can start to ease that anxiety and overwhelm. 

 

Money Self-Care Practices You Can Start Doing Today

  • Track your income, spending, and savings (monthly)
  • Save for emergencies, consciously evaluate spending (rather than mindlessly shopping)
  • Show yourself some grace – stop the negative self-talk (“I’m not good with money.”) Instead reframe it as “I’m excited to feel more in tune with my money!”
  • Dance it out when you get an unexpected deposit or check in the mail  – Get Excited!
  • Light some candles and play some calming music when checking your finances or paying bills online (whatever makes you feel relaxed and can ease the overwhelm)
  • Celebrate small victories, like paying off that credit card balance or saving on groceries this week

 

Why You Need To Practice Self-Care around Money

  • You’ll have more control over your life and line up with your values (It won’t seem so unmanageable/overwhelming.)
  • It’ll help you raise your self-esteem and confidence, give you a sense of security, and strengthen your intimate relationships.
  • Maybe most important when you take care of yourself to attract more money and abundance into your life.

If you want a more in-depth look at this, check out this podcast episode -> https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/009-how-to-make-money-part-of-your-self-care-routine/id1358026396?i=1000410197798&mt=2 

 

How do you check on your money?