Three BIG Wealth-Building Changes I made Since Joining Wealth Enhancers
It’s been about three weeks since I had my Values and Intentions planning strategy with my Wealth Enhancers coach, Christine Dang. This is the first planning session on my wealth-building journey and Woah, there was some seriously game-changing stuff!
During the 90-minute session, I experienced some significant mindset shifts that revealed the holes in my money story. I left the call with clarity about the changes I needed to make.
Now the real work begins!
These are the THREE core things I’m working on and the impact they’ve had on my money, my happiness, and my life so far.
1. Quit the credit card [seriously!]
I’ve been using a credit card to manage my monthly spending for over a decade. My husband and I share the card, and it keeps everything in one place. I thought I was smart. I always pay my bill in full, and I’ve collected a lot of points too. But during my call, Christine helped me see how my credit card ‘addiction’ has put my personal spending out of control.
Before my call, this is how my credit card strategy looked:
I have a monthly budget that I always ‘intend’ to stick to, but I consistently spend 20-50% more than planned. I justify these extra purchases, pay off the bill in full, then promise to do ‘better’ next month – which I don’t.
If I added up how much I’ve overspent in past years… actually, I won’t [too painful!] Instead, line in the sand time. August is the first month in years that my personal spending is coming out of my current account.
Yep, I’ve swapped my credit card for a debit card, and I’ve started a book where I collect all my receipts and write down all my spending. For the first time, I know exactly how much I’ve spent and on what – to the penny.
I want to be clear that this transition was not super smooth. I’ve had to figure out a way to have enough in my account to pay last month’s credit card bill AND pay for this month’s spending in real-time [rather than the usual up to 6-week delay my credit card allows]. This shift has required some creative accounting, tweaking budgets, and being super intentional with my spending. I’ve had a few headaches, there have been lots of scribbles and calculations, but it’s all been worth it.
So far, spending is well under control, my money is where it needs to be, AND I’m on track for having a zero balance on my credit card by the end of the month for the first time since the first card landed on my doormat.
2. Intentional spending
The Wealth Enhancers philosophy is all about intentional living and being present in the now.
When it comes to money, this means being intentional with how I spend, save, and invest. Specifically, ensuring my money takes me in the direction of my values.
One of the great things about credit cards is you’re not spending your money! It’s just so easy to ‘put it on the card’ and forget about it – especially when the bill is $30 here and $50 there. The problem is, those small sums soon add up, and before you know it, you’ve overspent your budget.
Now that I’m being intentional with my spending, I’m checking in with myself before pulling out my purse.
- Do I honestly need this?
- Am I just filling a gap?
- If I buy this, what will I not be able to buy later?
These questions have seen me put stuff back on the shelves that I would typically have taken home. As a result, my monthly spending has dropped, freeing up money to spend on things I value more.
I’ve been able to embrace intentional spending because I’ve also worked on my budget. I now know – in detail – how much I have to spend on everything from food to going out, to kids’ clubs and clothes! This bordering on obsessive attention-to-detail is a world away from my previous, ‘I don’t want to think about money’ strategy. But I can’t tell you how much better I feel.
I feel in control. I’m more connected to my money. I can have better conversations with my husband about our spending, and I know we’ve sown seeds for a wealthier future.
3. Holiday planning
What I’ve said so far sounds pretty rosy. It’s all going well, and things are under control – awesome!
But this month is also different because I’m going on holiday.
While I’ve had a holiday fund for a few years now, this money only covers the cost of the trip itself – not the day-to-day spending. In the past, I’ve managed time away in the same way as I manage time at home – ‘thank goodness for the credit card!’
My husband and I whack it all on, keep a loose eye on what we’ve spent, then I feel angry and frustrated that we’ve overstretched ourselves just a little too much [and I have to figure out a way to tie up the slack].
This time WILL be different.
I’ve figured out a budget. It’s detailed! I know exactly how much I have to spend, which account the money is in, and when it will be available. I’ve also:
- Figured out a daily budget
- Created a spreadsheet to monitor spending to ensure we don’t exceed our budget.
- Committed to intentional spending and plan to come home on or even under budget.
I’m sure this will be a challenge. I want to keep my kids happy. I want to see the area we’re visiting. I don’t want money to be a cause of stress and friction. But I also want to do this within our means rather than coming home with a financial hangover.
So please root for me!
In return, I’ll let you know if [and how] I was able to travel intentionally in a way that didn’t financially hurt when I get back.
Disclaimer: All information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.