This whole Financial Boss serious came about because I got to a point of ‘enough’ when it comes to my money managing me, and not the other way around. I couldn’t come up with a good excuse anymore as to why I keep allowing that to happen.
Living on auto-pilot can seem alluring and easy sometimes, but in the end important things can be neglected. I know this because I’ve been on auto-pilot for many years, skimming by. My focus now is to live an intentional life;
an intentional life in everything that I do.
So, because that is my core it is no surprise that my auto-pilot money management needed an over haul. Hence, becoming my own Financial Boss.
In Financial Boss: Part 2, I gave a quick glimpse into my credit and money spending history. It’s not a shocker, but it reveals a lot about how I’ve justified being on auto-pilot.
Discovering how I actually behave when it comes to my money was my starting point.
- Financial Behavior: Auto-pilot; includes auto bill pay, making minimum credit card payments, not paying attention to my interest rates, and putting no thought into how and where I spend my money.
Now that I have defined my behavior, I needed to discover where I spend money:
Hint: It ain’t pretty.
I’ve been ignoring my credit card interest rates. My statements are all online. I know my minimum payment, so I just have it auto-drafted. I’ve been afraid to face the nitty gritty. So, instead of taking the time to know the truth about my financial situation: I’ve turned a blind eye.
When we do that, credit card debt never ends.
Here is an example: My Target credit card has a 22.9% interest rate. I pay the minimum payment of $27.00 a month. That means that I pay WHAT I OWE (principle) $9.37 and Target credit gets $17.63 of that in INTEREST.
I don’t know about you, but I am not OK with that anymore.
That’s stealing and robbing from me, People!
Every dollar we hand over to a company is a way that we tell them:
I support you.
I support your business practices.
I support your mission.
I support every thing that you stand for.
I am OK with giving you my hard earned money for your product/service.
My motivation for paying credit card debt is simple:
I do not support their business practices. I do not support their mission. I do not support what they stand for. I am not OK giving them 3 times what I paid for an item.
Now that I am fired up I can move forward. I will not give them another dime after I pay off what I currently owe (and I’m going to pay it off quick). I’m totally withdrawing my support from credit card companies because it’s straight-up stealing from me; and it’s stealing from you.
My mind is made up, there will be no turning back.
My wallet would barely close when I started the process because it was so full of plastic. Cards that I don’t use anymore, duplicate cards, and active cards.
I pulled them all out and laid them on my desk to get the full visual of what I’ve been doing.
It was messy, scary, and quite honestly disgusting. I asked myself how I ended up with credit cards from so many clothing stores. Is it because they promised $10 off? Did I get scammed by advertising and my auto-pilot behavior?
I spent a few hours on the phone calling every single unused and duplicated credit card company. And it was really simple:
I closed my accounts.
They all tell me that they hate to lose me as a customer. What? I can still shop there, just not on high interest rates from credit cards.
I did leave 3 credit cards open only because I’m still paying on them, but as soon as they are paid off, they will be closed as well.
My favorite part of closing my accounts?
STICKING ALL THAT PLASTIC THROUGH THE SHREDDER.
By de-cluttering my wallet and getting rid of unused accounts I can now laser focus on what I have left without distraction or guilty feelings about my past.
So, if you are interested in getting off of auto-pilot and becoming your own intentional boss, I would encourage you to spend some serious time thinking about it before tackling it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is my financial behavior?
- What don’t I like about my current situation?
- How does it really feel to not know where my hard-earned money is going?
- What businesses am I supporting by giving them my money?
- Am I really OK with paying that much in interest rates on credit card purchases?
- Am I willing to take a risk in changing my strategy?
- Or, am I completely content with where I am?
I feel these questions are really important. I spent A LOT of time asking myself each and every one of these. My answers were clear:
I haven’t been happy. I am not OK where I was. I am ready to take a risk and simply change the way I do things.
I’m excited about Part 4 of the series. I’m going to reveal to you the differences in my past financial management, and my new one.
Spoiler alert: It’s nothing intense or drastic: just a little different, but will pay off much better in the end.