Jeremy here. Hang with me for a second. If that post title makes you want to yank out your corded mouse and unleash justice, you’ll be appeased. If it gives you a ray of hope, you won’t be disappointed. This is the YNAB blog, which is pretty much the opposite of a scam. Every post is intended to empower and this is no exception.
I’ve shared some of my perspectives, technical tips in my financial journey, but I’ve never shared the most powerful tool in my bag as far as finances go. Here it is:
I sometimes drag my feet on budgeting because I get focused on what I lack or want. That’s a nasty axle to get wrapped around. If, instead, I take inventory of the things around me and look through the lens of gratitude, my finances look very different.
I’ll share a few phrases I’ll call “gratitude triggers” to help shift my focus. With this first one, the 20 minute time clock to riches starts:
I have so many cool things in my life that I need a tool like YNAB to help me manage it all.
If you’re reading this on your computer or smartphone, fire up YNAB. If you aren’t using YNAB, pull up whatever system you’re using to budget or track spending. Done? Okay, proceed.
If you’re like me, you look at the mandatory expenses first. Things like rent, mortgage, utilities, property taxes, phone, and internet get paid first. I try to knock out those obligations quickly so I can get to the fun stuff--the stuff I really want.
Hold it right there, partner!
Back up and look at each of those categories again. Let’s take time to consider the realities of what those “obligations” consist of.
- Rent/mortgage - it’s really cool to have a place to live. While it’s probably your largest expense and may feel heavy, homelessness is probably heavier.
- Utilities - I’ve stayed in places where they never paid utilities because they didn’t have electricity, running water, or sewage. I gotta say, I prefer having those services. I can write that check with gratitude.
- Property taxes - Congratulations! You are paying this because you own a home. Remember how much you wanted that?
- Phone and internet - You probably have a phone that’s more advanced than the first manned spacecraft--in your pocket. The entertainment and educational opportunities available to you from where you stand are far beyond what you could ever consume in your lifetime. The sheer vastness and quality of theater and music you can access in seconds makes any ancient Egyptian pharaoh seem like an uncultured country bumpkin.
In other words: congratulations! You’re rich.
We’ll dive in further in later posts, but taking a second look at our most dreaded expenses is a great place to start. Do you have any gratitude triggers you could share with the rest of us? I’d love to hear about and adopt them.