Life is expensive, plan accordingly.

Managing money is a challenge. Doing it by yourself while still meeting everyone’s needs, can get a little nuts. Somebody always needs something. On a good day it’s just one somebody. How do you make the dollars stretch?

Fight the Fear

Fear is the #1 barrier to wealth.~Suze Orman

Feeling like you don’t have enough money can scare the begeebies out of you! I have certainly been there. Having experienced 9 bouts of unemployment I have certainly had my share of 2am anxiety attacks. When you are afraid, you squeeze. You tighten your muscles, knot your stomach, clench your jaw, and hold onto your money tighter and tighter. Not only is all this squeezing painful and stressful, but nothing can get in when you are locked down tight. For money to get in, you must be open to receiving it. Opening up is not easy, especially if you are feeling lack.

When my son was a baby, I was broke. When I added my bills and subtracted my income, I was always in the red. Exhausted, sick to my stomach, and in tears, I added my income and subtracted by bills over and over, getting a different answer each time. Completely distraught I would finally pray, “God, I will stop doing this if you will just pay my bills.” When I finally surrendered and relaxed, open to receiving, the situation always improved.

Instead of squeezing…work to release. Here’s how. Take a couple of slow deep breaths and say:

I am open to receiving everything I need.

The next thing I want you to do is give away some money. Yes, you understood correctly…give away some money. Give to somebody or some organization you feel good about. The act of giving further opens the door to receiving. Relax, it will come back to you, I promise.

Now that you are relaxed and open to receiving, let’s make the most of the dollars you have today. It is very important to understand what happens with your money each month. You can find an expense worksheet at Suze Orman's website. Fill in the blanks and get a good handle on your monthly household finances. You can’t manage if you don’t have a solid understanding of what is coming in and what is going out. Don’t worry…Suze doesn’t save any of your information. Also you can click here for free tax software information.

Now make a budget. List all your expenses and what dollars will go where each month, and stick to the budget. I know...easier said than done. With "pay to play" fees, pictures, field trips, and unexpected birthday parties, it can be a challenge to fit it all in.

With a written budget you can see what to move around in a given month to cover those little financial surprises. Don't forget to set aside some funds for the savings account. Having a bit of a savings gives you some emergency cash, and some peace of mind.

Click here for more great money management advice!

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