These past six months have become a time of discerning and learning about myself and about you! When I first started this blog I thought it was going to be another personal finance blog. A space for people to come to learn how to budget, how to calculate net worth and how to pay off debt.
While those mechanics are SUPER important when you’re on the journey to financial freedom, it became clear that I had to go deeper. As I sat down to write a post on budgeting, for instance, there was a nagging feeling that I had more to share. Budgeting, for me, was never actually just about putting numbers into a spreadsheet and calling it good.
What I realized over our years of paying off debt and now, paying off our mortgages and starting a business debt free, is that the money story and money mindset that we have are as important as, if not MORE IMPORTANT than, the nuts and bolts as you work to change your behavior!
Greatest Worth has been steering more and more towards getting your mindset, your money story, your belief in yourself in a strong place, before beginning the whole budgeting thing. Because, and you may already know this, but budgeting is REALLY hard.
BUT, with a mindset steeped in abundance and generosity and gratitude, that budget will…well, still be hard, but WAY less hard. And, it will be way more fulfilling. After all, the whole reason you’re doing this is because this is YOUR future and YOUR goals and YOUR life that you want to live to the fullest! So, let’s be intentional friend – you matter and deserve depth.
All that to say, I’m super stoked about this post. I have gathered the best of the best information on personal finance mechanics. From, “How to Get Started” to “Money and Marriage” to “Investing.” It’s here and linked for you.
The research work is done. You just get to sit back, and read or listen or watch. Then, you get to start the work – the transformational, life-giving, ass kicking work of moving forward.
Begin at the beginning, which I believe, is mindset and values. You can do that by filling out the form below to get my FREE Defining Your Values Workbook sent to you straight away.
Then, once you get your big picture goals and values figured out, start with one of the “How to get started” blog links I shared. Next, choose a budgeting software, or create your own excel spreadsheet or google sheet. Then move towards “How to Make a Budget.” It’s a lot, but it’s not esoteric or weird. Just move on down the line of links I’ve shared.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please share. Chances are, if you have questions, so do others!
Happy Values Based Budgeting!
Overall Fun Blogs to Follow.
- Millennial Money – I think he’s a great writer, has some real experience and writes well-written, in-depth posts.
- J. Money over at Budgets Are Sexy – I love his approach to life and money; here’s a post he called Challenge Everything! Because going with the flow will get us no where friends!
- Mr. Money Mustache – I think he can be a bit extreme at times, but it totally works for him, and he retired at like age 30. So, there’s that. And usually, it gets me thinking of alternative ways to do things – to not just accept the norm!
How to Get Started!
- You can go to my “Start Here” page and find some great resources, if you haven’t already! Also, check out this post I wrote recently about “The Real Reason you can’t stick to a budget!”
- Jessi Fearon – Has an amazing post on how to do an annual money check up which will show you where your money is going and how you’d like to proceed with your first steps!
- Journey to Launch – This is a great post on how to get started paying off debt!
- The Busy Budgeter – Rosemarie has an amazing list of challenges on her “Start Here” page that walk you through how to get started with budgeting and how to keep up the momentum.
- Whitney Odolo – Has a great post for beginners that teaches you “How to Gain Control of your Finances for Good!”
- YNAB – (It stands for You Need A Budget). This is what we personally use and have used for the past 6 years. It’s a super powerful tool that’s EASY to use. It does cost $6.99 per month, but if you use this link, you’ll get a month free (on top of the already free 34 days)! YNAB communicates directly with your bank/credit card companies to import transactions you make. All you need to do is categorize them. Even then, once you start categorizing, YNAB will remember what category you usually use when you go to X place – making the budgeting process even quicker! Honestly, this tool changed everything for us. We LOVE it! Side note, their customer service is great if you ever get stuck budgeting AND they have all kinds of free classes and webinars to help you succeed.
- Every Dollar – Dave Ramsey’s budgeting software. There is a free version if you don’t electronically connect it to your accounts. Otherwise there is a monthly fee.
- Mint – I have not personally used this. But it’s free and it’s been around a LONG time.
- Personal Capital – lots of people, including personal finance bloggers, swear by this one. I’ve never used it. It’s also free.
Where to start with budgeting.
- First, Deb created a post called Don’t be a budget hater!
- Next, Savvy Family Finance – created a post on how to calculate your net worth. I also created a post on Net Worth that includes a free printable!
NOW, the Meat of Budgeting!
- Mary has a post that is aptly named How to Budget. It includes a free printable to get you started. Also, Mary is working on her own debt payoff journey, so she may be one to follow if that’s your story as well!
- The Busy Budgeter: 90 Day Budget Boot Camp – it’s a FREE download that’s on the right hand side of her home page.
- Mama B’s – How to get started with budgeting.
- The Ways to Wealth – How to budget when you’re a single income family!
- Hope and Cents – This is a great introduction as well as how to of the “Zero Based Budget” which is the premise Sam and I used to pay off $100,000 in debt and still use!
- Sunburnt Saver – Another post on Zero Based Budgeting – she relates it to living paycheck to paycheck. She’s working on paying down her debt ($100,000 on a 5 figure salary) so would be a good source for inspiration if this is you as well!
- FinHealthy – A post all about creating a spending plan in 30 minutes or less! I would say this is for the beginning budgeter!
- Fiscal Fitness – created a cool infographic on how to budget paycheck to paycheck which is how most people are living when they first start out budgeting. It’s a practical way to start!
- From Pennies to Plenty – How to use the 50/30/20 method to create a budget. It also includes a FREE budgeting calculator.
- View From Our Terrace – Shows you how to track and manage your budget after you have it all set up!
How to Pay off Debt.
- Early Morning Money – She has a quick start guide to paying off credit card debt.
- One Big Happy – A video tutorial of how they paid of $30,000 in debt. And a post on how to create a debt payoff plan that sticks.
- The Financial Diet – A video talking about how she and her husband are tackling their $150,000 in student loan debt!
Save Money on Groceries!
- PF Geeks – Meal prepping to save money.
- No Plate Like Home – She has all kinds of frugal and fast, from scratch meals. This post is all about how to save money on produce!
- Healing Harvest Homestead – This isn’t just related to groceries, but it includes 50 ways to save money right now!
- My guest post on the nuts and bolts of how I save on groceries.
Kids and Money.
- I created a 4 part series recently all about how to pay off debt when you have kids. But, it’s more than that. It’s not just nuts and bolts, while it is that as well. It’s about mindset and comparisons and loving yourself. It’s the shizz. You can check out the Introduction, Part 1 (this one has a free printable!), Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4 here!
Money and Marriage.
- My post on creating a Marriage Retreat for you and your spouse – to talk big goals and money and kids all the things. FREE PRINTABLE included!
- Couple Money – this is the main topic of their entire site – is how to have healthy financial life together! They even created an online course on how to master money just for couples.
- So, I’ll be the first to admit I do NOT have this all figured out. I feel like we’re winging it most of the time. These bloggers have a much clearer understanding of investing in the traditional sense of retirement. While I’m not interested in the “TRADITIONAL” anything, I think learning about how to invest and figure out what you want YOUR life to look like in the future, (as well as right now) is a super important process to go through!
- Worth It Podcast – This episode is all about getting starting with investing.
- Investing To Thrive – ALL kinds of information on investing broken down.
- The Practical Penny – has an introduction on compound interest – which is the reason everyone talks about the importance of starting investing NOW!
- Betterment – the automated way we have chosen to invest in our Roth IRAs and mutual funds. If you make your first deposit with my link, you’ll get 90 days managed for FREE! Here’s an article describing Exchange Traded Funds (which Betterment primarily uses). The main two reasons we use Betterment right now are 1) The fees are super low and 2) it’s automated and so very easy. It’s exactly what we need, at this point in our life, to actually make us invest.
I Heart Podcasts.
- Worth it! – This is geared towards millennials, but this brother and sister duo are super wise beyond their years. I LOVE their idea of creating a life plan that encompasses all of you, not just your finances!
- The Tim Ferriss Show – All kinds of advice and aspects of how to live a rich, full and authentic life.
- So Money with Farnoosh Torabi – she interviews and shares money stories from some amazing influencers in our world today. They talk about their financial journey and how they master money today!
- Journey to Launch – Jamila and her husband paid off $85,000 in debt and are now on a journey to early retirement by age 40 (6 years from now)! She’s ambitious and smart and shares her knowledge!
YouTube Channels I LOVE.
- The Financial Diet – a channel for millennials (but I still love it) that gives all kinds of practical advice on how to adult AND have healthy finances.
- His and Her Money – Tai and Taalat – a married couple with different views on spending figured out how to work TOGETHER to pay off debt and live a life of financial freedom. They are also super real and authentic. They’re really great!
One last thing…
In my experience, all the budgets, investing calculators, printables and how-tos don’t amount to much until you’re ready. Ready for change. Until you realize that what this world tells us about living out the “American Dream” makes us into consumption robots who are unsatisfied no matter how much stuff we have.
But, there is another way. A way that you get to define. That way is based on YOU. It demands attention and awareness and a willingness to stand outside of the system at times. But, I promise, you will find freedom and joy and overwhelming relief knowing that you are being authentic to you.
Then the budgets will stick. You’ll CHOOSE to stick to it. Because that budget will be what ties together your money and your goals.
But first friends,
Create a Life Plan.
And then, watch it all start to come together while you crush your goals!
Friend, you are well on your way to creating that life you so want.
I totally believe in you!
P.S. Sarah at High Fiving Dollars has this awesome post on an end of year Money Ritual that will foster awareness of what happened in 2017 and allow you to move forward with the good and let go of the
bad not so good. Because, as Sarah says, “the point is to continue to better your money so you can achieve those dreams, right?”
Get access to my FREE Money Mindset Workbook NOW!
My FREE Money Mindset Workbook delivered to your inbox right NOW. Start your journey towards creating a positive money mindset.