Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you.
- Deuteronomy 31:6 -
In today’s business environment, it can be difficult to know if you’re on the path that will bring you success in life. In fact, today’s career paths look very different than those of our predecessors. Gone are the days when an employee will stay with a company for 30 or 40 years. According to Forbes, the average worker stays at each of his or her jobs for only 4.4 years. Those changes add up to almost 20 different jobs over the course of a lifetime!
With so many changes and fluctuations, how are we supposed to know when our path is heading in the right direction? How do we know if we’ve made the right choice in our business ventures or personal careers?
I am no stranger to doubt, especially when it comes to my decisions. I have faced a lot of risks over the course of my career—many of which came with sleepless nights and empty bank accounts. But one thing that I learned over the years is to put faith in my own personal path to success and happiness. We cannot control what the future will look like. But what we can control is how we live our lives every day.
When I look back on my decisions, including the risky ones, there is usually a driving force behind them. For example, in some jobs, I simply wasn’t being challenged enough. In others, I knew the work I was doing wasn’t a great fit for my personality and my goals. There was something—maybe it was instinct, maybe it was something more powerful—urging me to look elsewhere for opportunities. Those intuitions are very important to trust. Often, our subconscious thoughts, desires and passions drive our decisions before we ever realize we’re making them.
What’s important in each of these decisions is the time you take to reflect on your life, your efforts and your goals. Have you put everything into your current position, but you’re still not happy? Are you working as hard as possible and exploring all options for growth that are in front of you? If you are leaving no stone unturned—meaning you’ve capitalized on a current position as much as you possible can—and you’re not happy or content, look elsewhere. Trust that your mind and your heart are leading you to a more fulfilling position.
I started NBA after a series of very important, very thoughtful decisions. I prayed over my career and the choices that I was making to shape that career. Every time I was faced with a fork in the road, I reflected on my efforts, my family, our goals and my personal abilities. And I trusted in my path. Looking back, nobody is perfect and I made some mistakes. But all of those mistakes led me through periods of great personal growth, and through those mistakes I grew as an individual and a business leader.
So trust in your path. Embrace your position and put all you’ve got into your work. If it’s not making you a better person, explore new options. Your risks will be rewarded.
Most people first heard about budgets when they were in middle or high school. Whether it was in math or home economics class, your textbook probably made the process of creating a budget seem super easy. However, once you entered the real world, there’s a good chance that you discovered what millions of other people have gone through as well; creating a budget that you can actually stick to on a consistent basis is anything but easy.
Why Should You Even Create a Budget?
Although it’s rare for a day to go by when there’s not at least one “expert” on TV urging people to create a budget, it’s fair to question why it’s even necessary to create one in the first place. The no-nonsense answer to that question is when you create a solid budget, you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of uncertainty that likely plagues your life.
For example, if you ever feel stressed because you can’t save money or you’re worried about unexpected expenses sending you into a financial free fall, a big part of why you’re feeling that way is because you don’t have a budget. And in the event that you do have a budget but you’re still feeling a lot of stress related to your finances, it’s because the budget you have isn’t doing its job.
While a budget isn’t a magical cure for financial woes, it is a tool that eliminates the uncertainty often associated with personal finances. Once you have the right budget, you will truly feel in control of your financial future.
3 Steps to Creating a Budget
The first step is to determine your exact monthly income. The second step is to identify all of your monthly expenses. And the third step is to decide how you’re going to handle your monthly spending. The last step not only includes fixed, variable and periodic expenses, but also how much money you want to save.
How to Ensure You Stick to Your Budget
One of the keys to sticking to your budget is viewing your first version as a rough draft. Not only do you need to commit to following your budget, but you need to be willing to adapt it to your current reality. For example, if you discover that you aren’t able to save as much as you wanted, set a lower goal as your starting point. Since saving something is better than nothing, you’ll be able to build positive momentum and then increase how much you save over time.
While it may take a few months to really feel like your budget is firing on all cylinders, committing to following your budget and then making the necessary adjustments to enable your budget truly work will provide you with all the benefits that go along with long-term financial stability. If you are looking for an innovative tool to help you manage your budget be sure to check out Term Reducer.
Although divorce may ultimately be the best option for your future, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy process. Not only can getting a divorce to the point of being finalized be a very stressful experience, but that’s just the start of what you have to deal with handling.
One aspect of life after divorce that people find especially challenging is creating and managing a new budget. This task can be equally challenging for both men and women. A big part of why budgeting after divorce is so difficult is because you have to change what you’ve been doing for years or even decades. Adding to complication is the reality of facing additional expenses or new income limitations.
Since we know just how difficult it can be to get a handle on your budget after a divorce, we’ve put together a guide to help put you on the right track:
Pinpoint Your Total Monthly Income
There have probably been points in your life when you thought of your income as a ballpark figure. While plenty of people are able to get away with estimating their income and subsequent budget, adjusting to life after a divorce is not the time to skim on details. Instead, you need to calculate your exact income. Make sure the final income you pinpoint includes any adjustments for child support or alimony that you’re paying/receiving.
List Out All Your Expenses
In most cases, this is the most time-consuming step in the budgeting process. Although it can take quite a bit of effort to list out all of your expenses, this step is vital for long-term budgeting success. Without knowing exactly where your money is going every month, you’re never going to be able to reign in your spending.
Identify Expenses You Can Eliminate
Before you do a comparison of your income and expenses, look for the expenses that you already know you can comfortably eliminate. Since the listing process likely identified some expenses that you hadn’t even thought about in quite awhile, trimming the fat should be easier than expected.
Make the Hard Decisions
Once you’ve done your initial elimination of unnecessary expenses, it’s time to see if your income covers your monthly needs. Because saving money every month is extremely important, there should be a solid buffer between how much you’re making and how much you’re spending. If you discover that you’re still in the red, it’s time to take a harder look at your expenses and decide where you need to downsize your spending.
Creating a working budget isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. But as long as you follow the above steps and commit to following your budget, it should only take a couple of months for all of the pieces of your monthly financial plan to properly click into place.