Don’t try to do this in a hurry. We all know that the knot will just get tighter unless you slow down. You’ve got to find the beginning—that first wayward thread. True, it’s going to take a little time, but think of it like a puzzle and approach it systematically:
- Set aside time: Find a time when you won’t be interrupted. Treat yourself to something that will make the process less painful. It’s pumpkin latte season. Go ahead, get yourself a little bribe and cozy up on the couch or in your favorite sunny corner.
- Follow the breadcrumbs: Think back and try to remember when that knot might have started to get out of control. How long ago did you put your blinders on and start avoiding your finances? It’s just a hunch, but I bet the two things coincide.
- Assess the damage: The longer you let your budget and profit and loss statements go, the messier the knot. Again, breathe. Slow down. Take a look at what you can control: money in and money out. Are there expenses that you can consolidate? Do without? Streamline? Those details might seem small, but they are key. When you find them, you won’t be able to help but want to problem-solve.
- Make a plan: Decide how to lessen your burden, develop a plan to keep it simple, and stick with it. You’re dedicated to a lot of things—your kids, your work, your health. This is just as important. In fact, staying dedicated to your finances will set you free in other areas or your life by removing the mental clutter and stress associated with finances.
Money doesn’t have to make the world go ‘round, but it does need to be managed.