Take Control

Each dollar you earn is precious. You work hard for it. So start to make more careful decisions about your money, and ACT!

We hope you went to the page called FIND MONEY    We gave you some great tips for tracking your spending. And some information on fun Gismos to help you do that. 

Once you have tracked your spending, it becomes easier to take control of it.

Step 1. As you make decisions about your spending,  think carefully. Start to develop some guidelines or limits  for spending in each category of spending, each month. Write them down 

Step 2. Organize these  guidelines  into a plan for spending that you can use for the next 6 months or a year. Make sure your write this plan down. Why? Studies show that people who write down a spending plan are more likely to follow it.

Step 3. Follow your own spending plan. That way your money will go where you really want it to go, and do just what you want it to do. Remember,  our goal at Hot Flash Financial is to get you to ACT! in your own self interest.

Step 4. The first month, you might make mistakes. Fine. That just means you are human. But practice. Try to stay within your spending limits. After the first month, try to get better at it. And  don’t forget to use laughter to leaven the tension. Changing your spending habits can be difficult. So let yourself giggle, guffaw, hoot and hollar, if you need a good release. And develop those funny stories.

Step 5. Continue to ACT!  Follow your spending plan for at least 6 months, or a year.  Practice makes  perfect. You are taking control, and changing your spending habits. Then, after 6 months or a year, try to reduce your spending a little bit more. Your overall goal is to to spend less money each month than you earn in income –take home pay–each paycheck. 

A really great study shows that reducing your spending can have a really positive impact on your financial future. If you can develop a lifestyle that is “sustainable” you will live better, longer, on less. And you have less of a risk of running out of money before you run out of breath. Click on   Financial Security Initiative  for more information about Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research’s  definition of the importance of a  sustainable life style.

Step 6. Find some money for yourself from this effort. Use surprises and your own discipline to squeeze some more dollars out of your precious  take home pay. Deposit this found money  into your Hot Flash Stash of Cash. Increase your contributions to your  retirement account at work and/or your IRA. Put some money in a savings account or CD, or Treasury Bill. Or use it to pay down debt.