GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Every wonder why more than 60 percent of U.S. households still live paycheck to paycheck?
Personal finance blogger and owner of Pocketyourdollar.com, Carrie Rocha claims the key to financial stability and success isn't just about money-it's about attitudes.
Carrie's new book is called Pocket Your Dollars-5 attitude changes that will help you pay down debt, avoid financial stress and keep more of what you make. The following is a q and a with Carrie.
1. You say lasting financial change starts first with an attitude adjustment. How so?
You have two choices when talking about changing your finances: a focus on behavior or a focus on attitude. When we transform what we think, feel, and tell ourselves on the inside, then the desired behavior more easily and consistently flows to the outside.
2. How do you change an attitude?
The first place to start changing an attitude is in your self-talk. The narrative that runs through your mind as you earn, save, and spend money reveals your attitudes. Thoughts don't go away all by themselves. They need to be replaced. In Pocket Your Dollars, I share anecdotes for each attitude we discuss so you can change your internal dialogue.
3. How much debt did you have and how did you pay it off?
We had almost $60,000 in debt. We paid it off by first changing our attitudes toward money. From there we were able to dramatically change how we handled our money. We found ways to live within our means. We prioritized saving money for tomorrow's emergencies. We worked together toward a common vision for our financial life.
4. You're a big proponent of expense tracking. Why? How can a busy person do that?
Expense tracking is like a GPS that helps you navigate your financial path. It's just like your GPS in that it tells you when you've gotten off course so you can correct it. Plus, it's easy to do. The days of saving receipts and keying expenses into spreadsheets are done. There are apps and computer programs that sync with your bank account to track spending. Others allow you to take photos of receipts and generate expense records.
5. How is expense tracking different from a budget? What place does a budget have in someone's life?
A budget is a forward-looking permission slip about how you are going to save and spend money. It's a plan. Expense tracking looks backward and captures how you really did. It measures results. When supported by positive financial attitudes, a budget and expense tracking can lead you out of the darkest financial places.
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