#014 – Being financially unstable is hard.  Becoming wealthy is hard.  Choose your hard!

Many people think that budgeting is about depriving oneself of the things we want. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Budgeting means freedom because you will have more money to buy what you need and enjoy your life. When you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, it can feel like there’s no end in sight. However, when we take control of our finances by creating a budget, we free ourselves to live without worry and with plenty of money for all that life throws at us.


[0:00] The word budget has a negative connotation. Sometimes I may say you need a money plan. Other times, I might say, let’s create a cash flow plan, but in reality, I’m avoiding the word budget, because most people cringe. I want you to have a mindset shift. When you hear the word budget, I want you to think of freedom.


[0:24] Welcome to Debt Free Latina, the podcast where you can finally realize your dream of being debt free and feeling peace about your financial future. And now your host, Mayra Alejandra Garcia.


[0:42] Hola, hola. Thank you so much for being here. You are in the right place. Back in 2010, when I created my very first budget, I remember feeling so much liberty. I felt like I earned more than I did. I was able to stretch every dollar, and still am, that I make. And I want you to think about why are we living paycheck to paycheck? Why do we not have a plan? I’m gonna call it what it is, why do we not have a budget? Some of us, if we’re natural spenders, me included, we might feel like a budget is restrictive. And I was scared of it, but I’m also a planner, so I was all in, like once I was able to plan out a few months out, I was hooked. But I also worried about what if I really want something, and it’s not in the plan? It hasn’t happened often. I can control my impulsiveness a lot more now, but back then, it was a worry of mine like, what if I really really want something and I don’t have it planned out, and I’ve already had my meeting with my husband and we’ve already, kind of, signed off for a lack of words? But, and that’s what we’re going to do. That’s the plan for the month. And I want to remind you that this is your money. Your money is yours to decide what you want to do with it. You have the freedom to create a budget, to edit it, to update it, to do whatever you want with that budget, with that plan. If let’s say, you have a plan that in the next three months, you save $10,000, but something came up, and you want to go on that trip that cost $1,000, and at the end of the three months, you have $9,000, then so be it. That’s your choice. You made that decision, you updated the plan. But if you need those $10,000 because you’re going to close on a house, you might think twice about that $1,000 trip. And those are the things that you get to decide. Being broke is hard, becoming wealthy and having a plan and a budget is hard, but choose your hard. If you’re going to keep doing what you’re doing, you’re gonna keep getting what you’re getting. If you’re happy with what you’re getting, then keep doing it. But if you’re not, you’ve got to shift. You’ve got to change something. John Maxwell has a quote, “Tell your money what to do instead of wondering where it went.” You know we have 20 bucks in our account, and we’re like, oh dang, I forgot to pay the power bill, or the car payment, or the water bill. And I only have 20 bucks to my name. And I need gas through the end of the week, because I don’t get paid till Friday. That’s reality right now. That’s what a lot of people are living through. And I want to tell you, you don’t have to live like that anymore. You don’t. You can change. Envision what you want in your life. What do you want it to look like? When you think of the future, when you think of retirement, does that stress you out? Because it did back in 2010. I was like, I don’t know how I’m going to ever retire. I only had a couple thousand dollars saved up in 2010 for retirement. I wasn’t even in the tens of thousands of dollars in retirement. I was super stressed when I would think on, how am I going to retire?


[5:00] So if you’re in that place where you think about the future and it stresses you out, you can change that. You need to get on a plan, you need to get on a budget. You need to have some goals, so that when you have that shiny thing, that shiny object, in front of you, you can then decide: do I want that or do I stick it to the goal that I had initially planned? And there are choices, they’re not sacrifices. I don’t like to use the word sacrifice, because it’s not sacrifices. I see it as a choice. You have a choice. You can have that thing now, or you can have security later, and sometimes you can pick the now. I just did two weeks ago. I had something planned for July and I had a certain amount of money planned to save. And I saw an ad on Facebook that I was like, I can’t say no to that. I really really want to go to that concert. And if you know me, you know I love me so Maluma, so when I saw the Maluma ad, I was like, I really want to go to that. And if I move some things around, I can make it happen. So I did. Now the goal, the primary goal of my family, is still intact. I was able to make all that work without affecting my goal. I’m still gonna reach that goal in the next few months for my family, but it just allowed me to make choices. And that’s what this is all about, personal finance is personal. You can make choices.


[6:49] So if you’re looking for a plan, I would highly recommend that you go to debtfreelatina.com, go over to the courses, and get the Cash Flow Method. It’s a great course. I walk you step by step on how to create the budget in a spreadsheet. If you’re not into spreadsheets, not a problem. You can get a paper and pencil, and just create a budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy. However, the course, I break it down by month, and then by week so that it’s super accurate and you can get to things easier, and it’s just a really good visual, especially for someone that’s super visual. I need to keep it super simple and straightforward for my husband, and it works for us. So it’s exactly the same method I use for my own household. So if you’re interested in that, again, debtfreelatina.com. But again, you can Google budgets, and there’s so many templates online that are free. If you need extra help, because most of us, the first time we ever ride a bike, you assistance, you need someone to hold on to the bike while you start pedaling. If you need assistance, you need someone to be right beside you and give you some tips and tricks on how to get things done, how to organize things, you can set up time with me at debtfreelatina.com. You go to the Work With Me tab and you can book some time with me.


[8:27] Think about what it’s going to enable you to do. It might enable you to retire early. I know there’s a huge community of the FIRE, which is financially independent, retire early, and that’s great. If that’s your goal, do it, retire early. Look at the people around you. You know who is fake rich, you know. You know who is really good with their money. Look at their behavior. Look at what they do, how do they spend their time? How do they spend their money? Maybe you need to change the way you see them. Because maybe you have that Spanish word (9:23) cousin, or that Spanish word repeated uncle. And you’re like, I know Spanish words. And maybe you’re right. Maybe they don’t pay for stuff that they don’t see as necessary. Maybe we need to mimic some of that. Maybe we need to change your priorities. Like my mama used to tell me, Spanish phrase (9:48). Maybe once you create a budget and you start seeing where your money’s going, you will have a Spanish phrase (9:57), like I did. Maybe, maybe not. Your success is in your behavior. This is behavior-based. It’s 20% knowledge and 80% behavior.


[10:12] Thanks for listening to Debt Free Latina. Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you can take Mayra with you on your journey to become debt free as you build financial wealth. Looking for more? Follow Mayra on Instagram @debtfree.latina, on Facebook @debtfreelatina, and online at debtfreelatina.com.