You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

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The other day at work my co-workers and I were viewing a webinar about the state of the economy and some of the things we can do to ensure that as times get tougher financially we have all of our asses bases covered. (Remember, I work as a credit analyst at an agricultural lending firm.)

Toward the end of the presentation, the speaker was talking about how different generations of our customers will handle financial adversity differently. They were all especially interested in how millennials and other new borrowers would handle the drop in commodity prices and the potential for financial loss. Some of the traditional ways to save money were mentioned: cut down on family living costs, give up non-income producing asses (boats, luxury vehicles, etc.), and then the presenter said the most interesting thing of all:

You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

When I heard that phrase, I immediately thought of the latte factor which is mentioned so often throughout the personal finance community.

What is the Latte Factor?

Is the latte factor all about how often you visit Starbucks? Well, kind of.

The latte factor is more about monitoring and limiting the small purchases you make on a daily basis without any conscious thought, like your trips to Starbucks. It’s about watching those nickles and dimes leave you wallet and bank account, and making sure they are going toward things that either further your financial progress or make you inherently happy instead of just random purchases. It’s about being Financially Real and it’s about losing the “it’s only $1, what’s the harm?” mentality and kicking it to the curb.

Sure, making cuts to large categories of spending is important to help improve your financial bottom line, but it’s the little things that often make-or-break us during tough times. In fact, many of the stories you read around the personal finance community that detail how people got into debt are because they didn’t realize how quickly all those little purchases can add up to a huge mountain of debt.

How Do You Sweat the Small Stuff?

In order to help you get in the habit of sweating the small stuff and avoiding the latte factor, I suggest tracking your spending carefully for a month or two to see what you are really spending in each category. Often when we set up our monthly budgets we base them off of what we want to spend instead of a historical average of what we are actually spending. When we skip this crucial step we are setting ourselves up for budget failure, which is never a good way to get started on the right financial foot.

Although I still over-spend my budget in some areas, I did make an effort to base my budget off of historical spending. I wasn’t happy with my spending in some areas but instead of creating an unrealistic budget, I’ve slowly adjusted it down over time until I reached a level that I’m happy with.

After the presenter at my webinar said we need to be sweating the small stuff, he also said finding 1,000 things to do 1% better is way easier than finding only one thing to do 1000% percent better or even finding  two or three things to do 400-500% better. Doing 1,000 things 1% better will still improve your situation the same amount, but without making you feel deprived along the way.

Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you think we should sweat the small stuff?

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, GoldBean Blog and Debt Free Divas*

Photo courtesy of: Vivian Evans

Why You Should Have Multiple Streams of Income

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I’ve pretty much always had multiple streams of income ever since I started working my first job at McDonald’s at age 15. I worked there over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school in addition to working on my parent’s farm and mowing lawns for my grandmas.

I was pretty lucky because my dad did pay me a little bit to help him on the farm when I was a kid. Farm work, along with household chores, was how I earned my “allowance” each week. There were no free money handouts from my parents. (I’m thankful for that now as it helped me develop a good work ethic from a young age.)

My grandmas also paid me to mow their yards during the summer. The funny thing is that one of my grandmas had almost 2 acres and she paid me $20 even though she was pretty well-off, while my other grandma has a much smaller yard and has less money in the bank and she paid me $30.

For years I had multiple streams of income without even thinking about it. It wasn’t until I discovered personal finance blogs in 2013 that I started to learn more about the benefits of having multiple streams of income and that most people outside of the personal finance community don’t have multiple streams of income. I was a rarity!

Now that I know more about why you should have multiple streams of income, I don’t think I will ever go back to having only one. Here’s why:

Job Security

Job security isn’t what it used to be. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for people to work at the same place of business for 25-30 years, or more, until they retired. They almost never had to worry about getting laid off due to company financial constraints. Therefore, most of these people also didn’t worry about building multiple streams of income. Times have changed since then and layoffs are more common than they used to be. If you only have one source of income and you lose your job you better have an emergency fund in place to help tide you over until you can find a new job as you won’t have any cash flowing in until then.

By building up multiple streams of income you’ll be able to continue to earn some income and supplement your emergency fund while you look for a new job. This also means you may be able to be more picky about what your next job is instead of having to take the first one you find to get money flowing in again.

Building Wealth

Having multiple streams of income is also a great way to reach your financial goals faster. No matter if you are trying to get out of debt, save for retirement, buying a house, or something else entirely, having multiple streams of income will help you reach your goals that much sooner. To get started it is a good idea to get asset based loans that will help you earn more money in the long run.

Choosing a passive income source makes it even easier to build wealth than if your multiple streams of income all take time away from other things your life. For example, owning rental properties will give you a monthly income without much time or effort, while having a part-time job requires you to put in hours each week to bring in that extra money. Therefore choosing a passive income stream is a good idea to help you build wealth.

Do you have multiple streams of income?

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, A Disease Called Debt and Debt Free Divas*

Photo courtesy of: Thomas’s Pics