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Published on 2 Feb, 2024
It was late Friday morning, 11:55am.
I jumped in the car to head to the gym.
I turned the key in the ignition.
I looked down at the dashboard and I could see the petrol light was flashing orange.
You know that feeling you get when the petrol light comes on? 
The petrol light triggered the following thoughts in my head.
“Damn it! Why didn’t Kaci fill up the car?”
“That arrow is dangerously close to the last line – will I make it to the gym?”
“I’m already running late for the gym and the coach will make me do calories after class if I’m late.”
“F*ck it, I’ll risk it.” 
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I could feel the anxiety and stress build up due to the uncertainty of whether I would be able to make it to the gym or not.
My eyes continuously darted to the petrol light as I headed towards the city.
As I pulled up at the traffic lights about to turn left onto East Terrace, a thought popped into my mind. 
Most people are running their finances month to month like a car with the petrol light screaming “FILL ME THE F*CK UP!” 
What a stressful state to operate from. 
Here’s how the cycle goes: 
Payday – ahh relief, feeling good
Spend lavishly – feeling amazing!
*Checks bank balance mid way through the month* – “oh sh*t – am I going to make it through the month?”
Payday – ahh relief, time to celebrate!
It got me thinking. 
How do you stop this cycle? 
To help me think about this problem I drew out a simple diagram.
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Think of your finances like a water tank.
  • The outlet at the top represents your income
  • The tank represents your bank account
  • The outlet at the bottom represents your expenses
  • The red line represents the ‘low level warning’
Ideally, you always want to:
  1. Have more water flowing in than coming out
  2. A ‘surplus’ of water for times of drought
You can attack this problem in a few ways:
  1. You can restrict the flow from the outlet of the tank
  2. You can raise the level of the ‘low level warning’
  3. You can add back-up tanks into the system
  4. You can increase the flow coming into the tank
  5. You can add additional flows to the top of the tank
If you never want to worry about money again and stop living life at the ‘low level line’ then it’s important to attack this problem from all angles – step by step. 
The first step is to restrict (or manage) the flow from the outlet of the tank.
When it comes to money, this means:
  • Tracking your income and expenses
  • Managing your money
  • Cutting back on unnecessary spending
I created the 21 Day ‘Fix your Finances’ Challenge to help you with this first step. 
One of the core habits our members build in this challenge is to track their income and expenses by hand everyday for 21 days. 
This habit helps bring conscious awareness to exactly where all your money is going.
If you want to get better at managing your money then this is a great first step to take.
Hell, even if you’re a pro with finances this is a good step to revisit from time to time (I sure get a lot of benefit from doing this). 
Round 3 of the FYF challenge kicks off on Tuesday.
Will you be joining us? 
Big Love,

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Financial Habits Mentor & Host of the Podcast 'Money Mastery with Marshy.


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