There are three things, and only three things that you personally can control.
Exercising your control of these three things will enable you to have control over your finances, not to mention pretty much your entire life.
The first thing you control is your perception of things. Nothing that happens is ever good or bad, it’s our perception that makes it so. How many times have you thought something terrible has happened to you only to realize a few months later that it was the best thing that could have happened to you at the time? I used to work at a company that would lay people off every year around Christmas (cruel, I know). And every year people would be devastated that they lost their jobs. And it never failed that a few months later every single one of those people said that getting laid off was the best thing that happened to their career.
The key to controlling your perception is having balance. When you’re overly emotional, you have a lopsided perception which isn’t conducive for logical thinking and decision making. An exercise you can do when you’re in a situation where your perception is either overly euphoric, or overly depressed is to make a list of all the benefits and drawbacks of whatever is happening to you until you feel a sense of balance. This exercise is pretty difficult to do when you first start, but the more you practice, the easier it gets and you will naturally start using that thought pattern.
How many times have you heard kids say “she made me do it!” If you have kids or siblings, I’m sure you hear it all the time. While as adults we might not use the same phrasing and whiny tone, but how often do we make excuses for poor actions we take? Every action you take is 100% in your control, the problem is that we often don’t take the time to be methodical about our actions. Any action you take should be thought out, meaningful, and help push you towards your end game. For example, if your end-game is to become financially independent then every time your friends want you to go out with them instead of working on your business, then ask yourself, “which action is going to help me reach financial independence?”
Actions go hand in hand with decisions. Always, always, always, make calculated decisions. In my opinion, this is easiest to do with finances than any other area of life because it’s all quantitative. Finance is just numbers so know your numbers and calculate everything. Always know your return on spend. Always calculate your risk to reward. Always adjust your calculations as you grow and your situation changes. Always have concrete goals where you can calculate your progress. Do these things and it will be easier to make decisions because all you have to do is look at the numbers.
The bottom line is that you must keep your perceptions balanced and neutral in order to take actions based on calculated decisions. This is how you will empower yourself and have total control of your life and finances.