After my mentor lovingly outlasted my resistance to dealing with my financial health, one of the first positive feelings that sunk in for me was this loving the zeros.

Huh? Love the zeros? I know, stick with me, I’ll explain.

What my mentor taught me to do was use a spreadsheet and simply put income at the top, then subtract expected expenses and items to save for at the bottom. When income minus expenses and savings equals 0, we LOVE that, because that means we have planned out all of our money, and are therefore being conscious about the holistic picture of how we want to use our money. One of the tricks to making this work is to create the plan before the spending actually begins.

I’ll give you a couple of examples. Let’s say that I expect to earn $5,000 next month. If I add up my expected expenses, and they total $6,000…….then we’re in “uh-oh” land. There’s not enough income to spend that much. I’m either going to debt, or have to work harder to find another $1,000 that isn’t yet in the plan. That’s stressful.

If I expect to earn $5,000, and I plan out $3,000 of expenses and savings….well then how do I know what will happen with that other $2,000 that is unaccounted for? That is kind of a big hole to leave to chance!

However, if I expect to earn $5,000, and I make a plan that accounts for $5,000, that equals out to a zero we love. We love that kind of zero!

Beyond the money geek stuff, my biggest personal passion is tennis. As some of you may know, the word for the zero score in tennis is “love”. Cute, huh?