Wealth Blog Post

Your Financial Foundation: Mastering Your Cash Flow

George Grombacher January 4, 2022

share close

Your Financial Foundation: Mastering Your Cash Flow

To strengthen your financial foundation, you’ve gotta know your cash flow. 


Do you know, down to the dollar, how much you have coming in and going out every month?


To say that I didn’t for much of my 20’s would be an understatement. 


Before the days of online banking, it would be a surprise when I’d go to an ATM to check my balance-sometimes good, sometimes bad. 


My reality was earning and spending money with very little regard for priorities beyond the immediate. 


How we allocate our money, one of our most important resources, shows us what our priorities are.


Keeping a close eye on our cash flow can also help us recognize patterns that could stem from emotional spending and help us to find things we’re spending money on that are no longer of value.


There are so many new ways to spend money that didn’t even exist 20 years ago-streaming services for music, gaming, shows, there are subscription services for clothes, food, you name it, the list goes on and on. 


My wife and I went through the exercise of trying to cut recurring expenses some years ago and found we were spending hundreds of dollars a month on things we no longer needed. 


Looking at credit card and bank statements as well as going back through online accounts, such as Amazon, can help us recognize charges that we’ve forgotten about and find ways to reduce monthly expenses.


To help you determine if you have recurring expenses that are no longer serving you, go through and audit your cash flow over the past six months. 


Look at everything you’ve spent money on and determine if there are any expenditures you can reduce or eliminate all together. 


You may even find things you didn’t even know you were still paying for; certainly something I was guilty of. 


More on this audit at the end. 


I want to share a framework which will help you better understand your spending behaviors, which will ultimately improve your cash flow. 


Here’s what we’ll cover:


  • Your current patterns

  • Achievement versus identity

  • Why do you want it

  • Your spending and cash flow goals

  • Making it real


Let’s get started


Your current patterns


If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always got.


Is there anything truer than that?


Einstein famously said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” and it’s something I’ve certainly been guilty of. 


So why does it happen to everyone?


Our brains and bodies want to keep us safe. They crave the predictable. They crave patterns. 


In order to break free of patterns that are keeping us “safe,” we need to know what our patterns are. 


What’s your pattern? Spend some time thinking about your daily routines and habits. 


Before I go any further, if you’re doing great financially and are on track to meet all your goals and objectives, feel free to skip ahead to the end. 


If not, please continue reading. 


Are you in the habit of doing winning things with your money, or losing things? 


Will your spending habits bring you financial success? Or will they keep you stuck? 


Achievement versus identity


Why do we relapse after making a positive change? 


Why do people experience a sense of loss or even depression after accomplishing something great? 


It’s because they reach the summit, and realize there’s no higher place to ascend to. 


This is the problem with most goal setting. It’s why focusing on your identity over achievement is a key to long-term, sustained success. 


I grew up in a family without a lot of money. In fact, we lived paycheck-to-paycheck my entire childhood and my mom still struggles with her finances. 


Once I graduated college and entered the professional world, I also struggled with money for many years. I thought I was bad with money. 


Today, that’s changed.  


I began thinking of myself as someone who was good with money. It was an important mindset shift that became a behavioral shift. 


I am good with money. 


I make great financial decisions. 


I’m a good steward of my money. 


What are you? 


Figuring out what you want your identity to be is essential to you reaching and sustaining your spending and overall financial goals. 


Paying off all your credit cards, and then running them back up sucks. 


Living the rest of your life as someone who is great with money is awesome. 


Fill in the blanks:


Don’t overthink this. Don’t judge your answers.  Write down what you want to be. Make it aspirational. Make it what you’re going to become. 


I am ______________.


I am ______________.


I am ______________.


Why do you want it


You wrote down what you want to become; your identity with money. 


Now, let’s talk about why. 


This is your reason for wanting to change your identity. Just as before, I want you to be honest with yourself about why you want what you want. 


If it’s, “I don’t want to be on my partner’s bad side,” great!


If it’s, “I want to feel in control of my money,” awesome!


Whatever your reason for reading this and for thinking about your cash flow goals, write it down now. 


You’ll revisit this whenever your brain tries to pull you back to familiar patterns. 


You’ll revisit this when you try to sabotage your own success.


You’ll revisit this when some external force tries to make you feel less than, or to diminish your efforts. 


Your spending and cash flow goals


You wrote down your identity.


You wrote down why you want it. 


Now, let’s talk about some actions you’re going to take in service of your identity. 


We all  know how important goals are. We’ve all heard that having goals is essential, and that writing them down dramatically increases our chances of achieving them. 


While I’ve known this to be true for most of my life, it took me until 35 to actually do it. 


So whether you’re like me, or you’ve been in the habit of writing goals for a while, we’re going to dig in and clarify and crystallize our goals. 


What are your goals for your cash flow? 


Take all the time you need to write them down.


Next, let’s apply the SMART acronym to each goal- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and time based.


For example, if a goal is to start saving money, how do we apply the SMART framework?


Is saving money specific? Yes. 


Is it measurable? It can be and needs to be. Let’s say I want to start saving $100 a month.


Is saving $100 a month attainable for me? Yes, I believe it is.


Is saving $100 relevant to my overall desire to be financially successful, yes. 


Is it time based? I need to give myself a deadline to start saving the $100; could I do that in two months? Yes, I believe I could. 


So, instead of simply saying “I want to save money.” I’ve given myself two months to start saving $100 a month. I have a lot more clarity around this goal. 


Making it real


How will your new identity and plan survive it’s collision with reality? 


Mike Tyson said “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” 


It’s really important to come up with a plan for how you’re going to handle adversity. 




Because you’re going to encounter adversity and the last thing I want is for you to slip back into your old patterns. 


When you prepare for how you’re going to handle challenges in advance, you’ll move past them a lot more easily. 


Think about it like this; how do you think Serena Williams or Tom Brady handle it when things don’t go their way? Do they Netflix and chill for five hours, or do they do something constructive?


How do Oprah or Jeff Bezos handle setbacks? Do they engage in retail therapy, or do they pivot to something positive? 


I want you to think about your triggers. 


When you find yourself wanting to engage in negative behaviors (retail therapy, binge eating, drinking, or zoning out on screentime), dig into it and identify what led to that impulse. 


Once you’ve figured out what triggered the behavior, or desire, have a list of things you’ll do instead. 


For example, when you’re triggered by something, you’ll be for a 10 minute walk, read five pages of a book, or call your best friend.  


The idea is to replace negative coping behaviors with positive activities. 


Cash flow audit


I mentioned going through the last six month’s worth of spending in the introduction.


To make the most of this exercise, it’s important to get as detailed as possible, which means really digging into expenses line by line. 


Looking at credit card and bank statements as well as going back through online accounts, such as Amazon, can help us recognize charges that we’ve forgotten about and find ways to reduce monthly expenses.


Look at everything you’ve spent money on and determine if there are any expenditures you can reduce or eliminate all together. 


Once you identify unnecessary expenses, cancel those subscriptions or create ways to curtail those buying behaviors. 


If you’re unsure whether you need something or not, try cutting it from your spending for a week or month. If you don’t miss it, it’s probably a good sign you don’t need it.


Financial success is available to you. Get started!


Additional resources


If you’d like to have a no-cost call with one of our Coaches we’d love to help. 


You can also access our Goals course at no-cost if you’d like to dig deeper into this process. 


Success is available to you.


You can reach and exceed all your cash flow goals. 

Get started!

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Manifesto

We’re here to help others get better so they can live freely without regret Believing we’ve each got one life, it’s better to live it well and the time to start is now If you’re someone who believes change begins with you, you’re one of us We’re working to inspire action, enable completion, knowing that, as Thoreau so perfectly put it “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Let us help you invest in yourself and bring it all together.

Feed your life-long learner by enrolling in one of our courses.

Invest in yourself and bring it all together by working with one of our coaches.

Feed your Life-Long Learner

Get what you need to get where you want to go

Rate it
Previous post