Made money mistakes? 3 tips to help you get back on track

by Kristina on November 20, 2013 · 2 comments

Good morning Dinks.  Let’s get real for a minute or two.  So your personal financial situation is less than ideal.  So your credit card balance is higher than the balance in your bank account.  So you can’t afford to go on vacation this year. So what? We have probably all been there – I know I have.

But you know what? I have learned that it’s not the current status of your net worth that matters.  What matters is what you are going to do about it. So if your personal financial situation is less than perfect, stop being sad and start doing something about it.  Not tomorrow and not on Monday. Right now, today, start making changes to make your financial life better.

Grab a pen and paper and make a plan to be happy with your money:

How did you get here?  As a financial planner I often hear that people don’t make changes to their spending and savings habits because they can’t admit they have a problem. Debt can bring so much financial stress upon a person and no one likes to be stressed. So as a coping mechanism very often people choose to ignore their current financial state.  When you ignore something you can’t admit there is a problem and you definitely can’t fix it.  So sit down, write down your current financial problems and make a list of everything that you want to change about the money in your life.

Where do you want to be? Once you admit there is a problem you can start to imagine your perfect financial life.  Admitting there is something wrong is the first step, now you have to visualize where you want to be.  Keep in mind that your new financial goals have to be realistic.  If you are $50k in debt your goal shouldn’t be to be a millionaire by the end of the year because that’s just not realistic.  Your goals have to be relative to your personal financial situation including your lifestyle and your income.  If you are $10k in debt you may want to cut that down to $5k by the end of the year. That’s a realistic goal that can be achieved with proper budgeting, a few little sacrifices and the help of a financial planner.

What are you going to do to change it?  Now that you have a clear vision of where you are and where you want to be you can make a plan to start making changes. Set a plan to help you achieve a 6 month goal, a 1 year goal and a 3 year goal.  Your financial situation will not change overnight, but you can start making positive changes right away.  With little changes in your daily life you will start to see the progress over time and that’s a huge motivator.  I advise people to make little, short term goals so they can see their progress and that will help them stay on track.  If you set goals that are too large, unrealistic or too far into the future you may not see the progress right away and that can be discouraging.  So set realistic, short term goals and get your finances on track.

Photo by NeoGaboX

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James November 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Really excellent posting Kristina. One thing thats helpful, especially if you have a lot of debt is to list the interest rates associated with each of your debts – then you can consider a couple of things. First, attacking the smaller debts to get an early win and second, attacking the most expensive debts. Like if you’ve got a payday loan at 100% interest, you definetly want to pay that one off first.

But, like I said, great posting.


2 Jen @ Frugal Rules November 21, 2013 at 2:40 am

Most people ignore their financial predicament because without putting things into proper perspective, everything would seem like chaotic. Your tips are great and I am sure those who will observe them will start to see positivity beginning to happen.

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