I get lost in big goals. I lose faith. I lose motivation. I give up. It’s easy to become overly focused on how long it’s going to take to reach our goals. One of the best pieces advice for success is to break objectives into smaller bites. The job ends up being that much easier to tackle. It’s more bearable to take on a goal when you’re able to envision its process. A goal with no map is pretty disheartening.
1. Knowing where your money goes.
I know it’s scary to look at your bank account. It’s worth it to check it often and be able to break down spending into specific categories. You don’t have to know exactly where every penny is going, but to know approximately what is spent on lunches every week, or approximately what is spent on clothing per month is a pretty healthy start. I’d say opening your bank account today and taking a peek is worthy of a small victory.
2. Having some kind of savings fund that you contribute to.
How about you go into your bank account online right now and set up a savings account. Ka-ching. You’re on your way. It doesn't have to contain thousands of dollars - even $100 is good. At this point anything counts. By having a savings account it’s a more digestible to continue contributing. It helps to keep spending money separate from your other monies, so there's a lesser rick of blowing it all.
3. Paying your bills on time!
I’m still working on this, so no need to have it all under control. The most important one here is to have your credit cards paid off every month and your rent. My husband and I do this well and it’s something that I’m proud of. I know that not everyone can say the same thing and even I suffer the financial consequences of paying a phone bill late. I never used to have this skill mastered so the fact that I can say I pay most of my bills on time every month is a victory for me and it should be for you too.
4. Having a financial goal.
It’s easy to go about the days not working towards some kind of money goal. There are other things to be worrying about like making the time to go to the grocery store, working out, doing laundry. Let’s face it, life gets in the way. Keeping up with a financial goal you’re only going to reach a year from now is hard to keep in the forefront. If you think about it, though, taking the time to come up with a financial goal for the future will be far more beneficial in the long-run than doing a few loads of laundry. Take a minute right now and come up with one monetary goal you’d like to achieve in the near future. Anything counts. It could be to set up an emergency fund and hit a certain amount in the next three months, it could be to have at least 4 “No Spend Days” in the next 14 days. It might be simple but it counts.
5. Talking money with your S.O.
Money is a taboo subject when it comes to relationships. Personally, I’m especially vulnerable with the subject of money. My spending habits are generally not something I discuss openly about for fear of judgement. I can see why it’s difficult for men to understand beauty products cost upwards of $40.00. You deserve a high-five if you’re able to openly discuss finances with your significant other. I know that it’s normal for issues of money to become the big, giant elephant in the room. Talking about money with your loved ones means that you have a really strong, healthy relationship. It also shows that you have the same goals, working towards the same thing, and have the motivation to work through challenges together.
When it comes to monetary goals, it can take a lifetime to get there. I can see why they fall by the wayside. By breaking these larger goals down into smaller, more achievable “money victories” feeling good about making progress towards financial freedom is more apparent - no matter how small.
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