It can be hard to get excited about managing your money when you can’t match your spending to your desired lifestyle.
Before you start making your financial goals, it makes sense to first sit down and think about what lifestyle you want to achieve. That way, all of your financial efforts will be aimed at achieving the life you actually want to live.
It’s much easier to stick with your financial goals — and make the right goals for you — when you are working with a purpose.
Decide What You Want, and Make It Happen
One of the most inspiring stories in my book, Soldier of Finance, is that of Jaime Tardy. The EventualMillionaire.com blogger went on a mission to get her finances in order because she wanted to be a stay at home mom.
She had $70,000 in debt, and earned 76 percent of her family’s income. When she became pregnant, she and her husband decided that they wanted a different lifestyle. They figured out what kind of lifestyle they preferred (one where Jaime could stay at home), and created a plan of attack.
It took some sacrifice and hard work, but Jaime and her husband managed to pay off the debt, save up a sizable emergency fund, and accomplish the mission: Jaime was able to quit her job and stay at home.
They took a look at their lives, and decided what was important to them. They began prioritizing their lives, and then prioritized their spending and earning habits to match their goals and values. Now that all of the debt is gone, Jaime and her family have created other goals, and can use their financial resources in other ways to ensure that they can live the lifestyle they want to live.
You can do this, too.
Take a look at your life. Consider your values and your priorities. How does what you want stack up with where you are at now? What financial obstacles are holding you back?
Once you identify these problems, it’s possible for you to make changes to the way you handle your money. Tackle your financial obstacles by making a plan, setting achievable goals and then being willing to do what it takes to carry it out.
Stop Letting Your Money Situation Define You
If you want a better financial life you have to take charge of the situation. It’s tempting, when you look at $70,000 in debt, to assume that you are just “stuck.” It’s tempting to let your current lifestyle and situation define you, even though you aren’t happy with your life.
Instead of letting your current situation define, decide to act.
Create Your Battle Plan.
If you have a significant other, make sure that you enlist his or her help in your efforts. You need a “Battle Buddy” in your efforts. By defining the objective, and then working toward your success, it will be much easier to succeed. But don’t forget that you need to be persistent as well.
You Can Train Yourself.
Develop solid money habits, and discipline yourself so that all of your earning and spending efforts are aimed at reaching your most important money and lifestyle goals. If you’re looking to add a new positive habit in your life, focus on that habit for 21 days straight so that it becomes part of your normal routine. Check in every now and then to make sure that the mission objectives haven’t changed, and that you are still on course.
With the right approach, you can stop letting your money situation define you, and start defining the money situation that you want. It’s not easy, but once you start accomplishing your goals, you’ll feel better about what you’re doing — and pretty soon so-called “sacrifices” won’t feel like such a thing at all.
|Written on 11/20/2013 by Jeff Rose. This post comes from Jeff Rose, CFP® an Iraqi combat veteran who blogs at GoodFinancialCents.com and the author of Soldier of Finance. Be sure to download his free Money Dominating Toolkit to whip your finances into shape.|
Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013