It’s easy to complain when you don’t reach your goals, but it takes real commitment to figure out what you can do to improve your situation – and then to act on it. If you don’t, you’ll never get ahead, financially or otherwise.
Create a financial blueprint
When it comes to your finances, it’s hard to come up with a concrete, actionable plan useless you figure out where things stand right now and what you want to accomplish. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is your current monthly income and expenses?
- What are your current debts and obligations?
- What are your goals? Be specific.
- How much money do you need to save to reach your goals?
Everyone needs to go through this process and create their own blueprint. If you can’t define what you want instead, as opposed to what others expect, you’ll end up chasing someone else’s dreams.
Focus on your frivolous spending
When people start to get focused on their finances, they often worry about their cash flow and wind up cutting their spending across the board. That’s not the best solution for most because it’s rarely sustainable. If you deprive yourself of too many things, you may go back to your old routine.
Before cutting expenses, examine the pros and cons of that decision. Cutting for the sake of cutting is a lot like acting busy at work without really accomplishing anything. Don’t focus on small meaningless tasks. Identify the important stuff and then go for it.
Look at your expenses and decide what really matters to you. Only cut luxury expenses on items and activities that aren’t important and keep spending on what you do love (as long as it’s within your monthly budget).
Find a financial mentor
One reason that Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University is so successful is that it provides you with both information and a mentor. The importance of financial mentors cannot be overstated.
Some people may shy away from finding a financial mentor because they don’t want to look incompetent. In truth, seeking out a mentor is a sign of someone who wants to take their skills to the next level. It doesn’t have to be a formal relationship, and in many cases your mentors might not even know you’ve “adopted” them.
If you don’t know where to start, simply seek out people who are where you want to be, strike up a conversation, and start patterning your behaviors after theirs.
Do you have any tips for getting focused on your finances? What are your goals? What steps are you taking to reach them? And have you found a financial mentor?