Here’s the truth, and it’s painful. The biggest part of the reason that you’re in a financial situation that you’re unhappy with is you. You’re not going to be able to make financial change happen in your life if you can’t accept that.
I’m lazy sometimes. I definitely overspend sometimes, particularly on my hobbies. I’ve misplaced trust more times than I can count.
The key to any measure of success I’ve found in my life is that I stepped back, looked at myself, recognized that I was messing up, and genuinely tried to fix it. This wasn’t just a one-time thing, either. I do this a lot.
One particular person might dive deeply into scrimping and make a lot of smart moves to spend less at the shops store and cut down on a power bill … but then that same person will blow $800 on a new tv without scampering a beat.
The thing that’s missing in all of those stories– and countless other personal finance stories, including my own at times– is personal accountability.
I journal every day, with a goal of evaluating my mistakes with full honesty. My journal entries often seem like they’re pretty hard on myself, and they are, but the purpose isn’t to just list my many faults. The purpose is to dig into those faults, figure out why they’re happening, and figure out what I can do to fix that flaw and improve upon that area of my life.
All three case scenarios of those people mentioned above think about their financial decisions and wonder why exactly they’re not seeing any sort of lasting success.
“Even with that giant tax return check, my debt mountain is still huge.”
Why Write About Personal Finance Struggles?
The purpose is not to name and shame! Primarily it’s to make sure that I’m on a steady path to being a better person than I was in the past. The purpose is to make sure I’m a better person in 2017 than I was in 2016, and a better person in 2018 than I was in 2017, and a better person in 2019 than I was in 2018, and so on.
Your financial problems are the result of your missteps. Laziness (in many forms).
I start every day off with a stark, strong reminder of the things I’m trying to improve in my life, and I try to keep them in mind throughout the day. One of the very first things I do each day is to sit down and look at my goals for the day. I spend a few minutes focusing and thinking on those goals and I try to embed them in my mind so they’ll stick with me throughout the day.
The common advice for free is that do what you are good at! Really? I don’t think so! I actually do it the other way round, I work so hard on my weaknesses and put focus on those things am not good at than what I know best.
How Rational Are You At The way You Spend Money?
At glance on this particular question It may sound really stupid, most of those many money saving techniques seem really, well, basic. It’s not really rocket science to recognize that making coffee at home is going to cost much less than getting it at Starbucks, or that food shopping with a shopping list is going to cost less than just roaming into a shops store with an unclear idea that you need to cover numerous meals. Sure, you may not have presumed of the idea, but when you hear it, it usually feels like common sense.
The truth of the matter is that if my life isn’t what I want it to be, it’s because of my own choices and my own mindset. It’s because of my own choices and my own mindset if I let other people down. When I don’t have the opportunities that I want, it’s because of my own choices and my own mindset.
Yet another man might work their tail off to get a small raise at work and then celebrate by spending all of the extra money they’ll make from that raise for the next two years in a weekend of partying and shopping.
The Brutal Truth A bout Financial Self Realization
It takes work and self-reflection. I have to be able to look at myself in the morning and in the evening and know that I did my best to succeed at the challenges in my life and the dreams I have for myself.
Throughout the years, I’ve composed about literally numerous of approaches for spending a lot less money, generating more money, and leaving that extra money to work to eliminate debt, build an emergency fund, save for retirement, or succeed at other goals.
Money Management Is A Reactive Skill-Set That Can Be Learned And Unlearned!
Let’s say I overreacted to a mess that one of my children made, or I didn’t talk to my wife very well after she had a rough day at work, or that I bought too much unplanned stuff at the grocery store. Why did those things happen? I can start digging into the reasons.
When I do make a mistake, I think not of myself, but of the stakeholders I’m letting down. My children. Yes, I let myself down, but I let down many of the most important people in my life.
Understand The Kind Of Rut You Petched Yourself In And Take Responsibility For Once!
Even worse, people often find things to blame. They’ll blame the government because the government’s convenient to blame for everything.
Time and time again, people don’t do those things, or at the very least, they don’t put the pieces together very well.
I find that doing personal financial journals in my own handwriting, in a paper journal with a pen, is the best way to do this, even though it does take longer. Taking the time to actually write words on paper forces me to think more deeply about what I’m writing, which is the whole point of this exercise.
The food choices I make are pretty good; my problem is quantity. At the end of each day, I think about whether or not I pulled that off when I’m writing in my journal and, if I failed, what exactly I could do better.
Accept You Make Mistakes.
I have never felt better myself for the changes I have had to make over the years! Believe you can be better tomorrow than you are today, and the path to getting there involves reflecting on your blunders and asking how you can fix them.
I look hard at my life all the time, and not in a back-patting way. I’m looking for the ways that I’m messing up, and I try to think of how exactly I can fix those things.
Another person might get a big tax refund check in the mail, think about using it to pay off a debt, make one slightly bigger than usual payment, and then use the rest to refill their liquor cabinet and go out on a date.
If you make a good financial move that leaves more money in your checking account, that’s great, but if you don’t follow through with that move and actually use that money for something positive, it’s basically just cutting one area of overspending to fund a different area of overspending. It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, as my father used to like to say.
Let’s say, for example, that I spent my entire hobby budget in the first week of the month. Why did that happen?
I’m very intentional in terms of not falling into a “I messed up, I’m worthless” mindset of beating up on myself. Instead, I think of those stakeholders as a reason to do better in the future. For all they add to my life, the least I can give them in return is a concerted effort to be the best that I can be.