There can be so many things competing for our attention – family, friends, work and everything else in between. Before making sure everyone (and everything) around you is in tip-top shape, it’s important to focus on the things most valuable to you. Use these four tips to reignite your financial focus for this year and beyond.
Complete an honest self-evaluation
Very similar to performance evaluations that take place at work, it’s time for you to take a look at your own money habits. How’d you do? As much as we enjoy praising ourselves, it’s key to point out the things that may need some extra attention. Do you notice any patterns while taking a look at your monthly statements? Create a list of all of the things you handle well while also pointing out things that are still a work in progress. Commit to 2-3 things that you are able to work on for the remainder of the year. If you would like to save more money each pay period – create a specific plan that allows you to achieve that goal. For example, increase the amount that’s placed into your savings account until reaching desired goal. The key here is to create a smooth, transition plan. This not only keeps you focused, but motivated to do more as time progresses.
Make adjustments as necessary
Some things just don’t work out – and that’s okay! There are seasons in life where maintaining is the focus versus stringent saving. Take a look at where you are financially and determine what’s best for you, your family and lifestyle. On the other hand don’t be afraid to up the ante if you’ve exceeded some goals. If a cash discretionary budget works best for you, try to lessen the overall amount and apply the difference to debt or savings. Remember there are multiple ways to achieve your financial goals.
Narrow your financial focus
When our focus is too broad, we tend to lose steam much earlier than anticipated. The feelings of defeat and overwhelm take over – then we’re left with emotions that tell us the goals we set are too lofty. To avoid this dangerous cycle, limit your focus. The work can’t be done overnight, so set small, tangible steps until each financial goal is reached.
Maintain a positive, money mindset
How do you talk to yourself when it comes to money? Do you believe you’re able to achieve the goals you’ve personally set? While talking has to lead to execution, it’s important to reinforce that your goals can and will be achieved. Break any internal stigmas you have about your finances. Normalize money conversations with friends and family; this holds everyone accountable. Setbacks are inevitable, but your response to them can make the world of a difference.