When it comes to managing our finances, we all know what we’re supposed to do: build an emergency fund, pay off our debt, make a budget. The problem is that, for many of us, this can be overwhelming. Just hearing the phrase “retirement fund” can cause us stress. It’s no wonder that we keep pushing it off, making empty promises to figure out our finances “when we have more time.”
Here’s the thing: building good financial habits isn’t only about what we do—a major factor is simply how we think about it. Often the only thing separating us from our financial goals is our money mindset.
By following this process, we can turn our mindset—and our finances—around in four easy steps.
1. Put Your Goals in Writing
The more we stress over something, the bigger it becomes in our minds. This is especially true when it comes to managing money. More often than not, just thinking about organizing our finances can leave us feeling drained and defeated.
The first step to overcoming your mental money roadblock is to break out your pen and paper and write out your financial goals. Jot down anything that comes to mind until you’ve exhausted all creative avenues. Then, transform those goals into action items (i.e., tangible milestones you can actually accomplish). Don’t just broadly say you want to “tackle your debt.” Instead, make your goal specific such as “pay off my student loans.”
Writing your goals out not only gets them out of your head and into the real world, but it also acts as a great starting point. If your list is long, don’t be discouraged. Rank each goal by level of priority and select a small group to tackle first.
2. Create Individual Action Plans for Your Goals
Starting with the highest-priority goals on your list, assign each of your goals a specific timeline and plan. Look into tools and resources such as apps, blogs, or podcasts that can help you conquer the specific goal you’re working towards. Approaching each new goal with the right tools can help ease the process and alleviate stress.
3. Focus on the Journey and Celebrate the Small Wins
Humans are naturally result-oriented and we are motivated by progress. So when your credit score doesn’t jump 100 points overnight, or your $25,000 student loan debt doesn’t disappear in a few months, it can be easy to get discouraged. Rather than focusing on the amount of time and effort required to reach your goals, take a deep breath and accept that the journey to financial well-being takes time. To stay motivated, be sure to celebrate small victories along the way. Acknowledge both the little wins to the major accomplishments as you achieve them.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Anyone who has been in debt or has struggled financially knows how isolating it can feel. The assumption that managing money is a task best tackled alone can often cause strain not only with yourself but also in your relationships with friends and family. While you can’t wait for someone to come along and pay off your debts for you, there are financial experts available to help you achieve your financial goals. While you can’t wait for someone to come along and pay off your debts for you, there are financial experts available to help you achieve your financial goals. Your loved ones can also be an excellent resource or a shoulder to lean on when things get tough.
Making a major life change (like breaking down your current money mindset and establishing new habits) isn’t easy. But by taking it one day at a time, working goal by goal, your efforts will all be worth it in the end.
Is paying off debt one of your goals? Request a Free Debt Relief Evaluation with one of our debt specialists today! Our debt specialists are here to help you find the best path to financial freedom at no cost and no obligation.