Monday, April 29, 2013
We might be making a pretty good effort at making things right in our lives financially speaking, only to give up a few weeks or a few months into the process. Heck, some of us want to give up in a few days! The real solutions to these problems? Well, this is where we get stuck and tend to give up. The key is to be specific about each area that needs fixed financially. Here are some examples.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm not going to go into credit card debt anymore", BE SPECIFIC. I'm going to cut up my credit cards or I am going to cancel all of these store credit cards so that I won't be tempted to charge something I want but don't need.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to spend less money somehow". BE SPECIFIC. I will look for used items instead of new ones. I will meal plan and not eat out. I will cut coupons and only buy things on sale and only those things that I really need.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to do a better job saving money", BE SPECIFIC. I will put $50 a month into my savings account each pay period.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to be a better steward of my money", BE SPECIFIC. I will be accountable to a trusted person about my spending, or I will balance my budget every Friday.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I won't buy on impulse", BE SPECIFIC. If I see something I want, I will wait at least three days to act on it, while thinking through all of the consequences of the purchase and praying about if it is really a need.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I need to manage my money better", BE SPECIFIC. I am going to take a class at church about finances, or I am going to read books by Larry Burkett and follow the guidelines suggested.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I need to keep a better track of my spending", BE SPECIFIC. I will create a budget that accounts for all of my expenditures and stick to it.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I need to stop wasting money", BE SPECIFIC. I will write down how I have been spending my money and see where I can make cuts for all the things that aren't necessary.
INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to be debt free", BE SPECIFIC. Using a budget, and what I learned in class or from the books, I will map out a plan to reduce my debt until it is gone.
The key to following the specific statements and staying focused on the end goal is to decide two things.
1. The time for action is now, not later. Staying the way you are will only dig you deeper in debt. Or if you just make ends meet, staying the way you are will never afford you any savings, retirement, or cushion when things go wrong...and they always do.
2. You can't just SEE that you need to make changes, you have to actually DO something about it. It is time to make the serious decisions and stick with it. When you feel like giving up, remind yourself of the end goal and how much better things will look when you get there. And trust me when I say that after living this way and forcing yourself to stay the course, it will actually become your way of life and you won't have to stop and think about most decisions. You will already know the right thing to do. Once you have climbed out of the pit, you will have no desire to jump back in!