As we turn another page in the calendar, we are excited for the holiday season, but sad that 2017 is coming to a close. Were there personal finance items you wanted to complete this year? Maybe you still have some of your New Year's financial resolutions undone… or all of them! These 4 questions should help you get back on track financially for the rest of the year.
1. Why is it important to set a financial goal/resolution? For people who wish to accomplish anything outside the realm of their normal budget, it is imperative to set goals with their money. Otherwise, they'll keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results – the very definition of insanity. Goals give you something to strive for. To look forward to. I suggest writing your goals down and looking at them first thing in the morning and right before you turn out the light to go to sleep. That way they're the first thing you see to help you get your day on track, and the last thing you see so your subconscious mind can dream about accomplishing them.
2. What's the easiest way to accomplish a financial goal? Discipline and a plan. I teach my clients about the 7 P's – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance. Without a plan, plan to fail. Start with the end goal in mind and work backwards. For example, say you want to pay off a $450 credit card balance, and you know there are 9 more weeks left in the year. $450 divided by 9 equals $50 per week that you'll need to save. Next, figure out what you can do to earn an extra $50 each week and do it. When you break your goals down in this manner, you'll often find they're not that difficult to accomplish. If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers.
3. How can you avoid getting discouraged if you don't meet your goals? If you get knocked down seven times, stand up eight! Persistency is key. The moment you give up on obtaining your goals is the moment you've lost. It's a total mindset… "Come Hell or high water, I'm going to make it happen! It may take longer than originally planned, but just because I didn't hit my deadline, does not mean I'm giving up! My goals are still in place, although the timeline has moved." That's the way you have to think about it to avoid getting discouraged. After all, if you always set and reach your goals, then perhaps it's time to raise the bar and aim higher.
4. How can you tackle your debt with just 2 months to go and add to your savings the rest of 2017? If you're serious, any and all disposable income has to go toward paying off your debt and adding to your savings. Go out less. Shop less. Go to Starbucks less. Eat cereal. Bring your lunch to work. Do less entertaining. Read a book to occupy your idle time. Have a garage sale and get rid of things you don't use anymore. Drive for Uber or Lyft. Rent out a room in your home. Ask for a raise at work. Work a second job or start a home-based business on the side – in other words look for ways of adding additional revenue streams.
You've put off taking care of business for ten long months; don't waste another day. Get started today, and you'll have more to celebrate this New Year's!
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As the President and CEO of TZG Financial, Mike is doing what he professionally loves the most: building relationships and providing his clients with financial security. Mike has been featured in many publications, including Money, US News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Time, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MSN and Yahoo Finance. He is a verified Top Contributor on MoneyTips, and is a member of both the National Ethics Association and the National Veteran-Owned Business Association.