Many of us have accumulated debt and have grown to rely on debt in many ways as we moved into our adult lives. Debt can seem necessary at times and almost normal but debt does not have to become the normal way of life. What you need when it comes to working towards you goal of financial freedom is to develop a plan that works for you.
These are some key things to developing that plan and actually making it work.
Make a plan and lay out your budget
You must be willing to finally make some changes in the way you live your life day to day. You also must determine what you will chose to prioritize and what you can let go. Certain things may need to be removed from your daily life, at least temporarily. whether that is your Starbuck’s Frappuccino, consistently eating out, your biweekly mani pedi or your spending habits of chasing the best deals. Getting a great deal can be an awesome feeling but sometimes chasing a good deal can become toxic in our financial lives. That weekly trip even to budget friendly places like big lots, dollar tree, TJ maxx, etc can lead to unnecessary spending that can cripple your financial efforts.
Why we must sacrifice
Sacrifice must be made in our lives to begin to see results in many situations. When you go on a diet you must begin to find areas that you sacrifice different food and beverage items you once loved. This may not have to be forever but these changes have to happen to be able to achieve different results. If you continue to live the same way you are now, you will most likely see the same results you are seeing now. You can earn more money, but when you earn more many tend to spend more money also.
Becoming more consistent
Consistency must become something you strive for in your finances as you begin to move forward. Consistency in paying your bills, saving money and your purchasing habits. Realize that the long term consistency involved in how you manage your finances is where long term changes and real results begin.
Hard work is necessary
Hard work must happen to see financial results. You may need to work more hours, do more services yourself that you once paid others for or even pick up a second job. Something as simple as packing your own lunch for work everyday, may seem like a lot of work but can save you significantly over a years time. This might be some of the sacrifice and hard work that is required to get Your finances where they should be again.
You need a plan and a budget
Making a plan a developing a budget are crucial steps to starting to get your finances in order. You need to see the whole picture in front of you. Every dime coming in and every dime going out should be accounted for and used wisely. This can help you to determine the ways that you are failing everyday to see your money slipping. Often your money can be slipping away silently in ways that can be prevented. Making and following a budget can help hold both you and your spouse or partner accountable to your financial goals.
Once you have established these guidelines and began your journey, you are on your way to a far better place. This is when the hard work, sacrifice, consistency and your plan can really begin. This is when you see the full picture of your financial situation as scary as it might be and you can begin to work on your financial future.
Each situation is different and each person requires different things to get where they need to be financially. These are some basic things to aim for and to begin to help you get on track. I am not a financial advisor but I can tell you that many times seeing a financial advisor is important. We can make a lot of mistakes with our finances if we do not seek guidance from professionals. Many credit unions offer debt and financial counselors that you can see for guidance. You can look for one of these in your area or seek advice from a trusted financial advisor. Beware however of debt consolidation companies that may not have your best interest at heart. Sadly many companies make a business out of taking advantage of people in debt. Credit card companies, debt consolidation and payday loan companies are some of the worst offenders. Always weigh all of your options and carefully consider these things before getting involved. Getting out from under the debt they place you in to supposedly help you is often worse than the debt you were already struggling with.