If you’re like many others, you started 2016 with great intentions of getting your financial life on track, or improving your financial situation. This was going to be the year you made real progress on your financial goals. If you have been procrastinating and now find yourself wondering if your goal is still attainable as the end of the first quarter looms, take heart. Here are six “hacks” to help you take charge and kick your financial procrastination to the curb once and for all.
1. Stop waiting until you are ready to make a change.
If you have set financial goals and know you want to achieve them, but are waiting until you’re “ready” to do so, you’ll be waiting a long time. It can be scary to confront your financial goals, because that involves taking an in-depth look at your spending and savings habits. But, it’s a necessary first step to get you moving toward the financial future you want.
2. To quote the marketing campaign of a famous athletic apparel company, “Just do it!”
The hardest part of achieving any goal is often just getting started. Don’t let yourself waste more time worrying about taking some step toward your financial goal than would be spent actually completing that same step.
3. Use deadlines wisely.
Deadlines can be great for goals, but they can also be the bane of your existence if you are a procrastinator. If you know you have a tendency to procrastinate, then setting deadlines in advance of the “real” deadline can be one way to help you take control again.
4. Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of your goal.
Financial goals can seem particularly daunting sometimes; the key with making progress is to break up your goals into more manageable pieces. When you do that, you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making which will help motivate you to continue working toward those goals. For example, if you want to save a certain dollar amount this year, do the math so you know how much you need to save each month or each week. Doing that will make your goal seem much more achievable.
5. Identify your own excuses, and meet them head-on.
It is easy to make excuses when it comes to taking action to meet your goals (just ask anyone who made a goal to exercise every day.) One of the best things you can do is to recognize your own tendencies for making excuses and head them off at the start. For example, if you procrastinate about reviewing your financial statements every month by setting them aside, recognize that and then put them somewhere more prominent or obvious next month so you’re reminded to take action.
6. Reward yourself.
Giving yourself periodic rewards that are tied to your goals can be a great way of mentally motivating yourself to stay on the path. Just be sure your rewards don’t completely negate the progress you’ve made. For example, if one of your goals is saving money for an emergency fund, don’t take what you’ve accumulated to pay for a vacation as an incentive, putting you back to square one with your emergency fund goal.
Nobody said financial goals were going to be easy to achieve, but by incorporating these tips into your plan, you’ll be on your way to meeting those goals.
If one of your goals is to fast-track paying off your mortgage, our Financial GPS – Debt Elimination Software can be just the tool you need to help you achieve financial stability.
To learn more about all of the services TetonPines Financial offers, and for help implementing your own “hacks” for your financial goals, contact us today!