Most people spend more time planning and preparing their Christmas meal than they do planning and preparing their finances for the New Year or the new month. Planning is essential if you are to get out of debt and create long term, real sustainable wealth. I have 5 tips here that, if you use them, will accelerate your plans in 2011, even if you have never had a plan before.
Create a well defined plan. Your plan should take your current and future expected earning into consideration. Also be specific about time frames regarding how much you want to save or invest and how much of your debt you will settle. Be specific about the amount you are willing to spend on yourself. If your plan is not specific and well thought out it will not serve you as it should. For more on financial planning check out my book, ‘Breaking the debt habit’.
Forget the past. It has gone as have all of your failures and successes. You can do nothing about the past except to learn from it. So let it go and get on with the future. We have all made serious financial blunders and mistakes in the past, but don’t dwell on them. With a serious plan in place, influence the future. Move forward with what is ahead of you and realise your goals. They may be small successes to start with, but you will soon realise that you can make a difference and influence you finances positively.
Watch the horizon. Most people are excessively focused on today and forget about tomorrow. Lift your eyes and see that there is a future and then plan for it. By focusing too closely on today you can easily be moved off track and that could be disastrous for your finances. Think ahead and nip any problems in the bud immediately. For example, if the washing machine starts making strange noises, sort it out quickly before it costs you major money.
Educate yourself. Learn from the successes and failures of others and find the best practices that suit you. Read personal financial blogs, books or take courses that will show you how to get things done effectively. You will find both good and bad, but will very soon be able to distinguish between them.
Check your progress regularly. Follow your plan carefully, but regularly check to ensure that your actions match your goals. Many people have established their goals and put a plan in place, but find 2 or 3 months down the road either their plan is not really taking them where they want to go or that the plan is not realistic. Remember it is your plan and they are your goals. If the plan is unrealistic or not taking you where you want to go, change it. Changing your plan or adjusting it does not make you a failure, but it can mean success. The most important thing is don’t give up. Make the necessary changes and get on with it.
There are many people who will attempt to tell you that you can’t do what you have set out to do and some of them will even try to distract you. If your plan is solid and well thought out, be committed to your success and show the doubters that your financial destiny is in your hands.
Plan it and go for it! Make it happen for you and your family in 2018.
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Budget, Debt, Finance, Financial Freedom, Financial Goals, Financial Planning, Frugal, Investing, Money, Saving Money