Remember January 1st? Maybe you woke up with that Holiday spending hangover, feeling bloated with guilt.
Your head was spinning with all the money you spent last year.
You were looking at the mountain of debt you racked up all year and that tight fist started tightening in your stomach.
Or maybe you had a pretty good financial year, but you know you could do even better! 2018 was going to be your year! You set up your budget, you started paying down your debt, you cut up the credit cards. You were all pumped up on the new year and excited about a fresh start.
Today we are going to check back in with those goals you set for your finances. By mid-February, 80% of people who set New Year’s resolutions have already given up on them. Don’t let that be you, friend.
Even if you’ve slipped up a little bit, or you haven’t set goals yet, but are ready to make some changes now, here are some simple steps to hit the reset button and keep playing to win in your finances.
1. Resist The Temptation To Use Credit Cards
Credit card marketers get you to open credit cards under the guise of “building your credit score.” Do you know who doesn’t care about their credit scores? Millionaires. Society tells us that part of success is having a good credit score, but who does that really benefit? It benefits the credit card companies who are making boatloads of money.
Success is not owing anything. Even if you plan on paying your credit card balance off each month, it becomes too easy to start putting little charges on it here and there. You use it to fill up your gas tank. Your wife uses it to buy your son a new pair of soccer cleats that weren’t factored into the budget. It gets used for a small emergency home repair or a flat tire. Before you know it, you have a $5,000 balance.
If you are still using a credit card, cut that baby up. Remove the temptation altogether. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but there is freedom in letting go of fear. Credit cards are a sense of false security, and when you trust that you don’t need credit cards to succeed financially, you will discover peace.
2. Invest In Your Debt
Paying off debt is a guaranteed return on investment. When you pay it down faster, you automatically get that interest back. When you allow that interest to keep climbing, you are handing your hard-earned cash to someone else.
If you get a quarterly bonus, or your tax return check, or any source of unexpected income, don’t immediately go out and spend it. Put that money toward your debt or into savings. Heidi Sneider attended First Steps To Success in January. The event ended on Sunday evening, and Heidi paid off $8,000 of debt on Monday morning.
“It felt amazing. It was like this lightbulb going off. Why am I continuing to just fork money over to someone every month that I don’t need to be spending? Getting that paid off made me feel confident and empowered,” Heidi said.
[RELATED: Check out this 4-step formula to get your debt paid off FAST so you can start having more fun!]
3. Spend Smart
Obviously, if you want to succeed in your finances, you have to spend your money wisely. But, easier said than done. Bad habits creep back in. We get a little lazy. Marketing campaigns trick us into thinking we are spending our money on something of great value.
Small choices over time result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars wasted. I’m going to give you the example of Himalayan pink salt.
This salt is $3 more than regular table salt at the grocery store. Marketers have crafted a story about how great it is, and how wonderful it will make you feel, and all the rich health benefits this salt has.
Marketers create a problem and offer the solution. Usually, it’s a problem you don’t even know you had before they told you about it. Wait, is my salt making me feel terrible? I need to try this!
Friend, spending an extra $3 on salt is not going to solve any problems for you. Weigh every spending decision with your larger goals. Every time you opt out of spending extra on something you don’t need, you will build confidence.
Famous philosopher Aristotle said, “you are what you repeatedly do.” Continue making those good choices and creating those good habits, and they will stick.
[Need a few more tips to cut your spending? Download your FREE checklist of simple ways to spend smarter right now.]
4. Put Purpose Behind Your Money
My husband, Hans, and I learned that if we wanted to receive, we needed to give. For me personally, setting a goal to make more money for myself didn’t make me feel good. I felt a little bit guilty about it. When I focused on helping other people succeed and looked at how my money could do amazing things for others, I looked at money much differently.
A few dollars can feed an orphan. A few hundred dollars can impact a community by providing clean water. A few thousand dollars can build a home for an entire family or rescue a child from the sex trade. My goal is to give away a million dollars a month, and that goal gets me out of bed in the morning. I find great purpose and passion in looking at my money with a vision of freeing others.
You could absolutely hate your job. It could be boring. It could be adding tons of stress to your life and pressing in on you and making you depressed and anxious, but when you know the income that job is providing helps take care of the extremely needy, it changes your mindset. It gives you purpose. It fuels a passion inside of you.
[Learn more about how to put purpose behind your money and rescue others from poverty at KingsRansom.org]
5. Celebrate Small Victories
The number one reason people give up on their resolutions is that they take one step backward and decide they will never get back on track. If you miss a milestone you set for yourself, or something unexpected pushes you back, or you just gave in and splurged, it’s OKAY. Don’t use that as an excuse to give up.
Hit the reset button. Even if you messed up an hour ago, you have a new opportunity to look forward. You are always looking forward. Don’t let the mistakes of the past keep you from reaching your long-term goals. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Is your grocery bill a few dollars less than it was last month? Celebrate that! Did you give a percentage of your income this month for the first time ever? Celebrate that! Focus on each small step forward, and don’t dwell on tiny slides back.
You want to look at your overall progress, not hold yourself to a standard of perfection.
We all slip up, and it’s okay to give yourself grace and say “I’ll do better next time.”
I hope these steps encouraged you and helped you hit the reset button on your financial goals. We are here to support you, encourage you and help you succeed in every area of your life.
Speaking of resets and checking in with your New Year’s resolutions…
Back in January, Dani did a webinar to help you play to win in 2018. For a limited time, we’ve made that replay available for FREE because we believe 2018 truly can be your best year yet.
Get the details and register for the webinar right here.