Remember January 1, 2017 when you made the promise to FINALLY get your finances in order? Spend a little less … save a little more … etc. Yet here it is, October 1 and we are in the final quarter. How ya doin’?
If it’s a little less than stellar – don’t worry. I’ve put together 5 (well it’s technically more than that because you know me – I’ve got to get even more detailed for you because I love for you to walk away with action steps) that can help you get it together before you pop the champagne on New Year’s Eve.
1. Set your readjusted goal.
Goal setting creates an awareness and acts as a baseline for what you would like to accomplish. Many of my clients start with me and have no real, tangible idea of where they would like to be financially in twelve months. I like to work with them to start the simple, yet highly effective practice, of setting financial goals. It’s an easy way to make you more conscious, and set up boundaries regarding how you should – and shouldn’t – spend your hard-earned cash.
2. Take these 5 steps to hitting the new goals.
- Write it down. The simple act of writing a goal down wires your brain to think about these goals constantly. You can keep a spreadsheet on your laptop, a note in your smartphone or old school pen and paper. The method doesn’t matter, it’s the act of doing it that matters.
- Revisit the goal every month. This keeps the goal alive and also shows you the regular progress that you are making. I like to do this in conjunction with my “bill pay day.”
- Pay bills at the same time every month. I coach my clients to do this around the third week of the month. It allows them to really plan for the following month and feeds directly into #2 above.
- Pick up the phone. No matter how well you plan, something unexpected is bound to happen. It could be something with your car, a medical issue, etc. If something does blindside you the monthly planning in #3 will help. Now, it’s time to pick up the phone and TALK to the creditors you have. You would be surprised how many people are willing to work with you if you are proactive about making arrangements vs. waiting for unwanted phone calls or scary late notices.
- Find an accountability partner. Having someone to talk to about these goals helps create energy and positive momentum. An accountability partner can be your spouse, a partner, a friend, a Debtor’s Anonymous group or a financial professional like myself.
3. Don’t get discouraged.
This one is a little tough for me because as a financial expert, I want you to feel some of the pain of not hitting your goals. That’s the only way you are eventually going to make the necessary changes! However, I don’t want you to dwell there because that’s not productive. It’s sort of like working with a personal trainer. You are probably not going to get a six-pack by drinking beer, eating cheese and laying on the couch. You have to dust yourself off, revisit your goals and get back to work.
4. Keep it together during the Holidays.
It’s a great time of the year to think about this because I have seen my clients go a little crazy during this time. Update: here’s a post on 7 ways to keep from going broke during the holiday season!
5. Save during the Holidays? It can be done!
I love this time of the year to declutter and let go of things I no longer love. Get together with some friends and do a big garage sale and put everything you make right into a savings account. There are so many online ways to do a virtual garage sale also: Poshmark, Tradesy, FB Marketplace and Let Go are just a few apps to sell your old stuff and put that money right into your savings. One of my clients made almost $600 on Poshmark in just 2 months by selling stuff that had been laying around her apartment for years. (She’s a lovely girl and has a bit of a self-admitted shopping habit but she’s doing so much better since we’ve started working together).
There you have it team! It’s the 4th quarter and we can still put some points on the board! Okay, I’m not really a sports buff but it seemed a little more exciting than talking about financial quarters like I normally do. If you’d like me to help you with your personal finance goals or want me to write a post about something specific, please reach me here!