When you first get interested in managing your money the newness keeps you motivated but staying motivated is once the newness wears off is the hard part. We’ll help you with that.
It can be hard to find motivation towards your money when you’ve been at it for awhile but staying on top of things is important.
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1. Clearly Define Your Goals. You have to know where you’re going in order to get there. If you want to pay off a $500 credit card balance, what you need to do to achieve that is very different from what you need to do to save for a 20% down payment on a house.
You can't pull a rabbit out of a hat in a year.Tweet This
2. Focus on Today. This means having the positive things you did toward your goal every day outweigh the negative things you did. You transferred $100 into your Betterment account and bought a $3 coffee. You can still consider that a positive day for reaching your goal.
3. Have a Buddy. Have someone in your life that shares your goals. This keeps you motivated and accountable.
4. Utilize Smaller Sub Goals. Sometimes if you’re slogging away towards a big number, it can be disheartening. Maybe you have $10,000 in credit card debt spread over four cards. You can’t pay that off in a month but if you can kill off one of the smaller balances, it gives you a psychological boost.
5. Minimize Distractions and Small Obstacles. Be on the look out for things that pull you off track. Stay away from things that tempt you to sabotage you goals.
6. Use Visual Reminders. It’s like when you want to lose weight so you stick a photo of someone with your desired body type to the fridge. Makes you think twice about opening the door. Tape a picture of your goal to your credit card. Every time you pull out the card, you will be reminded of what you are trying to achieve.
7. Have Some Breathing Room. If you live in a state of constant deprivation, soon the only thing you can think of is what you’re being deprived of. Build a little room in your budget for money that you have permission to blow. Otherwise, the deprivation can lead to a binge which will hurt much more than a few small indulgences.
8. Restructure Your Social Circle. If all of your friends are into baller nights out, you may need to move away from them in order to stay on track. Or you can try to organize activities that aren’t so expensive, host a movie night or pot luck at your place.
9. Focus on Your Own Actions. There are things you cannot control. Do what is within your control to improve your situation.
10. Watch the Numbers. You know we don’t recommend obsessing over your Mint or Betterment accounts but you do need to check in from time to time to make sure things are where they should be.
Financial independence is not about instant gratification. It’s a journey, do what you need to do to stay on the high road.
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The Simple Dollar: Stay motivated towards your financial goals.