“Success is achieved in inches not miles.” – John C. Maxwell
Financial success is a marathon, not a sprint. String together enough simple, wise money decisions and you’ll ultimately breast the tape of success.
… You passed on that impulse purchase. Kudos!
… You made all your credit card payments on time this month. Nicely done!
… You paid yourself first. Way to go!
Now just go right ahead and do those things again. And again. And again. Before you know it, you’ve formed a new habit that will bring you closer to your financial goals.
Do you struggle to gain a handle on your finances? Do you constantly wonder where your money went? Make up your mind to create a money trail that you can easily inspect. One simple way to do this is to limit the use of cash for transactions. Use your debit card wherever possible. Doing so creates a spending history that you can readily review via the transaction summary provided by your bank. If you must transact in cash, create a journal and write down your cash spending. Try this for a week and see if you don’t gain better clarity into your spending habits. Understanding your spending habits is a crucial first step in making better spending decisions.
Financial experts recommend saving a minimum of 15% of your monthly income. In fact, best practice we are told is to sock away as much as 30% of today’s income to support long term financial goals such as retirement, saving for college, etc. If you are not used to systematically setting money aside, that can be quite a daunting challenge. Don’t get caught up on how enormous the goal is. Simply start saving what you can and step it up till you reach your goal. If all you can set aside for now is $50 a month even though the ideal is $500 a month, consider each month you’re able to save rather than spend that $50 a successful month. You overcame inertia and the fear of starting. With momentum on your side, look out for opportunities to earn more or spend less and increase your savings.
It’s time to take the next step towards financial success. Go ahead, give it a go!