Honestly, you can’t believe that you’ll ever move up into the wealthy class behaving like a poor person, can you?
- Can’t save money,
- Don’t have a substantial investment portfolio, or
- Just don’t seem to be making progress on your goals…
Start by admitting they’re excuses for doing what you want NOW at the expense of your financial future.
Can You Be Happy NOW, and Later?
Delaying gratification is a well known and proven attribute of the successful. Especially those who start from zero and build their own fortunes. Starting with the kindergartners who wait for the second marshmallow, those who practice self-control end up ahead in the long-term.
Of course, having a plan and keeping your focus on that plan helps keep your eye on the prize. Allowing the urgent to distract you from the important (quadrant 2 in Steven Covey’s lexicon) is a sure path to failure.
It’s also interesting that those who work on the urgent tasks associated with moving towards their goals have fewer emergencies to distract them. When you have a cash cushion, a broken fridge or flat tire isn’t a crisis it’s just part of life.
Check That App: Use Technology to Serve Not Enslave
While 21st century life offers a myriad of distractions, it also offers powerful tools to automate your wealth building habits. Use the direct deposit or automated transfers from your bank to set aside in a savings/investment account at least 10% of every dollar you earn. Ditto for paying basic bills – put your rent/mortgage, insurance, transportation and utilities on auto-pay. Seriously, do it NOW (or whenever you initiate an income source, bank account or new bill); procrastination is your fiscal enemy!
Use a tracking service like Mint.com, LearnVest.com or PersonalCapital.com to watch where your money goes and compare actual spending to your plan. Make adjustments immediately when any one sector gets out of alignment.
Have you tried Manilla.com? It’s a digital file cabinet that helps track due dates and account balances, online and offline. It also helps track rewards program points and digital coupons to save you money. It’s the next step in going truly paperless – it should make doing your annual taxes and regular budget reviews much quicker and easier.
You Have Choices – Make the Right One for Your Long-term Wealth
So, when faced with immediate wants that can distract you from your longer term plans, stop and consider some options…
Invite friends over for a potluck instead of eating out.
>> Have you blown through your entertainment budget before the weekend’s new movie releases?
Chose to watch a classic DVD from the local library or invite a friend over and ask them to bring one of their favorites from their DVD collection.
>> You MUST have a new outfit for a business or social engagement?
Find your local consignment shop and stop by regularly to see what they’ve got in your size (have some items you might sell too?). Or, buy just one piece to mix with items you already own OR ask friends to share!
Make Financial Housekeeping a Healthy Habit
Spending plans and reports, tracking creditors and credit reports, reviewing your net worth, filing taxes, all those money tasks require ongoing time and attention – kind of like personal hygiene! So, put them on your calendar as recurring items.
Add a reward – for making progress towards a long-term goal, accomplishing objectives, and making time to create and work towards financial freedom. Motivate yourself with treat!
Maybe promise your inner-child an ice-cream cone as soon as the monthly budgeting session is over, or start shopping for a new sofa when you’ve saved half your sofa budget amount.
Let Others (Live or Automated) Nudge You in the Right Direction
The power of peer pressure can’t be overstated. If you have a group of friends or associates working on the same type of goals, who are willing to hold each other accountable, your success rate will soar!
If not (or in addition to), use your bank and creditor’s systems to remind you of upcoming deadlines, confirm payments and balances. Reward yourself by having your bank text you when your balance reaches targets.
Studies have proven that just a text message from an automated system increase participant’s success making ontime payments and achieving monetary goals. Take advantage of all the tools we now have to be successful achieving financial freedom.
Live Long and Prosper, Leah the MoneyDiva.com