Like many of you, I’ve tried to save money before. And I’ve tried to get out of debt countless times. Some successful. Some not-so-much. So why do I feel like this time might be different? Good question. I think I’ve got a positive mindset is working in my favor this time. Positivity attracts positive outcomes.
First and foremost, I’m fricking exhausted from scrimping and scrounging.
Many of you might know that feeling of true desperation and embarrassment when you don’t have enough money for the basics in life. Your friends might joke that they are “broke” but only you know the frenzy of searching through your coat pockets for bus change. Maybe your daughter’s disappointed face when you couldn’t buy the coveted toy killed you. Maybe you are too familiar with the piercing pain of having literally NO money until your next paycheck comes in. (Trust me. I get it. In fact, all three of those things happened to me just this past week.)
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of it. More than tired. I’m sick to death at my ineptitude with managing my finances. Financial stress has been a constant drain on me for decades. The weight of it has become too heavy. I’m ready to put it down. I don’t think I have a choice this time.
Have you hit bottom yet? Is there a motivation outside yourself that could give you the proverbial kick in the ass (your spouse, your child, etc.)?
I sit on the precipice of a new life. I am at my third week at a new job. I have recently relocated. I don’t have an apartment. I don’t have a car. I am not in a relationship. My few belongings are stowed away in storage.
A new life is upon me and now is the time for change. But change demands energy. Since I had to work up the gumption to relocate and find a new job, I find I have an unprecedented level of excess enthusiasm for what my life could become. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of anxiety as well.
In short, now is a good time to start over. I’m ready to think differently about my life. I’m ready to do the work.
Is there a foreseeable time that might be better to start your journey than today? Are you ready to do the work?
Vision and Goals
There’s nothing more insightful for learning what you want from life than living a life that’s not even close. I’ve spent the last 6 months in purgatory. At least, that’s what it felt like.
Now that I’ve escaped that situation, I am bound and determined never to have it happen again. I’ve come out of this most recent hell with a clearer vision of what I want. However, I know it’s not enough to know what you want. There needs to be goals, and under goals, there needs to be tactics. But before you get to tactics, you need to have a vision.
When was the last time you thought about what you want your life to be in 10 or 20 years? What are your “dreams” and could they come true if your financial situation was different?
Shift in Perspective
It never before occurred to me to live my personal life in a professional manner. By that I mean to take a step back, away from myself, and treating my financial life like a work project.
I ask lots of questions at work to ensure a successful outcome. I’m starting to put those to my personal life now. What’s the goal? What do I want to create? What will it look like when it’s done? How does it fit into the big picture? Who will be on my team? When is the deadline? How many hours do I have to complete the task?
Can you find ways to find a positive mindset toward your money management skills? Can you take a step back and tackle your finances in a new way?
Merging Strength with Weakness
This is a trick that I haven’t heard many people talk about. I’m sure other people do this everyday but it’s a revelation to me.
Two truths: I love words. I hate numbers.
Through my work with the book, Be a Free Range Human, I identified multiple careers than I could pursue to supplement my income. I had post-it notes for each idea. I thought of them as distinct. Then, I happen upon the podcast with J.D. Roth. It occurred to me then. Those post-its didn’t need to be distinct. I could merge several of them into one task.
Essentially, I’m forcing my weakness (personal finances) closer to my strength (professional writing.) Fortunately, this has the added benefit of allowing me to view a personal issue through a professional lens. This objective distance is tremendously helpful to me.