Highlights of today's show:
- We can all sometimes get lethargic when it comes to our finances
- Whether you are rich, poor, struggling, doing well, 20 years old or 70 years old
- To get out of netural, try establishing a new goal
- Do something new in your budget, whether spending or giving
- Look at what your lack of attention and focus is costing you
No matter how much money you make, how old you are, how well you are doing financially, or how long you have been working on your finances, there will be times when you hit the wall. You don't want to budget, you overspend, and you put your finances on cruise control. Today we talk about three situations where you might shift into neutral with your finances.
- You are doing OK financially. Having OK finances is dangerous because the average financial stats are pretty depressing. Often we get stuck in neutral in this situation because that's all we know to do and we don't believe we can change. This might be the hardest situation to get unstuck from because it takes a lot of effort and desire to change.
- You just get out of debt. You've had this intense period of your life where all your focus and extra money was going toward your debt. Now that you are debt free, you kind of exhale and ask yourself, "now what?" Well, becoming debt free is not the end; it's only the beginning because often we can struggle with getting the momentum going again to tackle our next task.
- You have been working your financial plan for at least five years. You are doing great financially; you have no debt, do have an emergency fund, and are saving for your future. But you have gotten bored with your finances. In fact you are on cruise control so much that you don't budget, you are overspending a little here and there and aren't really thinking when it comes to your overall long term goals. This isn't going to kill you financially, but you could be missing out on something better.
If you are stuck in neutral in these situations, I recommend trying the following to get unstuck:
- If you are doing OK financially, I recommend taking a deep look at your situation and realizing that it isn't working. Often we can think that if we keep doing what we've been doing we'll get different results this month. Then we're surprised when things don't change. For ways to get motivated and to get out of the rut you are in, I recommend listening to the following lessons of the podcast:
- If you just got out of debt and don't know what to do next, I recommend setting a new goal. By focusing on one big goal you were able to pay off your debt. Now it's time to make similar goals to keep improving your finances. Some goals may include saving an emergency fund, saving up for a big purchase like a trip or car, saving money for your child's education, giving a certain percentage of your income, or paying off your mortgage.
- If you have been winning with money for a while now and you just can't seem to find the energy to keep it up, I suggest changing the way you budget. Yes, sometimes we can take saving money too far and if all you are doing now is saving money you need to loosen up your spending and enjoy your money. You can do this by changing your budget, perhaps for the first time in years, to include more giving and spending.
So the next time you get stuck in neutral, try the above to get unstuck and back into high gear. But what about you? When have you found yourself in a rut with your money? I'd love to hear your experience in getting unstuck by leaving a comment below.
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