Many of us have experienced going through tough times. It can be stressful and we may feel hopeless that things will never improve. With a little bit of discipline and smart decisions, however, you can turn things around and get on the path to improve your financial situation. Here is how to do that.
“Every time you borrow money. You are robbing your future self.”
1 – Get In The Right Mindset To Improve Your Financial Situation
It’s going to take time, effort and discipline to improve your financial situation so it is important that you get into the right mindset. First of all, let go of the past. You may have made mistakes but now is the time to think positively and look forward. Don’t blame yourself or others for your financial problems. Staying angry and frustrated will get you nowhere. From this point on, stay positive.
2 – Create a Financial Snapshot
This might be somewhat of a pain but you need to get a clear picture of your financial situation. Tally up all of your debt, and what you spend your money on every month. Compare that with your income. If you find that your income is less than the amount you spend, then it’s time to make some immediate cuts. Cancel things that aren’t a necessity. I personally keep a budget and a balance sheet. I review and update them at least monthly. Try to do the same so you can always know what your finances look like.
3 – Stop All Credit Card Spending/Additional Lines Of Credit
More than likely you are in the situation you are in because you’ve over utilized your credit cards and increased the amount of loans you have. Stop this immediately. Don’t cancel your credit cards because this will lower your credit score but put them in a place that will prevent you from using them. My wife used to freeze hers. Should would literally put them in a bowl of water and stick them in the freezer. This way if she was tempted to use them, she’d have time to talk herself out of it as she chipped away at the ice. Make a commitment to use your debit card or cash to make purchases. If you don’t have the money in your checking account, then you go without.
4 – Hustle for Extra Money
Do what you can to earn some extra money. This is the time for some tough decisions so use some of your spare time to get a 2nd job or part ways with some of your possessions. Part with all those game systems, TVs, and/or look for extra employment that fits with your schedule. You may feel you are above working at a restaurant or retail shop but this is where you have to look at the bigger picture. You are on a mission to improve your financial situation. If you have a skill that you can offer then by all means utilize it to earn some extra cash. Otherwise, this is for your family so put your pride aside and do what you have to do.
5 – Learn, Learn, Learn
Most of us aren’t born with amazing financial smarts. The way we look at money is almost always the way we were raised. The bad habits our parent’s had with money are now our bad habits. It’s time to change that by learning better habits that will set us and our children up for success. Read books and articles on financial success. Continue to learn and improve your financial intelligence. Pick up a book on kindle or listen to an audio book on the way to work. Learn as much as you can about improving your financial situation.
Here are some books I recommend:
- Unshakeable: Your Guide To Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money
Improving your financial situation takes an enormous amount of discipline. Not only in the short-term, but the long-term. Essentially you have to rewire your thinking, otherwise it’s only a matter of time before you are back in the same situation. Follow these simple strategies that I have laid out and stick to them! Over time, things will improve.