How To Control Of Your Finances
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How To Control Of Your Finances

EPF July 11, 2019

Getting your finances in order can seem like a daunting task. Budgeting. Saving. Investing. Most people would rather go to the dentist than come up with a financial plan!

But, by peeling back the layers and taking a cold hard look at the numbers, you empower yourself to create a better financial future. Look, it’s never easy. But knowledge is power. And the more you know about where your money goes, the better chance you have of staying on track and meeting life’s most important milestones.

What Are My Financial Goals?

The first step is defining what you want out of life. Like most things, financial goals are subjective. What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. Take a deep breath and think about where you want to be in the next five, 10 or 20 years. Do you want to be debt free? Comfortable in retirement? Maybe you just want to save money for your first family vacation? Whatever the reason, goals are yours and yours alone.

The best approach is to write down things that are most important to you and your family. And once you have a clear objective in mind, then you can work towards achieving it.

How Do I Get There?

In order to make your goals a reality, you need to break down your entire financial life. Analyze how much money is coming in each month, and more importantly, how much money is going out. For example, how much do you pay in rent? What is your car insurance? What about your cell phone bill? Tally up all of your month expenses so you have all of the information you need.

Once you gather all of the numbers, think about what changes you need to make in order to achieve your goals. Maybe it’s eliminating the cable bill. Or maybe it’s going to the movies every two weeks instead of one. Whatever you decide, small changes will have a profound effect over the long-term. Look, it’s not easy. And you won’t reach your goals overnight. But, if you keep racking up small wins, your finances will trend in the right direction.

How Do I Stay Focused On The Big Things?

This is often the biggest challenge.

Most people start with good intentions and try really hard to make smarter financial decisions. But, like a diet, they end up struggling to stay on track. To prevent lapses along the way, think of your goals like planting a flower. It doesn’t grow overnight. And no matter how much you water it, it takes time for the roots to develop and for the petals to blossom. Your finances grow in the same way. You can’t rush the process or take short cuts along the way. But, if you stay disciplined and focus on the big picture, results will eventually start to show

How Do I Avoid Setbacks Along The Way?

The key? Don’t be so hard on yourself!

In life, you can’t plan for everything. Emergencies will pop up, cars will break down and you’ll find yourself in situations where weeks of hard work goes unrewarded. But, the key is to stay positive and never get discouraged. Regardless of the detours that take you off course, remember, you can always get back on track. You just have to keep your head up!

The best way to stay positive is to reward yourself each time you take a step forward. For example, every time you make a deposit into your savings account, find some way to celebrate and reward the good behavior. That way, you’ll build up positive energy to pull you through when times inevitably get tough.

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