As I was speaking with a client a few days ago, we noted how fast time is moving.
It seems like only yesterday, we were welcoming in a new year and setting new financial goals for 2015. Now, we find ourselves a few weeks from ending the first quarter.
Sadly, many are scrambling and disappointed because they never created solid plans for achieving their financial goals this year. If this sounds like you, it's time to stop beating yourself up. Instead, take this opportunity to recommit and create a plan that will set you up for success this year.
Here are five ways to improve your finances now and for your future:
You must recommit to your goals.
When we fall short of our goals, we often create cycles of condemnation in our lives. Condemnation is a great enemy to change, so instead, commit to accomplishing your goals.
Even though we are already in March, it is not too late to see your financial goals manifest. Decide on your goals and be dedicated to seeing them through.
You need to create an actual spending plan.
So many times, we try to keep our budgets in our heads. However, only what you pen is permanent. Write out a plan and allocate your money accordingly. Money without a vision will vanish.
Stop estimating and get exact about how you are spending your money. If you are serious about changing your finances, you will stop fantasizing and start getting the facts straight.
You need to get disciplined in your spending.
I regularly talk with people who have every excuse in the world for not living financially-empowered lives. Many times, people say that the retail stores are too enticing. If this is the case, simply stay out of retail stores.
Or, take an accountability partner with you who will challenge your purchasing decisions. You are not serious about financial freedom if you keep sacrificing your future for the temporary gratification.
Gratification is an enemy to goal manifestation and you must master it. Also, most of the sales that entice us are not even worth our time. Be smart and learn how to say no to the urge to spend.
Track your spending in a journal.
According to US News & World Report, you should track your spending for at least two weeks.
If you do this correctly, you can gain great insight into waste and excess spending. You can do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, or you can use free resources like Mint.com to help you track your spending.
When you track your spending, you empower yourself to take the driver seat in creating an empowered financial future.
Declare war on debt, once and for all.
Debt is burdensome and causes most financially-related stress. While student loans and mortgages are debts that require considerable time to cancel, be more disciplined when it comes to creating new debts.
If you are about to purchase something that you really cannot afford, sit down and weigh the pros and the cons. You cannot continue to make irrational decisions and expect to live a financially-empowered life.
Save up some money and make larger purchases at a later time.
When you are empowered financially, you'll never want to be disempowered again.