“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into smaller parts.” -Henry Ford
Managing Our Finances Can Be Overwhelming
What do I pay off first? How do I stretch a buck? How am I supposed to find extra money to start building an emergency fund? What about retirement savings?
It’s a lot of moving pieces and can be overwhelming! It can cause us to freeze up and keep us from doing anything to work towards changing our financial situation. Don’t let that scare you off though.
Divide It Into Smaller Parts
Divide and conquer! Make a list of your goals. Determine which to focus on first. (I recommend at least $1,000 in emergency savings, and then your credit card that carries that highest interest rate.)
Once you’ve determined which goal to focus on, make a list of ways to reach that goal. Do you set up an automate payroll transfer to put a little of each paycheck into savings? Do you call your cable company and see if you can reduce the bill a little bit, to free up some money for savings?
Make a list and then work through the items on it. It feels good to cross things off!
One At A Time
In the military we used to say, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” If you go all in on your goals at once, you’ll be more likely to get overwhelmed and quit. Going slowly will help you build positive financial habits and a good foundation for getting your finances in order. Taking this time to build habits and a foundation, will make things move smoothly. And smooth is fast. Once things are moving smoothly, you’ll be able to make more progress on your goals and they’ll just start falling off the list.
As you tackle each goal, it’ll free up for money for the next goal, having a snowball effect. It’s also likely that your motivation will increase as you cross out each goal.If you go all in on your goals at once, you'll be more likely to get overwhelmed and quit. Click To Tweet
Set Up Motivations & Reminders
Keep your focus on your goals with motivations and reminders. Some ideas:
- Put a picture of your current goal next to your credit card in your wallet. For example, if you’re trying to pay off your car, put a picture of your car next to you credit card.
- Come up with passwords that remind you of your goals, such as $100$aving$
- Set recurring reminders on your phone or calendar, such as “Transfer $20 into savings” every pay day, or even just a simple “save money” once a week or so.
Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
Remember, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Break your financial situation down into pieces, build good habits, and start tackling those goals!