While in college, I would read a new ‘helpful’ financial book every few months. Each time I would say, ‘Today is the day I become financially stable!’ Obviously such wasn’t the case as I would buy the newest financial to-do book 2 months later. Despite that repetitive act, I rarely was completely financial stable and, somehow, I still accumulated some debt. There still is a silver lining though.
Despite not being financially stable for much of my college years and the two years following college, there were definitely some ideas/suggestions that have kept me out of major debt as well as helped me see down-the-road.
Here are some of the key financial realities I have come to realize:
- You are the reason you are in your situation. I learned, early on, that I had no one to blame but myself for my financial situation. Though, at times I would blame the government for raising my State college tuition or my landlord for the rise in rent, it all came back to my decision making. If you are not accountable for your own actions, you will never get out of debt.
- Make everything automatic. In this digital, computerized age, there is no reason for not staying on top of everything. Everything you need to know about is just a click away. As soon as I made most of my bills automatic, I realized that money was already spent and was untouchable.
- Don’t borrow. I hate when I have a bill due to some company. What I hate more is when I owe someone something. I hate that lingering over me. I hate not knowing when I will be able to get that debt repaid to my parents. Do everything you can to not borrow and if you do have to borrow, just borrow for necessities and nothing more.
- Talk about your goals. When others know your goals, you usually don’t want to be looked down upon for not achieving those goals. So, what does that mean. You have a higher chance of achieving your goals as you will work harder to not disappoint those you expressed your goals to. I hate feeling like a failure and claiming you will do something and then not, only amplifies such feeling.
- Write them down. When I write my goals down and make them viewable in my daily life, I tend to keep reminding myself what I am doing everything for. If what I am doing is not a step towards making my goals a reality, then maybe I need to change my actions.
- Cash is your friend. I tend to just swipe the good old debit card whenever I need to buy something. Mind you, I don’t use credit cards AT ALL anymore. I currently have been swiping that debit card and need to stop now. The more often I use cash, the more often I am to realize I am spending and not saving. I think twice about every purchase. I usually will stop myself if what I want to buy is not a necessity.
- Freedom is possible. Freedom from the restraints of an undesired career or from the good ol’ debt collectors is possible. Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves that any goal is possible if we are willing to sacrifice now for the later. Tough it can be. But which is tougher, missing happy hour or missing out on life? I think this answer should be easy.
These are just a few of the endless list I could write. I suggest thinking about what financial realities you are not facing and trying to implement one of my ways or one of the many other blogs out there to get you headed down the right path. Realize this: You can change your life.
Let me know a couple of the financial realities you have faced. What is the toughest to face? Have any suggestions? Click here to leave your comments…