Some mistakes are bigger than others. Maybe your biggest money mistake was that you were late on a credit card payment once or maybe it was as serious as declaring bankruptcy.
Either way, money mistakes don’t mean your life is over. You can absolutely bounce back from any bad financial moment, regardless of how big or how small it was. Here are some of my best tips for staying motivated after the fact:
1. Get Accountability
Money mistakes are often the result of bad habits, and it’s very difficult to break bad habits! So, like anyone who is trying to lose weight or stop biting their fingernails, it’s good to apply a similar principle to your money habits. Tell the people you are close to about your goals. Ask your friends to keep you on track. Start a blog and tell the world about your journey. Basically do whatever it takes so that you have some accountability. The more people who know about your situation and your desire to improve, the more you won’t want to let them down.
2. Reset Your Budget
Often people get into money trouble because they overextend themselves, so one thing you can do to get yourself on track is to reset your budget. Use a tool like Budget Ease and following a budget can be as simple as texting in your purchases. Do a survey of all of your bills and see what you can eliminate. Work hard to save at least a $1,000 emergency fund so that if you run into car trouble or your water heater breaks, you don’t restart the money mistake cycle.
3. Celebrate Milestones with Rewards
When some people decide to get on track financially, I find that many of them think they can’t enjoy life ever again! That’s not true. Even if you are on a strict budget, you can still get out and have a good time. Whether you go to see a reduced fee matinee movie or simple go out to get a cup of $1 tea with a friend, there are so many ways to have an enjoyable time for less. This is especially true if you love the outdoors. Hikes or scenic bike rides are always free. In fact, once you get into the habit of enjoying lower cost activities, you’ll meet other people who have similar interests, and you won’t be tempted to go to the high cost restaurants or ritzy vacations of your former life.
Although all of these suggestions will get you on the path to success, perhaps the biggest way to stay motivated after a money mistake is to keep moving forward. Forgive yourself for getting into financial difficulty. Everyone has made at least one poor decision when it comes to their finances, so know that dwelling on past mistakes won’t help you to be positive and motivated about your future financial situation.
How do you stay motivated when it comes to your budget and your finances?- Catherine Alford