If you are making many financial mistakes – lots of personal loans, for example, no savings, or a dependence on payday loans – you will need more than just a few new good money habits. You may need to make a major change and make a financial U-turn to get on the right track. Here’s how:
– Think hard and plan hard. If you have truly dug yourself in deep financially, you need to evaluate first. How did you get here? Determine what the problems have been, since you’ll have a better chance of success if you address any underlying causes for your current situation. For example, do you have a shopping addiction or too little understanding about finances to get on track? Once you know what is happening, create a plan for turning it all around.
– Start with one small step but be prepared to act big. Start small to get yourself started. Maybe open a savings account or pay one bill. However, if you are really in deep you’ll need to follow up that small step with big action – maybe getting a second job or selling some assets – to make timely progress.
– Go into survival mode. Pare down all unnecessary spending for a minimum and save as much as possible on the necessities. This may be hard, but keep in mind that it is only temporary.
– Plan short- and long-term. Keep in mind that you need plan for the short term (how will you pay this month’s bills without a payday loan?) as well as for the long term (how much will you need at retirement to be comfortable?).
– Get support. Consider finding a support group, a financial professional who can advise you, or a group of friends and family who can cheer you on as you make big changes in your financial life.
– Educate yourself. The more you know, the easier it will be to make good financial decisions. Borrow financial books and audio books from your library, attend free financial seminars in your area and read the local newspaper’s business section.
– If you’re having problems, focus on right now. Even if right now you are facing bankruptcy or collection calls, you can make things better with some work. If it seems overwhelming focus on right now – right now you everything is bearable and you can do one small thing right now to make a better tomorrow.