Nothing makes you check your finances more than a crisis, especially a global one which shuts down cities, towns and even countries. Ever since my early 20’s after I got myself into way too much debt, I have been very focused on getting my finances in order and keeping them that way. Up until a few months ago, I had them in checked. Then I quit my main job to return to school, meanwhile I was working a part-time job and planned on becoming more frugal with my spending. However, looking back, I did not change my spending habits and kept them as if I was making the same great money, big mistake! So, in the past six months, my cushion slowly dwindled away and I did not notice this until this lovely COVID-19 pandemic hit. And boy, was it a slap in the face as I can’t believe I let my finances get so discombobulated. So, it’s back to the grind to get my finances back in check.
Who else feels this way? Watching the news and scrolling through Facebook, I know I am not the only one feeling the strain. However, while I was watching this, I am wondering how many did not even have a financial cushion to begin with. I can see how it can be difficult to save money when you’re are on a fixed budget, but there has to be a way someone can do this. For the past 12 years as a counselor, I have witnessed people say that they “can’t” do something, but when it somehow turns to be something they actually want or have no other choice, they are able to do it. It turns out to be a priority thing. It’s the same thing with saving. If you really want it, you will find a way to get it.
With the stability of our economics up in the air right now, how can someone go about building up their emergency fund and getting their finances in check? Well, let’s go crazy and find out how, then do it! This is the first of a series of articles on Financial Fitness, getting your finances in check. I will be combining all my knowledge I have gained through the years from my own research, from the masters in business program I am currently in and will bring in advise from expert financial guru’s. In addition, I want to hear about ways you have been successful in the past and share those with others. We can all learn from each other.
So, let’s start learning now! Actually, it’s homework time. Yes, I said homework. I am big on homework as that is how we learn and figure out where we want to go. Before we can start writing down a financial plan, which everyone should have one, we need to figure out what our goals are. So today, I want you to sit down with a piece of paper or a Word doc on your computer, and start listing all the financial goals you want to achieve. Don’t judge what comes to mind, just write (or type). Though, keep in mind as you are writing, I want you to be S.M.A.R.T. about them. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If you are struggling to make some of them S.M.A.R.T., still get them down as you need to start somewhere. I want you to have a visual of your goals to begin with. Once you get them down, start thinking of a way to achieve them, this will be the start of your financial plan.
Now, I am going to do the same thing! Next week, I will review my goals and plans and go over any issues anyone had with this assignment. So, if you do have any issues, or would just like to share your goals and plans with me and/or others, please email me at email@example.com or you can message me on Facebook. (I will NOT use your email for any type of mailer list or spam!!)
Let’s get started!! Catch you next week!