Personal finance does not fall into the category of one-hit-wonders. In order to be successful in personal finance, a large amount of determination is involved. No matter if you are starting young and building wealth early on or starting later in life and need to get out of debt–both approaches require determination.
The building block of determination is a capstone of personal finance. Without it, the practice of developing healthy personal finance habits is futile because when the capstone crumbles so does the rest of the structure. This is not what we want for you!
Building a financial plan for your situation founded upon a strong foundation of determination is key to making this work. Without it, you will find yourself back at the starting point (or worse) over and over again.
So how do you develop a strong level of determination that will drive your personal finance plan for years to come? The first step is to evaluate your motivations. Make a list of your motivations. Ask yourself questions like:
- What is motivating me to read this article?
- Why do I want to have a healthy relationship with money?
- How will improving my personal finances enable me to do other activities which bring joy to my life?
Did you notice none of these questions talk about dollar amounts? While having $1,000,000 in your 401k may be a goal along the path of your financial journey, it is not what motivates you. The motivator behind having a million (or millions) in your retirement plan may be to have security in retirement or not to depend on the kids when you retire. Those are the strong motivations which will fuel your determined approach to your financial health. Goals are good, but motivations are the key!
Besides intrinsic motivations, we often have extrinsic motivators which push us along the path to financial health. Sometimes those extrinsic motivators are the late notices piling up in the mail, or they might even be a friend you have chosen to confide in and who helps cheer you along the way. (I prefer the later instead of the former!) Whatever your extrinsic motivators are, embrace them.
In the case of the late notices, embrace the fact that ‘Yes, I am behind on my bills’ and then move your thoughts from a place of fear of what will happen to a focus on what you are going to do about it. Your determination to win in this area will help you calm the fears and turn that energy into productive action. You can do this!!
What are the motivators which drive your determination in the are of personal finance?