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1. Long Term Vision
2. Strong Values
- time with my family
- being able to handle money well
- giving to those in need
- freedom to pursue opportunity
- doing work that matters.
Without these things, life is just not worth living. Set some values today and find a way to reflect on them often when you are feeling down or wanting to quit. These values are going to be what carries you on as you progress through your financial journey.
3. Internal Drive To Accomplish
Having an internal drive to accomplish things has been huge for me because I am a doer. Before we started our journey, I was trying to accomplish everything at once. But, once I started focusing on thing at a time, I found that I was able to get a much better result. This internal drive to accomplish each baby step to move on to the next has been a lot of what motivates me to keep going.
Any time you start something, you are going to have times when you are going to get knocked down and want to quit. If you don’t have a big enough reason “why” you are doing what you are doing, you won’t keep going. I think this goes hand in hand with this internal drive to accomplish this financial journey and get to baby step 7.
4. Constant Need To Learn
This habit has been huge for me. Because I am big into DIY things, I’m constantly forcing myself to learn. As I’m learning, I’m figuring out how to do things more carefully, stronger, more efficient, etc. By learning how to pay off debt by creating a budget and keeping my spending in check, we learned how to get out of debt and start building savings. My next hurdle is going to be learning more about investing as we get started with that.
One of the biggest problems that I hear is people complain that they are too busy to learn or can’t make the time. I made it a point to develop a habit of learning instead of consuming. Instead of watching a movie, I would read a blog or a book. Instead of playing video games, I am creating content and interacting with other people on personal finance forums, Facebook and other blogs.
Find something that you want to do better and start reading about it. Start experimenting and start to learn more about it. Experience is the best teacher in most cases.
5. Courage To Be Different
This one was a big one for my family. We had to say no to things that our peers were saying yes to. We had to cut back on how much we went out to eat and start eating in more often. We stopped taking as many vacations. We started checking in with each other before making purchasing decisions. These were all things that were new and different from the norm to us.
I would challenge you to have the courage to be different then your peers that aren’t successful or at the level that you want to be. I would challenge you to start standing out like a sore thumb in how you manage your money and be bold in how you handle debt and learn to build wealth as you get control of your spending with your budget.
6. Ability To Handle The Fear Of The Unknown
For us, there were points when we didn’t know how we were going to get through a few situations. We sometimes felt like we were spinning our wheels and just throwing money at our debt and it felt like we were never going to get out of debt. The reality was that we were paying off our debt very quickly, but, we wanted out so bad that it didn’t feel fast enough for us.
Even now, I know that I struggle with the future and how we are going to get to 15% of our income saved to go into investing on top of giving 10% and living on our expenses. And then on top of that, we are supposed to find money to put into kid’s college funding and then start working to pay down the house even faster. I know that it will happen as we make it a priority, but right now it just feels like an unknown and we have so much to learn.
Persistence is perhaps one of the biggest things that has paid off for us in our financial journey so far. If we hadn’t kept going, we wouldn’t be where we are now. I would highly recommend if you are in a tight spot where you are thinking about giving up with this whole “pay off debt thing”, that you will revisit why you decided to get rid of your debt in the first place. You were unsatisfied with something in your life and wanted to be somewhere else. Make sure you keep that fire alive and fight to keep moving towards your goals. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it!
So, what would I ask you to do today? I would ask you to sit down and look at your finances in a new light. I’ve created this checklist for you to print out and use to kick your finances in high gear! This checklist will give you a simple guide of things you can start implementing this week to better your finances!
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