When beginning your journey to financial freedom, you want to make sure you’re doing everything right. You access your credit report, review your debts, establish a budget and get to work. You ensure that you don’t make the common financial mistakes like spending frivolously or inadequately saving. Yet despite organized efforts, you begin to feel as if things are more challenging than you anticipated.
There are stories all across the internet of people who have achieved impressive financial accomplishments, yet you’re struggling to make your first lap.
I know people experience these sentiments because:
1) I coach individuals through the process. Time and time again there are crucial elements that they undervalue along the journey
2) I started my journey 3 years ago and learned valuable lessons along the way.
Here are six mistakes you might be making along your financial journey
1. You don’t have a community of like minded individuals around you
It’s difficult to run your race when all of the forces in your life seem to push against your goals. If you’re married or in a serious relationship, but your partner is not committed to the new lifestyle, it is going to be significantly more challenging. If you are the only person in your friend circle who is concerned about the price of brunch and the impact of social activities on your budget, your journey is going to be significantly more challenging.
I’m not implying that you should drop all of your friends. But it is important to tell the people in your life what you are working towards achieving and ask for their support. Inform them that you will be doing things differently in an attempt to reclaim your financial freedom. As a result you may be distant or less available.
If you are in a serious relationship and your partner is not on board, set up time for you two to discuss your financial goals. During the conversation you may come to the realization that you two want completely different things at this time or that you two want similar things and this is a perfect time to work together to build a stronger foundation.
If you need a supportive circle consider joining the #BanishTheBalance Facebook challenge. We have a Facebook group of over 2,000 individuals committed to helping each other achieve financial goals.
2. You’ve set financial goals without understanding your values and priorities
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I am currently reading One Page Financial Plan by financial advisor turned artist and author, Carl Richards. I LOVE this book. Early in the book Carl discusses how his initial meeting with couples differs from most financial advisors because he spends time discovering the couple’s values and priorities.Your values should determine your financial goals. Click To Tweet
Too often people set financial goals based on what they THINK is important to them or what they feel is expected of them. And we are talking real values, not luxury handbags or a closet of shoes. Those purchases might be an indicator that you value appearance. But do you value appearance over freedom? When you make clothing a priority it can affect your other priorities. Ask yourself if current spending is in line with what your priorities are.
We’re familiar with the saying “money doesn’t make you happy.” What makes you happy is living the life you want, with the ability to focus on what’s important to you. If family is important to you, a high paying job that monopolizes your time isn’t ideal. If traveling is important to you, then you probably value flexibility over income. Determine what your top three values and priorities are and then set your financial goals accordingly.
If you need help with this process consider scheduling a laser coaching session.
3. You failed to implement a gratitude practice
It’s difficult to appreciate all that is going well when you’re focused on correcting something you view as “wrong”. Did you know that several of the happiest places in the world are considered third world countries? The happiest people don’t have the most, they are grateful for what they have.
Gratitude is critical to happiness and implementing a regular gratitude practice will do wonders for your budget. The Super Fab Finance Planner has a gratitude journaling section or you can pick up a notebook you have hanging around the house or at Marshall’s for the purpose of documenting your gratitude.
Another thing I practice regularly came from my friend Amanda Abella’s book, Make Money Your Honey which is saying a prayer of gratitude every time I pay a bill. Instead of viewing money paid towards bills as a burdensome, view it as a blessing.There are so many who aren’t able to meet their financial obligations.
4. You implement deprivation rather than strategy
We just spoke about gratitude for what you have, but similar to dieting, but when it comes to your financial journey deprivation could be a set-up for a money bender. I believe in doing no buy days, and cutting costs. But I also purchase items that make my life easier every now and again or things I would enjoy wearing. A healthy financial life is about balance, not deprivation.
5. You’re comparing your accomplishments with people who live very different circumstances.Comparison is the thief of joy. Click To Tweet
Stop comparing your financial accomplishments to those of others. You will never know the full picture of another person’s life and that goes for individuals close to you.Imagine how little you know about random people you read about or see on the internet.
All of our lives and circumstances are different. Some people have children. Some people have spouses that cover a significant portion of the household bills. You never know what help someone might have had along the way, what breaks they may have received, or training they invested in.
Focus on your journey because it is unique to you, wins and challenges alike.
6. You don’t conduct regular checkins with yourself
How many of us set a goal, look at it for a few weeks and then move on with our lives? Obsessing over your goals is not a healthy practice, but you also don’t want to forget about your goals or your progress along the way. Create “Mind Your Business” days where you check in with yourself to make sure you are organized and recalibrate your strategy if necessary.
We are making this even easier for you. April is Financial Literacy Month and at My Fab Finance we will be giving away a freebie each Friday. Today’s freebie is the Super Fab Financial Checklist – Click Here to Download. It’s a perfect accompaniment for your “mind your business” days and can be used to monitor your financial progress and organize important financial details.