So what exactly does one need to start on the road to financial freedom? Depending on who you ask and what your needs are, that answer can vary greatly.
You must have the determination to make a change in your life. If you don’t want to budget, don’t want to save and are comfortable with the financial situation you are in (whether it’s a good one or not) then you will not be successful with any changes implemented within your finances.
Once you’ve made a conscious decision to make a change, you have to determine the types of changes you’d like and formulate a plan to get there. Regular Diva With A Purpose readers will know that I’m a huge fan of SMART goals in both my personal and professional life:
S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Financial Success
Be SPECIFIC about what you want to accomplish – pay down 25% of your debt; save $1000 in a year; bring past due accounts current; improve your credit score by x amount of points; etc
Make sure your goals are MEASURABLE so you can track your progress and see the areas that need additional attention or focus.
Make sure your goals are ATTAINABLE / ACHIEVABLE. If your goal is impossible to achieve will only frustrate you and cause you to stop trying all together.
Be REALISTIC based on your time, talents, knowledge and resources.
Finally, make sure your goals are TIME-BASED. Having scheduled check-in and completion times help keep you motivated and focused on what you’re wanting to accomplish.
My 2013 financial goals include one for savings and another for debt-management. What specifically do you want to accomplish with your finances this year? Even if it seems unattainable based on your current situation, allow yourself to write down what you want to do and what you need to do. That’s the first step in formulating a plan of action.
Tomorrow we’re all going to get a reality check…are you ready, divas?