It can't happen without you.
Life sometimes catches us by surprise throwing all types of curve balls our way that we never saw coming.
While I agree that we can't possibly anticipate every curve ball or obstacle that may come our way, there are many areas, we can prepare ourselves better, even for those unexpected occurrences.
Unfortunately, we have lived long enough to realize that we can search all over, but we will not find a money tree. However, what we will find are new online stores to purchase from, and other justified ways to spend money. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with spending money, if we adjust our mindset around money, shift our attitude towards money, and put in the work to allow our money to work for us, we would actually have that Emergency fund of at least 6 months' worth of living expenses, Christmas money as part of our budget, and those vacation expenses set aside prior to the vacation. What's your plan?
Whether you jump in on any of numerous envelope challenges (50 or 100 envelopes), piggy bank savings, or automated transfers, you have to make a plan. It's certainly not going to happen overnight, so put in the work and get to it. Here are few simple steps to get you started:
What is your goal? Save money, pay down debt or a combination of both?
How much is your reasonable goal?
What is your reasonable time frame? In order to complete this step, you have to know and set your budget. (See Financial Shifts to help with this process.)
Get Started! And remember no amount is too small to start. Even $10 each week adds up over time!
Some things to consider for adjustments:
Do you currently spend more than you make (outside of your regular bills)?
What ways can you cut back on spending money unnecessarily?
Use real plates and silverware instead of buying paper goods.
Stop eating out every week and treat yourself once a month.
See about getting finance charges lowered, cancelling subscriptions you rarely use and cutting back your cable package or streaming services.
Do you need to consider a part time job or legal side hustle to increase your income and get you out of financial strain?
When you plan your financial pathway, you are more prepared for those unexpected expenses and are in a better position to be a cheerful giver. You then put yourself in position to provide assistance to those less fortunate (in your community or via a charity), hire more staff and employees, or even become a partner/sponsor for your favorite charities, local museums, art galleries, or schools.
What's your plan for your personal life - things you are learning, people you have close relationships with, home projects or DIYs, entrepreneur revenue streams? Our personal life has the biggest area for planning opportunities because they are driven directly by our personal needs or wants.
Education - A degree, a certificate program (coaching, financial advising, etc.), a new language, or area of interest.
Relationships - Family members who are getting older, newlyweds or college aged individuals you can mentor.
Home Projects/DIYs - DIYs might fall under Education and then Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur Revenue Streams - Authoring a book, starting a t-shirt business, selling beauty products.
Spiritual - Closer relationship with God, better understanding of scriptures.
Physical - Do you want to eat healthier, exercise more, try Yoga, Pilates, Spinning classes, or train for a marathon?
These are just a few, the possibilities are endless, but will only remain possibilities or ideas if you do not create a plan and then put that plan into action. Some things to consider for your plan are:
What is the area you want to grow?
What do you have to do to grow in that area?
How much training is needed?
How much time needs to be invested (to nurture relationships or spiritual enrichment)?
How much startup money for Home projects, DIYs, or Revenue streams?
How will you rearrange your current schedule to accommodate the area for growth?
How will you hold yourself accountable?
We often dread the annual reviews, but we should use them to our benefit. Most companies will pay for a portion if not all of your training so why not take advantage of the training to help you meet your professional goals which of course ultimately help both you and the company. The knowledge you learn can be used for your next promotion, another department, a new company, or your entrepreneurship venture. Invest in your career aspirations. Don't just blow through your review with fluff that you will never follow up on or follow through with. Be intentional and maximize your opportunities.
Have you thought about your career goals?
Are you currently in the career that is fulfilling, and you have a desire to continually progress in that career?
Do you want to move up in your department? Move to another department?
Do you need to start all over because your current career just isn't bringing you joy?
Whatever it is, what is your plan? Think about what you want to do with your professional career and research to identify what needs to be done to secure it.
Here is your assignment should you choose to accept it.
Write down goals of where you want to be in a year for these three primary areas of your life. Determine some milestones along the way. For example, if your goal is to learn a new language in a year, your milestones could be when you move from Beginner to Intermediate and from Intermediate to Well Versed.
Do the research (of training, budget, timelines, etc.) to determine a realistic timeline.
Commit to putting in the work and checking in at least every month on your progress.
Celebrate the big and little milestones (wins) along the way!
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ ~Luke 14:28-30 (NLT)