Honor Previous Financial Choices
By Shannon M. Medisky
Ever feel like you’re running in place, getting nowhere, when it comes to your finances? If you’re not honoring your previous financial choices, you likely are or, even worse, getting farther and farther behind. Stop sabotaging yourself and your finances and get back on the track of moving financially and emotionally forward by doing the following:
Pay off what you’ve got before you get more. Granted, this should go without saying, but I’ll admit it, it’s often easier said than done. When life throws you a financial curveball in the form of an unexpected emergency expense, it’s easy to reach for the plastic to make the necessary payment. That, in and of itself, is no sin. The problem arises when that accrued balance isn’t managed and paid off. Life, after all, will undoubtedly continue to hand you those unexpected financial curveballs, so don’t let them sideswipe you financially. Pay them off as soon as possible instead of watching the debt continue to grow and cost you even more.
Forget that “one thing” because you really don’t need it. Whether we’re looking for the “new and improved” or the “latest and greatest,” many of us get caught up in thinking we need certain things to be happy. Take the time to figure out exactly why you think you need it, and you’ll likely figure out that you really don’t. More material “stuff” actually translates to a loss of your own free time as you spend more time at work earning the cash to pay for it and spend the extra time cleaning and dusting the new clutter at home. Let the Jones’ keep their superfluous stuff while you keep your pocket full of cash, your home full of extra space and your mind free from the added financial stress of how to afford it all.
Revisit the financial pains and successes of the past. As the saying goes, those who forget their history are destined to repeat it. For better or for worse, this goes for finances, too. If you’ve ever peered into your closet only to lament, “Why in the world did I buy that?” Keep the mental image of that very outfit as a reminder not to plunk down payment for an impulse purchase in the future. If you’ve ever suffered the ill effects of signing a long-term contract without truly thinking it over and weighing the pros and cons, allow yourself to recall your frustration in the future to avoid a repeat performance of the same fate. On the other hand, if you’ve made sound financial moves in the past, don’t forget to revisit them as well. There’s no better way to honor the wise financial choices you’ve made in the past than striving to repeat them. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so why not flatter yourself and imitate those past financial successes all the way to the bank? And when you do, go ahead, gloat a bit to yourself. Pat yourself on the back and on the pocket, you’ve likely earned the right to do so.
Photo credit: Tasayu Tasnaphun
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