I truly understand that there are so so so so many blogs out there professing to be the one and only source for reliable and resourceful financial advice. The truth is, this is the only source right here. Just kidding. This article doesn’t profess to be the one and only source of the best advice there is out there, but I can offer this bit of advice. Prioritize what you do.
You can’t do all the diet advice, so prioritize the big steps, like taking out sweet drinks and maintaining regular exercise. Taking those priorities and applying them to your finances will be the best decision you can have made, regardless of where the advice came from.
Try this process to focus on your most important new habit:
1. What part of your financial life is hurting you the most? What keeps you up late at night? Is it the non-existent savings? A non-existent emergency fund? Not enough income to pay bills? Retirement? College? Take the step that will impact you the most. In other words, don’t plan your retirement if you can’t keep the lights on.
2. Which new action would make the most impact? Picking the area to focus on is great, but it’s like identifying the potholes in the road and not steering the car. Take evasive action! Make a list of the actions that will impact that area the most. Pick the one you can start straight away and will make the most change. Take the rest out of the equation. Think about it. If you start that one action now, what will your life be like 10 years from now? Pick the habit that takes you the furthest. Pick only that one
3. Don’t be an over-achiever. Bring all the areas of your financial status up to just par. Aim for the middle of the road. Don’t do extremely well on everything just yet. This sets you up to succeed by achieving your first goal of simply being average. In practical terms, have an emergency fund, take action on your debt, and put something into savings regularly. And once you have those basics mastered, and then let’s talk high-yield investments diversity. Because those topics are fun.
4. Do you have the tools? Do not go into your garage to rebuild the lawnmower if you only own a Phillips head and a rubber mallet. Make sure you have all the resources you need, or can easily get them if you don’t have them before tackling this project. Some things just require knowledge that you don’t have. Get some education on it and then you can apply your new-fangled learning to your situation.
You do not have unlimited time and energy, so why would you waste it on unproductive habits and experiences? Take stock of what you have, what you want to achieve and how realistic it is to do that. Make the most of the habits you choose and make it work for you.
And when you start to see some change, some success, feel free to come back here and learn to apply more advance financial tips. I’ll be waiting. Share this with a friend who would benefit from this.