Achieving Financial Success
When it comes to your financial success, it's often dependent not only on your knowledge of how to be financially smart, but your attitude and money values. To master your finances, you need to ask yourself: "What does money mean to me?"
Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? But if you really stop and think about it, it may be difficult for you to come up with an immediate answer. Money means different things to all of us; that’s why we each have unique financial goals related to our wants, needs and values.
For some, money means security. For others, it’s about freedom or success. Before you can learn how to manage your money, you must learn what money means to you. Spend some time thinking about your money values. Ask yourself the following questions to determine your money values and learn how they shape your spending and saving priorities.
- How did you view money growing up?
- Did your parents ever talk to you about money?
- Have you ever felt richer or poorer than your friends? How did that make you feel?
- How were your parents at handling money?
- Do you consider yourself a spender or a saver? Why?
- What’s your charitable-giving philosophy?
- Financially speaking, where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
- Are you willing to live below your means for a while in order to have something better later in life?
Now that you have a better understanding of how you view money, what you want out of life and how you value your financial
resources, here are a few key thoughts to keep you on track during your financial planning.
- When it comes to spending, wait. We live in an immediate gratification society. With fast food, the Internet and mobile
phones/email devices, we’re used to getting what we want, when we want it. This technology isn’t bad but having everything
at our fingertips in a matter of seconds increases our urge to spend without thinking or planning ahead.
Try this: next time you’re tempted to purchase an inexpensive item you weren’t planning to buy, don’t. Give yourself three
days; if you still want it, then you can consider making the purchase. If it’s a larger, more expensive item, like a car or home,
resist the urge to upgrade as long as you can.
- Understand your money values and priorities and stick to them. By now, we all know the difference between our wants and
needs. However, something another person considers a want, you and your family may highly value. For example, giving to
charity isn’t a basic survival need, but for many, planning for charitable expenses is a priority. Living in a nice home may be
important to you, but maybe wearing expensive clothing or driving a new vehicle isn’t. Find out what’s most important to you
and your family and cut back in other areas to ensure you can afford your lifestyle.
- Forget about what other people have. Many people live lives they can’t afford by drowning in debt. Focus on your future goals
and ignore how your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors spend their money. Chances are they use credit excessively to
afford their lifestyle. Keeping up with others is a never-ending battle.