Money is something you’ll want to make continual progress with your entire life. Money isn’t going away, and no matter what your current situation looks like, there’s always room for improvement.
This fact is good news to some. So much of financial well-being revolves around making changes and moving forward. If things are good, they can always be better. And if everything sucks, keep reading, and we’ll lay out a simple plan you can start using today.
What needs to change?
With money (and everything else in your life), you already know what’s helping and what’s not. There’s no mystery — it’s either working or it’s not.
If you keep making the same decisions, you’ll keep getting the same results.
When it comes to making the right changes, it’s the taking-action part that can be difficult.
A new approach
Since you already know what’s working and what’s not, use that knowledge to shape the changes you need to make to move forward.
Pick any area you’d like to improve, then name three things that are helping and three things that aren’t. Presto! You have a strategy. Let’s try this with a financial example:
Helping: Paying more than the minimum on student loans, keeping my paid-off car even though I want a new one, doing a monthly budget.
Not helping: Amazon.com addiction, eating out every day, vodka.
A plan is starting to develop!
This process works for any financial situation. If you are drowning in debt and see no way out, try it. If you are doing well, try it.
Keep making changes
After you’ve taken a few steps in the right direction, what then? Do it again. And again.
Ask the question as often as is needed to keep things moving. Hourly, daily, monthly or yearly. What’s helping? What’s not? Repeat.
You’ve got this. Be optimistic and dare to something new.
You already know what’s working and what’s not.
Now do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
Derek and Carrie Olsen are monthly money columnists for Ink challenging you to take a closer look at your finances. They've also written two best selling books on the topic of personal finances. Find their books, blog, podcast and speaking schedule at derekandcarrie.com.