Do you make it a habit to stay financially motivated or do you have trouble with it? Going through a financial rough patch can by trying especially if it seems like you've been dealing with the same issues for a while.
The thing is, motivation is the key when it comes to reaching your financial goals. Some people believe it's all about the money and while that's a part of it, nothing gets accomplished without the right mindset and plenty of motivation to follow.
If you feel like you've been struggling in that particular department lately, here are some tips to help you get your spark back and get back on track financially.
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9 tips on how to stay financially motivated
1. Stay Positive
It can be easy to get depressed and down over your finances. But being positive isn't just an option when things are going well. It can also help you tremendously when you're going through hard times.
Start by acknowledging everything you can be grateful for at the moment. I like to remember that I'm healthy, I have a job and I have time! Things have been a lot worse in the past and I am grateful to be where I am now.
Instead of focusing on what's not going right, shift your mindset to focus on the good things and have a positive outlook for the future. By doing this, you'll gain confidence and open yourself up to new opportunities that can help improve your situation.
2. Break Your Goals Down
Sometimes, we set unrealistic or overarching goals that can make us feel pretty bad when we don't meet them. With financial goals, it's easy to feel excited and motivated during the beginning stages only to lose steam halfway through when life happens.
If the goals you set no longer seem achievable, break them down into smaller pieces. For example, if your goal was to pay off $10,000 of credit card debt this year, set a new goal to pay off $5,000 this year and obtain a balance transfer to help lower your interest charges.
That way, you're still accomplishing something and you can get motivated all over again about your new goal.
3. Make Adjustments To Your Budget
Your budget doesn't have to be written in stone. Get into the habit of making adjustments and shifting things around as your situation changes.
Even if you found out that you fell off track and didn't budget well for the last two months, make some adjustments to clean things up for the following month.
Your budget is going to be one of the key components in helping you succeed financially because it's so important to know where your money is going.
If you don't have a budget, sit down and create one. If you haven't looked at yours in a while, schedule some time to rework things.
Maybe I'm weird but I just love the way I feel after created a fresh and realistic budget.
It makes me feel like I'm back in control over my finances and my spending.
If you've tried budgeting in the past with no luck or need help getting started and staying on track, my friend Chonce created an awesome online course to help fix these issues and it's called Love Your Budget.
This course breaks down the art of budgeting so anyone can find success, identifies different strategies you can use, and provides a step-by-step tutorial for creating your own winning budget so you can stay financially motivated.
This course has helped a lot of people learn how to create a budget and stick to it and I definitely recommend it. Over the past few years, I've been reading Chonce's blog and have watched her document her journey about debt, so she is the perfect person to teach this course!
4. Read or Watch Something Inspiring
Maybe you're one of those people who like to feel inspired by other people who have gone through a similar situation. I love reading success stories and hearing inspiring interviews on podcasts especially if I can relate to the person's journey.
It's interesting to learn about how other people handle common situations and overcome obstacles. Check out financial blogs, news articles, and podcasts regularly to boost your motivation. You may even learn something valuable too.
For example, if you're feeling down about your student loan debt, reading about another persons' experience with paying off their student loans or currently making payments can be quite eye opening and make you feel less alone.
Reading self-help books by experts are also a great way to stay financially motivated. The Total Money Makeover is such a great book for anyone looking to get back on track with the finances.
5. Get an accountability buddy
Your lack of motivation could stem from not having any accountability when it comes to your finances. With health and fitness, it's really hard to reach your goals when you don't have accountability and it's the same with money.
As humans, we're naturally going to lose motivation and but having someone to answer to can make all the difference because you can motivate each other. Make sure you're not on this journey alone. Enlist accountability from your partner, friend, family member, or even in online groups.
Personal finance Facebook groups are really popular and you can meet and encourage other people who are in a similar situation.
6. Take a break
Yes, you read right. Sometimes, you need to take a break and refuel when you're feeling completely unmotivated with your finances. It won't do much good to keep pushing yourself to do something you don't feel like doing.
When you work toward a financial goal, you want to be motivated and happy to reach it. Your lack of motivation can be due to pure burnout and that's okay.
After you acknowledge the fact, consider taking a brief break so you can come back stronger than ever. I'm not saying go out and have a shopping spree or travel to Bora Bora.
But you can consider doing small things like going out for happy hours with friends after dining at home for months, take a day or two off from working on your side hustle, or rent a car and go on a weekend road trip or nearby campground.
You can't worry about money all the time or you're not going to be motivated to use it as a tool to obtain a better life.
7. Make some extra money
One of my favorite ways to stay financially motivated is to side hustle and make extra money. Earning more money should make you feel good especially if you've been struggling to make ends meet.
Luckily, there are so many easy and profitable side hustle opportunities to try depending on your needs.
Here's a few examples:
- Walk dogs or petsit
- Learn Pinterest marketing (learn how to make $500 – $1,000 per month working part-time as a Pinterest VA with my course)
- Start a Facebook ads for businesses from your home
- Take surveys
- Earn rebates with cash back sites like Ibotta and Rakuten.
When you're able to make more money so you can save, pay off debt, and invest, you'll become more motivated as you steadily see your situation improve.
You can also use an app like Acorns to save money that you can then use to reach your goals. The app rounds up your purchases and invests the change. You can withdraw your money at any time, or watch it grow. It's a great way to start investing, even when you don't have a lot of money.
8. Think About Your End Goal
If you want to improve your finances long-term, you need to have a strong reason why. If you don't, it's easy to lose motivation after a while.
Don't just set goals and claim you want to do something without understanding the core reason behind the decision and who it will affect.
Does paying off all your debt mean you'll be able to stop living paycheck to paycheck and save for your kids' college tuition? Does saving more money mean you can buy your first house or quit your job to start a business?
Don't lose sight of these reasons if you want to stay financially motivated during tough times.
9. Don't give up
Sometimes it can be really frustrating when you look at your budget and paycheck. You might feel like you are working so hard and as soon as you get paid, you have to hand it right back over to “The Man”. Everyone else seems to get a piece of the pie except you.
This can be disheartening, but you have to realize that you're on a journey and you won't reach your destination overnight. Work on staying positive and taking action when it comes to going after opportunities that could improve your life.
Don't make giving up an option and create a plan to make things better whether that means asking for a raise or changing jobs, going on a spending freeze, or even getting some more skills and education under your belt.
If you make this a habit, you'll succeed in staying motivated during the good and not-so-good times and eventually come out on top.