The Great Recession taught all Americans that no matter how wealthy one is, it is possible to fall on truly difficult times financially with virtually no warning. As a result, it is important to understand both how to prevent financial fallout when possible and how to begin building one’s financial stability back up once it has been compromised.
Whether you are on the verge of filing for bankruptcy or are recovering from significant financial challenges, one tip you may want to consider utilizing is treating your budgeting goals like exercise goals. Many of the same principles that apply to embracing healthy living apply to embracing a bolder sense of financial wellbeing.
How can exercise goals serve as a model for budgeting goals? When plotting exercise goals, personal trainers tend to emphasize the need to set short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. By both remaining in the present and allowing an eye towards the future, those seeking a healthier life neither become too frustrated by present difficulties nor too focused on seemingly unmanageable long-term goals.
Short-term goals will allow you to make manageable, consistent progress. For example, if you have set a goal to cut back on your coffee budget, you place yourself in a position to have a little victory each day that you drive past Starbucks as opposed to stopping by. If you only focused on long-term goals like paying off a loan, saving five dollars here and there wouldn’t mean much and may even be discouraging. Short-term goal setting allows you to make progress that adds up over time.
However, it is also important to have long-term goals. If you only think in the short-term, you may be tempted to pick up a Venti White Mocha from Starbucks because “Hey, it’s only five bucks.” Keeping that loan you want to pay off in mind can help you stay on track when you are tempted away from straying from your short-term goals.