The new year is upon us, and with it comes a blank canvas to paint a successful financial. life for yourself and your young family over the next 12 months. You’re looking forward to reducing your debt, paying for projects with cash instead of credit, and living within your means to reach a comfort level you never thought attainable. From your standpoint, the future is looking bright.
This isn’t the case for other folks with financial difficulty. These folks continue to kick themselves for all of the financial mistakes they created not just in the previous year but from the point where they were smart enough to know what money and credit was. They make an attempt to correct their errors, yet they don’t seem to learn from their mistakes and incur even more problems. The ever-mounting debt, combined with anger and frustration, results in some serious problems for these folks and the young families they attempt to support.
To these people I say it’s time to stop thinking about past mistakes and focus on building a sustainable and successful future. Look, none of us is perfect. The most darling of babies and the nicest of people do something in their lives that causes a problem for them or someone else. They see the issue, make the necessary apologies, and file it away to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes again.
The same thing needs to be done when it comes to financial errors, especially since the stakes are much higher than breaking a toy or saying something you shouldn’t have. People who dwell in the financial past have to admit they screwed up and stop wondering how things would have been different if they had done one thing or another. In the end, the alternate choices would have probably yielded similar results.
What needs to be done for these folks is a brain reset to clear the past errors and focus on a clearer future. Here are some tips to accomplish this.
Throw it away. Save for needing items due to a court proceeding or something like a bankruptcy, there is no need to save every bill and bank statement collected over the last decade. Keep the most recent items and shred the rest, especially things like credit card statements and receipts for items purchased with said credit cards.
Plan the future. Take a clean pad of paper or a virtual blank sheet in the computer and plot the future you want to see yourself living in one, two, or five years. Include all major debts to pay off, projects to complete, and goals to accomplish. Attach them to the refrigerator or office wall and step back to examine them. Having the items written down can provide a clearer sense of your current life and provide relief that it isn’t as bad as you think.
Work on your future. Don’t post the goals and then ignore them as you debt continues to pile up. Set physical deadlines to reach each milestone. The more you complete, the urge to do more will surface. And one day, when you look at your list, you realize you accomplished everything and you haven’t thought of your past financial mistakes for a long time.