The New Year is here, and if you’re like most people, you will want to get things off to a great start. That said, there is the foggy financial hangover of the festive season, hanging over most of us, which makes for an interesting mix of optimism and financial fatigue.
Many people, will however, be keen to take charge of their finances – and in this article we’re going to take a look at how to do that in two parts. First off, we’re going to discuss three ways to stop the snowball effect (i.e. that feeling of our finances being akin to a runaway mine train that’s hurtling out of control).
Then, we’re going to look at the importance of financial goal setting in terms of making more money this year, as ultimately that is the thing that’s going to help you dig yourself out of debt the fastest.
So, let’s take a look at three steps to taking back control, first.
- FIND OUT WHERE YOU ARE: CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT
The first step you’re getting to want to take on the journey to getting back control of your finances is to check your credit report, as by doing this you’re going to be in a much more empowered position to take action and start repairing your credit history.
It can feel scary, however, as it’s like lifting up a rock and seeing what’s underneath – worried that there might be something sinister lurking there that you can’t handle.
You will want to make sure to check your credit file for errors; as some credit reports contain errors that aren’t your fault, but are damaging your credit score, so make sure you check there are no incorrect entries and dispute any mistakes.
- STOP THE SNOWBALL FROM GETTING BIGGER
If you have missed payments, and these are showing up on your credit history, it can feel very anxiety inducing, yet the very first thing you need to do in this situation is to try to stop panicking. The damage is now done.
The only thing you have control over, in this situation, is the current moment, and the action you take from here. So, in that vein let’s take a look at what you can do to stop this snowball from getting any bigger than it already is.
If you’re accruing late payment charges and interest, it can feel like a snowball hurtling down a mountain getting bigger and bigger, gaining more and more momentum, to the point it becomes really destructive when it crashes into something on the slope. Therefore, you want to keep the snowball as small as possible, and nip things in the bud, rather than letting them get out of hand.
In a nutshell, what you want to do is ensure there aren’t going to be any further late payments. The most imperative thing you avoid is not letting things get to the point where more serious things are being registered against you… yet, the only way you can do that, is to take control of the situation, and face things.
When it comes to taking care of things, practically, a good option might be to get a consolidation loan, or negotiate terms with your bank, for instance, you could perhaps get a reducing overdraft.
- BUILD UP YOUR SCORE: USE CREDIT CARDS
There are many myths around credit cards and they often get a bad wrap, but one of the best ways to build up your credit score is to endeavour to get one of the many credit cards for bad credit available in the market today.
Ultimately, you want to then use your credit card, as much as possible, presuming you pay off the balance in full each month – as this will ensure you are building a good reputation, thus you become much lower risk and your credit score increases.
The next aspect to consider, with regard to getting your finances back on track in 2019, is to work out what your positive financial goals are for the year – in the sense of how much more money you would like to make in the coming year.
STEP ONE: CLARIFY YOUR GOAL
When you get specific, you can create a more specific plan. Unfortunately, most people are far too vague when it comes to this step. If someone just says “a few thousand”, for instance, it’s all just a bit too vague and unclear for them to start crafting a plan that will ensure they reach their.
The difference between a dream of making a few thousand dollars more, and a plan to attain $2,450 has a very different energy to it.
There are many psychological and energetic concepts at play when it comes to creating more wealth, ideas from the “law of attraction” to the more pragmatic psychological approach of realising the important of having a clearly defined end-goal.
STEP TWO: CHUNK IT DOWN
It’s only when you have that clearly defined end-goal that you can begin to chunk it down.
For instance, let’s say someone wants to make an extra $10,000 by the end of the year, in addition to their current salary.
The best thing you can do is to break this down into weekly amounts – so, here, it would be an extra $192. This still might seem quite abstract, yet if we break it down into five working days, it is $38.
Let’s call is $40, and now, let’s break that down into saying the maximum additional amount of time you are able to put into this is two hours – meaning you need to find an activity that pays you at least $20 per hour.
Can you see the difference?
$10,000 feels far too overwhelming for most people to connect with, whereas $40 per day, or doing something 2 hours a day, for 5 days a week – being paid $20 an hour, makes things feel much more actionable. There’s something more tangible about it.
STEP THREE: FIND YOUR VEHICLE
Your mind can now start searching for solutions, and find a vehicle to get you to your destination – whereas, before, the $10,000 amount was too abstract, the idea of looking for something you can do for two hours a day that generates at least $20 per hour is more tangible.