I recently took up guitar lessons. Learning to play the guitar is one of my one hundred goals on my bucket list. When I originally started about three months ago, I diligently practiced every day, but then as time went on, I found myself slipping into bad habits where I would tell myself that I would practice double tomorrow to make up for missing today’s practice. Then, I spent a weekend in Chicago for the Financial Blogger Conference, and went days without picking up the guitar. While I had a great time at the conference, I still kicked myself for not practicing something I really love and want to learn.
Negative Changes In Our Habits Creep Into Our Lives
So, yesterday, I made a conscientious effort to recommit myself to practicing the guitar again every day. Letting this one goal from my bucket list of 100 goals made me think about how we can let our financial habits lapse as well. It starts off so simply. One day we decide to cancel our automatic savings deposits into the account we were saving for a vacation in order to pay for new car tires. But, then we forget to turn the automatic deposit back on. Eventually, we get used to not having that money go out of our checking account each month into the savings account with a nickname and purpose assigned to it. I have a friend who let the same thing happen to his Roth IRA contribution. He reduced his monthly contribution to his Roth IRA from $400 per month down to $100 per month so he could buy a new car and make the new car payments.
So, how do you get back on the horse? It is not impossible to get back into the correct financial habits that we were using. Here are a few tips on getting back into the swing of your finances.
How To Get Back On The Horse With Saving Money
Make The Conscientious Effort
Like an alcoholic, you have to realize that you have a problem. You have to understand that you have slipped with your financial habits. This is one of the hardest steps to realize and then take action on. Like I said before, this week, I realized that my dedication to practicing with my guitar has slipped. But, now I am rededicating myself back to the hobby that I enjoy so much. I am making a conscientious effort to reengage myself with it. You have to do the same thing with your finances if you have let them slip. Have you started skipping out on writing down your monthly budget each and every month? Dave Ramsey recommends in his book, The Total Money Makeover, that you have to set the budget up and review it with your previous month’s expenditures every month. Get back into the habit. Recommit yourself.
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Start Small When Rebuilding
Like my friend who stopped his Roth IRA contributions, you can begin to rebuild and comeback from your mistakes by starting small. I told my friend that maybe his goal should be to increased his Roth IRA contributions slowly over the next two years until he is back up to the $400 level he had previously been. Investing $415 per month will help you dollar cost average your way each month to max out your Roth IRA contributions. If my friend can increase his contribution by $25 per month, every other month, he will reach his goal of a $400 monthly Roth IRA contribution in two years.
Is there an area of your life financially where you have fallen off the horse? Where do you need to put more of your focus on?
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