Summer Is Here...Don't Forget Your Financial Goals
Distraction is the greatest enemy of a person with momentum towards financial freedom.
And it's easier than you think to get distracted once summer hits. People start to talk about vacations, kids not being in school, laying out and getting a suntan-all the fun stuff that we look forward to each year. When you have been working hard at paying off debt or sticking to your budget for a few months and then start to relax, you can have a hard time refocusing.
But remember this: Attaining Financial independence is the goal, no matter what time of year it is.
Overspending will get you into trouble just as much on February 19 as it will on June 7, October 10 or three days before Christmas. As far as spending goes, you must be as indifferent toward the season as your money is.
Here are some ways to churn forward without losing your momentum this summer:
Look at fun as an activity, not a lifestyle change.
It's all right to make summer plans that cost money, but remember that doing so doesn't mean you check out from life for a few months. You're not in elementary school anymore. When you go to a Christmas party, you enjoy it for that evening and then you are done. Do the same with whatever summer activities you're planning. Enjoy it for that time and then get back to work on building financial freedom.
Set a smaller, short-term goal to get you through.
Establish a secondary goal to accomplish something by the end of the hot months. When you make your budget, see if you can spend less than that between now and Labour Day and put the money in savings. If you are working the debt snowball, get an extra job for the next three months to quickly pay off what you owe.
The work-fun exchange.
Mark a date on your calendar near the end of the season. Between now and then, whenever you do something fun or work-oriented, do something else to balance it out. If you work an extra shift one day, then treat yourself to a pool visit that weekend. If you go to a friend's barbecue, then get up early the next morning to run around the block. This helps you maintain a "one thing for one thing" focus.
These are just suggestions to help, but it's important to remember that you are the ultimate answer to any money challenges you face. No matter how great the temptation, you are the one who chooses to spend or not to spend. You make the call on whether a bad money move deflates your momentum or fires you up to keep attacking your debt.