A small boy maybe about the age of four was at the beach with his parents for a fun day in the sun. To keep himself occupied while his parents hung out, he used his bucket and a toy shovel to dig holes. He was such a happy kid having a ball digging his hole but at a certain point he got really confused and frustrated. It was like his hole wouldn’t get any deeper. It seemed like he was pulling the same sand out of the hole over and over again. What he didn’t realize was that his sister was hiding behind his dad’s chair and pushing sand back into his hole whenever he would turn around to dump his bucket. It was funny for her, but certainly not for him.
Unfortunately, many people experience this frustrating cycle in their finances. You may not have a sister sabotaging your work but you very well could be sabotaging your own progress with your habits. Here are three areas where your habits could be causing you to go in financial circles:
1) Not thinking about your financial future enough. Thinking about your financial future is about setting goals, targets and giving yourself something to work towards. You should regularly think about what you want your life to be like, how much do you want to make, save, give away, spend and or invest.
2) Not having a budget. Think of your budget as the monthly strategy to help you get to the financial future that you want (so don’t skip #1). Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of looking at your budget as just a tracker to make sure you get your bills paid. The typical approach to budgeting gets old and depressing very fast which is why most people don’t do it.
3) Not planning for the unexpected. For the few people that follow through with #1 & #2 they often get tripped up by the unexpected. You have to make sure that you prepare yourself for unexpected events, because you can always expect the unexpected to happen. We recommend that you set aside twice the amount of your last two unexpected expenses which will allow you to be prepared when the unexpected happens.