So what do you do when you make good money, but can’t seem to save for your goals?
Great question! I’m going to talk about three things you can do to get your money to do what you really want it to do, and only one involves math (sweet!)

1. Get really, painfully, specific about what you really want. What does it look like. What situation would make you wake up and say – “this is really an amazing life.” Not just “a million dollars that I could do whatever I want,” but really specific. Chances are, your ideal scenario is more attainable than you think, and would cost a lot less a million big ones. For me, I can’t think of a better setup than a country home on a few acres. Looking around, I can find tons of those for around 100K. So I’m saving for it. Much less than a million bucks, and it hits all my buttons.

2. Identify why you want that thing (or things). May seem obvious, but digging deep into your “why” is super important first step to achieving your goals. Go deeper than the surface here. You may want to drive a nice car, but the real “why” behind it could be to impress people or be viewed as successful. You may want to attend the hottest clubs or events, but the underlying reason is so you can be around other people or be liked or accepted into a certain group. Knowing why you want things is the first step of “hacking the loop” and finding other avenues to achieve the same goal. Your desire to impress people could come from your stories of your experiences, or your need to be accepted could be filled by building a strong group of successful friends rather than trying to buy your way in.

3. Do the math. Take a look at what your ideal scenario would take to accomplish dollars-wise. Would it be paying off those student loans so you can have an extra $300 a month to save or spend? Would it be owning your own home so your rent isn’t just lost in the ether? Would it be having a travel fund in place so you don’t have to think twice when booking those first-class tickets to wherever? Decide what amount would fulfill that specific desire you identified in the previous steps.

So you know what you really want,  why you want it, and developed a creative way to satisfy that why. You’ve figured out how many dollars it will take to get it.  Now what?

The action step here is making sure you set aside that amount for that purpose every. single. month. Consistency leads to victory.

You can set yourself up for successful saving by treating your saving as the first bill that has to be paid. The old “pay yourself first” line. But it’s true – why should your goals take a back seat to your other obligations? No one else is going to create your ultimate life. You’re obligated to create the kind of life you want, and now you know what that is and how much money it would take to get there.  So what’s stopping you?

What I do is write myself a check when my first bill arrives in the mail. It’s like my own little reminder. I deposit it in a special account that’s just for savings goals. Then, I know it’s done, and all the other money that comes in is what I get to live on and enjoy for the month. It adds a little flavor of celebration, because I know I’ve hit my saving goal.

Saving first means you’re always making progress, even if you only save a little at a time. You never have to worry if you don’t have enough to meet your saving goal at the end of the month when you do saving first, on purpose.

Success steps:

  • Build up a small emergency cushion in the bank that doesn’t get spent (at least $1000)
  • First paycheck of the month – take savings right off the top (transfer it, withdraw it, just make it a transaction, don’t just leave it in your account and say you won’t spend it. It just doesn’t work)
  • Live on the rest of the money as it comes in

Do those three things: Identify your deep desire, Figure out why you desire it, and Find a dollar amount that will satisfy that desire, and you’ll be more motivated than ever to make saving the priority. Don’t let stuff distract you from your goal. It’s up to you to build that life you dream about. Follow the success steps for saving – do it first, do it on purpose, and get creative about the rest. Let’s make 2018 the year you make it happen!

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to master money and start making progress toward your ultimate life, I invite you to consider personalized financial coaching. Debt Freeks specializes in providing advice, inspiration, and accountability as you start rocking your money and life goals. Check out the Work with Me page to learn more.

See you next time!
– Ben at Debt Freeks

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