Self-Improvement Steps and Your Finances

Money money money…There’s no denying the importance of money and
the stress it causes. In fact, one of the main reasons people feel
worthless and have low self esteem is due to money-related issues. In
these touch economical times, it’s more important than ever to gain
control of your financial situation in order to gain control of your selfimprovement.

1. Keep a financial spreadsheet- a financial spreadsheet is easy to
make and is a perfect way to keep track of what’s going out and
what’s coming in. Make sure you include everything from credit card
purchases, memberships, insurance, groceries, cab rides and
shopping trips. If you are spending more than you make, then you
have a problem and need to re-adjust your spending habits.

2. Sweat the small stuff- the small stuff adds up. Those daily coffees,
those weekly magazines and those monthly gym memberships all
need to be accounted for when you look at your finances. Every penny

3. Get help if you need it- there’s nothing wrong with asking for
financial advice. In fact, this is one of the best ways to gain financial
freedom and work towards financial and self-improvement. Find a
financial advisor who can help you set goals and meet them.

4. Remain grounded- debt can be overwhelming. Really overwhelming.
Furthermore, too much financial success can cause arrogance and
rash financial planning. It’s important that whether you are in the red
or profiting in the green, that you keep your head about it. Make
smart financial decisions regardless of where you are. Don’t let the
wealth go to your head and don’t let the debt get you down. Debt is
part of life- you just need to take it one payment at a time.

5. ‘Sale’ does not mean ‘buy’- just because something is on sale does
not mean you need to buy it. Resisting the bright lights of ‘half off’,
‘buy one get one free’ and ‘discounted item!’ is a big step to selfimprovement.

6. Always Pay the Credit Card- try, with all your might, to get that
credit card payment down. Credit card interest rate is one of the
highest out there and it’s really easy to rack up a huge bill and forget
about it. However, you will end up paying hundreds, if not thousands
in interest, which can lead to more stress, more debt and more
insecurity about your financial success. Try to limit your credit card
spending for emergency only uses.

7. Discuss mortgage rates with your bank- your mortgage and interest
rate is not set in stone. It’s a good idea to negotiate a better deal
every once and a while. See what’s out there; talk to your bank
manager; and make the most out of your options. Doing a little
research can go a long way in the end.

8. Ditch the impulsive (and compulsive) buying- buy only what you
need, not what you want. Impulse and compulsive buying can lead to
buyer’s remorse (especially when the credit card bill arrives) which
can negatively impact your self-esteem and self worth. We all love a
good shopping trip; but during these tough economical times, it’s
important to rise above the urge to shop and prove that you can do it.

9. Do the research- better deals on insurance, electricity rates and
phone plans do exist! You just need to do the research and see if you
can bag a better bargain. Because of the intense competition in our
economy, many companies are constantly lowering the prices on their
services that you need. Take advantage of this by shopping around,
comparing rates and using a quote wizard online.

10. Use Savings Accounts wisely- they don’t call them ‘savings’
accounts for nothing! Set up a savings and a spending account. What
you do with your savings account is up to you- perhaps you are
saving for a holiday; perhaps you are putting money towards the kid’s
education. Watching your savings account grow month after month,
regardless of if you are contributing $10 or $1000 is an important step
in gaining financial freedom and improving your money issues.

11. Consolidate; if you have to- consolidating your debts is a really
smart move, especially when debt is starting to consume your life and
impact negatively on your self-confidence. Debt consolidation can stop
those annoying phone calls and overdue bills. Instead you pay one
payment each month for all your different debts combined. It is much
easier to manage and you can rest easy knowing that you are getting
out of the red.

12. Concentrate on what you have and want, not what others have- this
can be a really hard thing to do, especially when your neighbour is
flaunting his brand new swimming pool and your co-worker just
received a $3000 bonus but you didn’t. Take a deep breath and push
past those jealous and frustrated feelings. Concentrate on your own
goals for the financial future and prove that you are better than those
petty feelings of resentment.

13. Swap High Interest for No Interest- one of the great things about
the competition of credit cards is that it is possible to get no interest
on bank transfers. This means you can swap your credit card debt to
another financial institution and receive their low introductory rate.
You can stand to save thousands of dollars in interest and pay off that
looming credit card debt faster. This crafty financial move can leave
you feeling proud and smart.

14. Think to the future- We all want to live for right now but it’s
important to secure your financial future by investing in your
retirement. Contributing to a 401 (k) plan or the equivalent can help
you grow up, gain responsibility and improve your general financial

15. Work hard and work smart- although everyone wants to benefit
from the get rich quick scheme, in most instances, the fastest way to
the top of your financial success if through hard work. Hard work also
helps to build character and demonstrates your ability to focus on a
job and commit to something. All of these attributes are essential to
improving your overall quality of life. Work is part of life- a big part,
so why not be the best you can at it?

16. Understand your own financial journey- when it comes to our
finances, not everyone is treated equal. While some may have to work
full time from the moment they leave school, and still are scrapping
by, others are handed a wad of cash, a house and a car from their
parents or grandparents. Wealth is not distributed equally but it’s
important to make the most of what you’ve been given. Everyone’s
financial journey is different. You need to find your own path and

follow it as best as you can.
17. Commit to your financial goals- if you want something, go for it!
This can be easier said than done, but there is nothing more
rewarding than saving up for something special and then buying it
outright. Learning to budget, save and spend wisely are all critical
steps for self-improvement.