Stay focused, keep your wealth vision in mind, work hard and be resilient, remain confident and optimistic, only compete with yourself …. we often read these motivational quotes and even repeat them to ourselves. But how do we manage to live by them on a daily basis when managing our finances?
1. Establish milestones by setting short term goals: when you have a specific goal in mind and you keep your eyes on the prize, you have greater chances of achieving all of your goals. For example, if you want to become a homeowner and build your dream house in a few years, your first goal will be to buy the land. Thus, you decide that your short term goal is to buy the land on which you’ll build your dream house in 2 years time. Setting a time frame is important in achieving your goals.
2. Transform your goal into a real project: this means that your project will have to be broken down and defined as precisely as possible.
I want to buy land —> I want to buy x acres of land in y or z neighbourhood —> I have set the budget for the land at a maximum price of p.
The question now is: how do you become a land owner in the next 2 years? First, figure out how much you can set aside each month for the next 18 months to be able to purchase the land you want. Second, open a bank account solely for this project, where you will deposit your monthly savings that will be used to purchase the land. Third, go visit potential plots that are within your budget and in the areas of your choice. Visualizing it brings you closer to your goal and keeps you motivated.
3. Avoid places and occasions where you will be tempted to get distracted from your goal: you’re about to make that 3rd monthly deposit in your account. You’re proud of your progress when you receive an sms about a blowout sale in your favorite store; or you read about the opening of a new restaurant/lounge; or your favorite artist is in concert and only VIP tickets are available; or the new lace/Vlisco collection is out …. you get the picture, your mind starts swirling and you’re hesitant about going to the bank. What do you do?
Try as much as you can to avoid temptation. Unsubscribe to store alerts, avoid shopping places and limit your outings (you don’t have to attend all events or eat out everyday). Instead, find things to do that will occupy the time you used to shop or go out (sports, volunteering, reading, arts, cooking, etc.) and start spending quality time at home with partner / siblings / parents / friends. In short, change your habits, routine and day to day itinerary to build a different lifestyle.
4. Get your loved ones to give you what you would have bought yourself: I recently read about women who made lists of potential gifts they want from their significant others for birthdays / valentine’s day or mother’s day. I never knew such things existed but since it works for some of them, you might as well give it a try. So, for all those guilty pleasures you’ve been tempted to indulge in, get loved ones (partner, friends, family, colleagues) to get them for you on special occasions. Unless you like surprises, that’s a great way to get as many people as you can to give you what you want.
5. “Reward” yourself once you’ve accomplished that short term goal: life is not only about planning and being serious. Once you’ve accomplished an important goal for your future, indulge! Let go (moderation is key) and purchase something you like and that will make you feel good. It can be treating yourself to a luxury spa, enjoying a 5 course meal, purchasing nice items for your wardrobe or travelling. Whatever pleases you (and that you can afford), go for it! Because you’re worth it.