Don't Be Afraid to Celebrate Your Financial Progress
Sometimes saving, planning and being purposeful with your money can feel like a chore. I get it! That's why I think it's important to reward yourself for your efforts! Take time to celebrate your progress and the hard stuff (saving your cash instead of spending it) starts to become even more rewarding.
Let's face it; a lot of financial goals can take a long time to achieve. One mistake I see people make is not giving themselves enough credit when credit is due. So here is a quick idea on how to make the journey a little more enjoyable.
Step 1: Identify milestones for your financial goals
This is process of breaking down one of your big picture goals into manageable pieces that you know you’ll be able to accomplish over a shorter time period. Let’s go through a couple of examples.
- Let’s say one of your financial goals is to build up your emergency savings to have 3 months of expenses. You have been diligently savings for 4 months and you’ve been able to accumulate 1 month of expenses in your emergency fund. Awesome! Let’s celebrate. You’ve accomplished 1/3 of your goal. This is a manageable milestone.
- Maybe one of your goals is to eliminate all of your credit card debt that is spread over 4 different credit cards. You’ve been working really hard and have stayed on track and over the last 3 months you’ve paid off one of the cards. Awesome! Time to celebrate!
- Or another goal could be that you want to get to a point where you’re making the maximum contribution to your employer’s 401k. You just increased your contribution by 5%. Awesome! You’re making strides towards achieving your goal. Reward yourself!
Step 2: Outline how you’re going to celebrate your success
This is important. You don’t want to undo all of your hard work by going out and blowing a bunch of money. Make a list of some things that make you happy. The idea is to make it simple but enjoyable. If you can’t come up with a specific “thing” that you’ll reward yourself with come up with a set dollar amount. Maybe your reward is that new pair of shoes or maybe your celebration is giving yourself the freedom to spend $100 on whatever you feel like.
Step 3: Get back to business
Once you’ve celebrated your success get right back to your financial plan. The reward should make you feel good about what you’re doing, and if you’re anything like me, it will light a fire in you to want to continue to do better. Instead of dragging yourself (or significant other) kicking and screaming through the process of creating financial success you’ll actually find yourself enjoying the journey and striving for continued improvement.
I’d love to hear ideas on how you plan to celebrate your financial progress!