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Do you have a personal mission statement? How about a financial mission statement?
I have neither of these. I do know, somewhat vaguely, what my life’s journey is supposedly all about. But my financial destination is not clearly defined.
Theoretically my life is a journey to my debt free future, hopefully comfortable and financially secure retirement, and lots and lots of travel. However, this destination does not necessarily give me a sense of order, structure and organization. I am not even sure I am heading into the right direction.
I never had a conversation with myself as to what I want out of my financial life. I think I finally explained it to myself in the previous paragraph what my ultimate financial mission should be all about.
It sounds really good but I have no clue (yet) as how I am planning to get there because I never thought about:
- My long-term financial objectives. I am a short-term goals achiever, and maybe I need to start thinking in a little bit longer terms.
- Any important dates in my financial life. I want to be debt free but I never said to myself that I want to be debt free by a certain date. There is a need to set some dates.
- Any financial storms that might come my way. No one can escape those no matter how hard they try. The difference is that some will face them fully prepared. Some of us, will face them lost, confused and unsuspecting. I am afraid that I represent the latter group.
Defining a destination is only half way done. But besides thinking (and dreaming) about what I want, I also need to define to myself how I am going to reach my destination. Just because one day I decide to exchange my reliable used Ford to something newer, brighter and smaller (pink Fiat!), it doesn’t mean that I am moving forward to my financial destination.
Debt produces an absolute sense of urgency and creates anxiety.
My Fight Plan
Step 1 – Keep my spending weakness under control.
I started my journey to become debt free a while ago. In fact, the first and the most important step was admitting on this blog that I have a spending and shopping problem. These problems put me in debt. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will ever get rid of these bad habits because I still do miss buying stuff and spending.
February was an especially tough month as I struggled to suppress all of my spending urges.
Step 2 – Stay disciplined and persistent about paying off debt.
This is self-explanatory and easy to do if you have discipline, determination and a huge desire to break free from underneath the cold and unkind hold that debt has on us.
Step 3 – Do not accumulate any more debt. Pay cash for everything.
This world is very materialistic and full of temptations. I see them, I sense them, and I am damned because I love them.
I am weak when it comes to stuff. I am also really weak when it comes to travel.
February is a good example. My blog made some money and what did I do? No, I did not shop. I talked Beaker into taking a small trip over the President’s Day weekend. We paid cash for the trip. That is a good thing, right?