financial wellnessOriginally posted on moneyning.com 

For some of us, 2013 is coming to a close faster than we want it to. (Just like last year?) You haven’t paid off your Visa like you planned, and your Mastercard limit had to be raised.

But, It’s not your fault your son broke his arm and blasted your plans….  That’s what we call life. Sometimes life does not give us a break. You worked hard and did your best with what you had, right? It happens to all of us and it’s how you handle it that counts.

Lay the foundation, Then Take the Steps

When pitfalls occur, you have a choice: 1) sacrifice and be smart or 2) keep playing the game the way you’ve been playing.

Choice #1 is going to get you out of the hole in 2014, while choice #2 promises to keep you where you are — if not sink you deeper into debt. Which option sound better to you?

Following tips on our previous posts like How to Save on Gas, and Tips for Tough Times-Grocery Shopping won’t make you rich, but  making a habit of following these tips can help you step into better spending habits this new year.

You won’t be necessarily able to claw your way to Financial Freedom in a year, but you have to start somewhere. There is no better place to start than the beginning.

Establish Your Plan

Set financial goals for 2014. What are a few manageable goals you can focus on first?  How much do you need to earn each month to make a difference in your life? What steps are required to get to these places?

There are loads of ways to break free from financial stagnation. Review the past year and see where you struggled with the most, try revising those goals or setting new ones.

Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

Educate yourself Maybe it’s time to go back to school. Maybe you can do something a little simpler like learning about stocks and investing. What if you learned more about your industry making yourself more valuable in your position at work?

Earn some side-incomeWhat about taking on a renter, or investing in real estate? Take on a part-time job you enjoy? Maybe its time to start the business you’ve been talking about.

Don’t forget to write these goals down on paper and keep them visible. Include your spouse and children in on the goals you have set for yourself, they can help motivate you to stick to the vision.

Break Your Goals Into Monthly Steps

Now that you’ve got your goals, lay out what you need to do each month to make them a reality. How many gigs do you need each month to earn a living? How much do you need to save monthly to start up a business in the future?

Jot them down on the calendar to keep you on track. Plans and budgets are amazing for financial stability but they don’t help if you can’t follow through. Make, review, and execute your plans religiously, only by doing that will you stay focused. Like any healthy lifestyle change, you have good days and bad. The important thing is that you keep your goals in sight and don’t give up. If you get off track… tomorrow is a new day.