The New Year often brings with it a desire to right the wrongs in your life. From this desire springs the tradition of New Year resolutions. You should take advantage of this to change your financial situation.
There is a good chance by the time many of you read this, you will have already made and BROKEN your financial resolutions. Those of you who have not already done so, know they are hard to keep. You can change that. Anytime is a good time to make financial resolutions.
Since you are thinking about this, you must suspect a problem. The first step is defining the problem. Define it specifically. “I spend too much money", is not good enough. You spend too much money on what? Why do you spend too much money? It is not often you are speaking of life's necessities here. You need to specifically target your problem areas.
The best way to identify problem areas in your spending, is to pull out your check registers and credit card statements for the past twelve months. Write down all checks and charges for items other than necessities. This spending will be your gold to mine.
After making this list, add up the total amount of these expenses. This will be a very revealing exercise. For some the total will be staggering, especially when done for a twelve month period.
Pay close attention to checks and charges for restaurants and fast food chains. Look at the amount and frequency of payments to convenience stores. Examine closely the spending on your home and your closet.
Using this information you become aware of your weaknesses and where they occur. You are now better equipped to overcome them. You need to make conscious decisions to stay away from the places where you overspend. If you don't go there you won't be tempted to waste your resources and place your financial life in peril.
Now, armed with these bits of information you can boldly and successfully make resolutions. Remember, changing your behavior is how you will keep these resolutions. If you fail, and you will, just climb right back on the resolution wagon. Dogged repetition will help you succeed. Check how you are doing on a monthly basis. Make any adjustments needed.
Putting your financial house in order and becoming debt free is a process before it is an event.
(C) David Wilding
David Wilding has for the past ten years worked with groups and individuals to rid their lives of debt. Visit his website http://www.debtattack.com for more ideas, tools, and strategies to become debt free.