Navigating Financial Distress: 4 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

It’s no secret that many of US have been going through some tough financial times lately. Consumer debt is at its highest in history. I have had my share of troubles and I am happy to say I am now “above water” and making forward progress.

In this post, I share what I learned about the right mentality to defeat my struggles!

4 Hard Lessons

Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

Ok so I love coffee and this stock photo was hilarious, but those aren’t the lessons!

1. Chasing a Purpose or Specific Objective
One thing that makes all of these steps easier is having and following a purpose. Setting targets to get things done is good, but setting a target so you can get something you really want badly is the best. Doing a job that fits along with your purpose makes the road a lot more fun.

It can be big or small. It can be based on self-interest or to help others (which makes it even better). It could be a better life, more time, or extra for your things for your family. But whenever it is, striving towards specifically-worded goals helps. Long-term and especially short-term.

2. Changing Your Mind
If you are in distress, you need to spend less or make more.

But this isn’t about tactics. Either of these can be very hard, but the good news is you could your main barrier. Whether you have a spending addiction or believe you can’t make more, it’s up to you to change your mind and to put in the extra work to change it.

Money is energy, nothing more nothing less. And you are a creator of energy. So, don’t treat money like some higher power. You can be the higher power. If you treat it like that, you are on your way.

Photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash

The next toughest pill to swallow is that it is up to you. No matter how bad your situation is, and no matter how may have been mistreated by others, you hold the key to your today and tomorrow. You can either decide to let the barriers win or win. Some wins are easy, some are extremely hard.

Hungry immigrants have become billionaires, homeless have become millionaires and members of marginalized minorities have changed their lives and become very successful. I am friends with a paraplegic and a blind man, each of whom has made six figures while disabled.

If you can read this, winning is not impossible.

Photo by Andrew George on Unsplash

3. Tricking Yourself into Paying Off Your Debt Faster
If you have overdue loans or a lot of credit card or other debt, you have to pay them. How do you get out of this trap long-term? Trick yourself into paying it down faster. If you minimum payment is $100, set up an auto-payment for $200.

In your budget, this is now the amount you have to make, and you will gradually pay it down.

4. Tricking Yourself into Saving/Investing Money
Once you have paid off your debt, the next step is to save and invest. It is generally recommended that you have a 3–6 months rent and living expenses in an emergency fund before you invest.

Do not just try to “save” money. This often fails because we usually spend all the money we think we “have” for things we want. Trick yourself into “spending” 10% or more of your income into savings. The best way to do this and by listing it as a bill in your budget, and setting up automatic transfers.

$200 into an emergency fund or investment account turns into a bill to to that account.

Keep doing this and you eventually forget that you made it up. Do it long enough and you have built yourself some wealth.

I hope you learn from my troubles and eventually find yourself debt-free and wealthy!

The big wins come from many small ones over time.

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