Persistence is defined as the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people. Persistence has ruined many people’s financial goal plan because when the going gets tough, only the tough get going.
Most people give up or don’t stay the course when setbacks occur. It’s interesting how we want to be more well off (better lifestyle, healthier, be more educated, get the right job) but we aren’t willing to put in the work to get there. I am just as guilty as the rest of them. When I was in high school, I was all about architecture and studied mechanical drafting for three of my four high school years. However, once I found out about the enormous amount of schooling required to complete a college degree, I turned away from it.
However, another area of my life, my wife and I have been very persistent. With finances, we’ve done a monthly budget since August 2011. Each and every month we create a new sheet to plan out our monthly income and how we are going to spend it. In fact, we’ve been so persistent in our family’s financial goal plan that we’ve managed to increase our net worth 500% since we started.
I don’t say this to brag. I’m not trying to gloat.
I’m just saying that when you focus your efforts into something and stay persistent in your activity towards it, you can do amazing things! I want to give you five ways that you can become more persistent in your financial goal plan through creating a monthly budget and tracking your finances.
1. Make Time To Work On Your Financial Goal Plan
This one is huge. We do it all the time. When we run into friends in a public place, we always say “yeah, we should get together some time soon.” We have the best intentions of wanting to get together. We aren’t intentionally blowing the other person off, at least I’d hope not. However, unless we actually get our calendars out and set a date on our calendars, the ever elusive term “some time soon” will escape us and will never become a reality. You have to be intentional with your time or it will just slip away.
The same goes with your financial goal plan. Go ahead. Get your calendar out now, go ahead and block off some time.
Ok, now that you’ve set aside at least a half hour every two weeks to work on your financial goal plan we can get to the next step.
2. Get An Accountability Partner
Finding an accountability partner to help you become more persistent with your financial goal plan makes it that much more real. When you tell someone else or write it on paper for others to see you are making a statement and being transparent. You are allowing yourself to be held responsible towards this action you are taking. Find someone you can trust to tell you the truth but still be loving.
For you married people out there, you have an accountability partner already, your spouse. When we start to hold each other accountable for our actions, we open up communication and will strengthen each other. Single people have it a little tougher as you will have to find a good friend or family member to help you out.
3. Define Your Why of Your Financial Goal Plan
Having a goal is one thing, sticking with it is another. Being persistent is going to test you from time to time. Not only knowing “what” you will do but “why” you are doing it can take your further in your journey. When we were in the long slog of paying off our debts, we had some months when it was very tempting to fall off the plan and just go blow the money on fun and entertainment. But our “why” kept us going. We knew that we wanted to be free from our debt and the fastest way to do that was to sacrifice and work hard to get where we wanted to be.
Take a minute and define why you want to improve your financial goal plan. Is it because money is tight? Is it because you can’t see a future that you are happy with? Are you sick of living paycheck to paycheck and not having enough money at the end of the month?
4. Set a Financial Goal Plan With Actionable Steps To Get There
After finding your why, focus on the goal and then setup a plan to get there. Do you want to be debt free in 36 months? Map out a plan on how you’ll do that. Do you want to save up to go on that dream vacation in a year or two? Start a sinking fund and start transferring the monthly amount you need to save each month to make it happen. It doesn’t matter what goal you set, you have to make a plan that you can accomplish to get there. Than you have to be persistent enough to follow through on it.
5. Be Persistent In Tracking Progress of Your Financial Goal Plan
After you have finished all the other steps, the last thing to do is to track your progress to stay on track. Set up motivational reminders to keep you on track to meet your goal and when you hit milestones, celebrate with little victories. As we were paying off our debt, we actually kept a running tally of our average monthly payment on our debt and tried to beat it each month. This helped fuel us, especially in the later stages, to be persistent in our debt freedom journey.
It took my wife and I almost two years to pay off our debt of over $27,000. During that time we had a baby, had to purchase a second vehicle, took vacations, I went back to school among other things. We could’ve given up during any of these setbacks, but we didn’t. We persisted through them all because our dream of debt freedom was larger than our setback at the time.
What things are you working on right now that requires your persistence?
This article originally appeared on Get ConnectDad and is republished here with the permission of the author.
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