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Your money mindset from the beginning of the year may have taken a deep dive.
It’s not too late to turn the [insert your car here] around.
Today we’re taking a look at how you can reach your money goals by redefining certain areas of your life and finances.
I’m broadening this from my prior discussion about the misconceptions between income and savings.
The reality is that your future wealth equation does not rely on your income alone.
Quite simply – income does not equal wealth.
Let’s say your take-home pay is $150,000 a year, but you spend $180,000 a year. You have a $30,000 deficit plus debt.
How about this one.
Take-home pay is $60,000 a year, but you spend $50,000 a year. You have an excess of $10,000.
Note the difference?
Just because you make more money doesn’t mean you inherently keep more of it.
Therefore, in order to keep more of your money and meet your financial goals, you have to make a decision to:
RESOLVE TO DO BOTH
Financial goals can mean something different for each person, but here are some ideas.
- Financial security
- Paying off consumer debt
- Redefine your life away from the typical 9-to-5
- Retire someday, even if it’s by 65
- Hitting $100k net worth
Whatever the end goal, if it’s attainable – you can make it happen.
Understandably, depending on where you live and your take-home pay, there may be some sacrifices.
Let’s be real.
If you live in the Midwest and you take-home $50k, it’s going to be easier than if you live in one of the major cities.
You can look at it as temporary until you succeed with the money goals you set for yourself.
Or you can work to make it a permanent state of mind.
If you were to spend a length of time focusing on more earnings, less spending, and balancing the two so you don’t give up halfway through – it can make a world of difference.
Let’s take a look at areas that you can redefine to further boost your financial goals.
Money Mindset: Conquer Your Financial Goals
Redefine Your Income Mindset
Make More Money
#1 – Work hard to get a raise.
You’ve heard it all before.
Here it is again – because you’re motivated this time, right?!
Did Sally one cube over get a promotion that had your name written all over it?
You’re tenured, show up every day, get your work done.
Sadly, most of the time promotions are not doled out first come, first serve or even for obvious reasons.
From experience, if your employer does offer raises and promotions, you’re going to have to prove you’re worthy of one.
First off, make sure your boss or “chief promotion and/or raise decider” understands your goals and can give you some areas to improve upon.
Try these proven tactics:
- Work to make their job easier.
- Be present and responsive.
- Have a can-do, overall good attitude.
- Don’t wait to be asked or trained to do something. Be proactive.
- Ask “why” more. Don’t make the mistake of saying, “I dunno, Billy told me to.“
- Get certified (if it applies).
- Be a subject matter expert and also be willing to take on more work.
Set a timeline of how long you are willing to wait for a promotion or raise and then move on if it doesn’t happen.
If you’re like my husband and your employer doesn’t offer promotions or raises…
#2 – Look for a new job.
You may be thinking about loyalty here. I get it.
But, you have to understand that no company is loyal to YOU.
The layoffs you hear about all the time in the news are REAL. They happen to real people. It happened to me.
You’re different, right? Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of the folks thought before they walked out with a cardboard box full of their belongings.
As for you, if you do some digging on Glassdoor.com, you may find a position that will likely pay more, have a better job title, or more interesting responsibilities.
Pinky swear. I’ve looked through hundreds of listings and there are some REALLY GOOD ONES OUT THERE.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes even though the pay may not translate to more money – there may be opportunities, benefits, and retirement contributions that will make an impact in your overall financial picture.
Don’t assume the “status quo”. Always look onward and upward. You owe it to yourself to make more money.
#3 – Look for a second job.
Okay, maybe you can’t leave your current job for reasons only you know.
A second job may be on the horizon.
Even if it’s working on the weekends or selling your knowledge through tutoring services – there are part-time options that are effective.
I’ve worked overnight, delivered pizzas, distributed papers, rolled burritos – all in an effort to make more money.
And yeah, it wasn’t fun.
Redefine Your Expenses Mindset
Spend Less Money
#4 – Make trade-offs that will impact your bottom line.
If you are maxing out at every corner, but still want to make strides toward a financial goal – there are going to have to be some trade-offs.
The severity of the trade-offs will vary.
What is it for you?
⇒ The daily $10 latte and breakfast sandwich habit?
⇒ Weekly $50 mani and pedi?
⇒ Monthly $200 bayalage?
⇒ Or, is it the $500 premium you are paying for housing?
Let’s take a look at the heavy hitters that may need refinement within your finances.
• Take a fresh look at your living situation.
If you rent a place or even if you own a home – do a fresh look at what a potential downsize or move across town will mean to your bank balance.
Sure, you may be rooted where you are, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
I use Trulia.com and Realtor.com to check for potential places to rent and own.
• Change your transport ideals.
Do you look at your car as a status symbol?
Try looking at it more like a mode of transport. If it can get you safely from one locale to the next – it’s done its job.
This is especially if you are currently leasing on your own dime or paying a monthly payment.
When you make payments on a depreciating asset (aka car), it takes away from building wealth – or in this case, meeting a financial goal.
• Cook or eat out…but only buy what you’ll actually eat.
It happens to the best of us. You go to the store. Buy food for 4 new recipes you want to make.
Then life happens, you get busy, lazy, crave pizza and the groceries go bad.
It may get somewhat boring, but if you cycle through simple, cost-effective dishes – it’s easy and can build on your cooking skills.
Let’s take for instance – LASAGNA. Sounds intimidating, but it’s super simple.
- spaghetti sauce x 2
- lasagna noodles (no-boil) x 1 box
- ricotta x 1 medium container
- spinach x 1 bag
- ground meat or sausage x 1 lb.
- mozzarella cheese x 1 pkg.
As long as you cook the meat first by just seasoning with salt and pepper, merely stack all the components in a baking dish, put in the oven at 350° for 45 minutes. Voila!
Food. For. The. Week.
A few days.
• Go shopping…but only buy what you’ll use.
I’m a sucker for pretty things. This is one of the reasons I suggested window shopping instead of spending for ways to save money.
Challenge yourself instead of “buy today” to “buy someday”. The trick here is that you might not want it someday!
Don’t deprive yourself of what you know you need to get through life, but see if you can eliminate those often unnecessary extras (maybe, the 2nd Target stop for the week) that can be weeded out.
Looking for more ways to save money? Check out the following articles:
Redefine Your Money Mindset
Make It Happen
#5 – Make monster goals.
When you give up something today, it’s for something to occur someday.
What is that someday for you?
Are you like me, looking to redefine your life away from the 9-to-5 and only work if you want to?
Whatever your goal is – make it monstrous.
There’s that saying that sounds rightly placed here. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
If your goal is to save $10k this year and you end up with $6k – that’s still REALLY AWESOME!
Effectively work with the goal in mind while balancing your life in the present.
Related article: Set Goals The Right Way And Succeed Every Time
#6 – Pay yourself first.
This simply means that before you spend on variable expenses (entertainment, clothing, stuff) – put money away that furthers your end goal.
Let’s say your take-home pay is $3,000/month.
Off the top, to meet your goal, you automatically deduct $1,000 and you work to live off $2,000/month.
Am I crazy? Yeah, maybe.
How about $500 off the top?
To make this work for you, adjust out your timeframe or reevaluate your income.
Related article: 10 Life-Changing Money, Health, And Relationship Habits
#7 – Someday will get here sooner than you think.
Your timeline could be a few weeks, months, or years.
Whatever the time horizon, know that in order to be content and fulfilled in the interim, it is the balance that is going to sustain the longevity of your plans.
When you put off a purchase and delay gratification if it’s hard for you – tell yourself it’s temporary.
If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey, you know his saying, “Live like no one else now so that later you can live (and give) like no one else.”
This is SO true. Build up this mentality, see the big picture, and put blinders on because you’re going to need it.
If you are serious about your goals, you have to be serious about how you are going to reach them.
Make more money | Get a promotion/raise, a new job, or a second job
Spend less money | Take care of the heavy hitters in terms of expenses – housing, transport, eating, shopping
Make it happen | Pay yourself first and make temporary sacrifices to achieve your monster goals
If you need more motivation, read these two articles pronto.
Read more about my mission HERE.
Ways to stretch your money further + manage finances:
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Ibotta – receive $10 as a welcome gift (grocery in-store shopping)
Personal Capital – free A+ way to track your financial goals
Credit Sesame – check your credit score for free
P.S. I use ALL these tools!!
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*As with all financial and investment decisions, consult a professional. Read disclaimer here.
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Readers – what monster goal are you working towards and what are you doing to get there? What are the hard-hitting decisions you have had to make to get you to your end goal? How has your money mindset changed?