Better Budgeting: 6 Ways - Continued

6 Ways - Continued

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Keep a Success Journal 

Keep a daily journal and write down every success you can think of that day. Record things you did or experienced that were positive. When you appreciate the simple things that occur in your life, they begin to happen more frequently.

Here are some examples. You took your lunch to work instead of buying. You didn’t take the car out today and saved on gasoline. You sold some items on Ebay or at a garage sale and added your profits to your savings. You received a raise or bonus at work and put the money into savings. You saved $20 using double coupons at the grocery store. You organized your closet and discovered that you have plenty of clothes to last you through the year.

If you start to keep a success journal you will identify so many things that you may have never thought of before as accomplishments. Remember, little things add up, as well as big things!

Visualize Having Successfully Accomplished Your Goals

The power of visualization has been a method practiced by many successful people in our history and remains an untapped resource by most of us. Visualize what it is you are going to accomplish and replay the tape of this movie each morning when you awake and each night before you go to sleep. Make those "wishes" and "dreams" become a reality in your life.

Put visual pictures and reminders where you see them constantly. For our example, return to the goal of saving $10,000 toward a down payment on a home. Find a picture or a photo of a home similar to the one you want to eventually buy. Make a $10,000 bill on your computer. Post the pictures and the $10,000 bill in places you visit often (the bathroom, the closet, the refrigerator, etc.) Determine ways you can and will raise and/or save the money this year. Visualize yourself looking at the investment statement a year from now with a total of $10,000.

The process of visualization has been proven to work over and over again. Studies have been conducted with basketball teams and other sports, using the power of visualization. In one study, a group of basketball players practiced their sport in one of three ways. Some physically practiced daily, others did nothing in the way of practice, and the remaining individuals practiced playing the game from beginning to end in their minds, visualizing every move of the game and the winning outcome. Both the players that physically practiced and those who visualized playing and winning did equally well in outcomes on the court. Those who did nothing... well, I bet you can guess the outcome.

Do this exercise, faithfully, each morning before you start the day and every night before you go to sleep.

Reward Your Milestones and Accomplishments 

This fits in with the idea of having fun along the road to your financial success. I am a strong believer in rewarding and celebrating your successes. My husband and I have rewarded ourselves with "profit sharing" over the years. If we have met our financial goals for the year, including planned savings, and lived below our means, we take the surplus money and divide it into thirds – he gets one third, I get a third, and a third goes into a ‘recreation fund’ for the following year.

This process has worked wonders. Every time we are faced with a decision to spend money on an unplanned item, my husband asks himself if he is willing to pay one-third of his profits for it! Create rewards to fit your family’s interests and needs, and let the family participate in developing them.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to motivate yourself, but I hope it will help you get started in accomplishing what you want in your life. You can achieve your financial goals and make this a fun and rewarding year. Begin your journey by making a list of all the blessings and accomplishments you experienced last year and make this a great year!

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Copyright © 2001 by Karen Kuebler. All rights reserved.

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