So you have laid out your financial plan, whether it involves chipping away at debt, save a large sum of money for a down payment, or pursuing another substantial financial milestone.
Unfortunately, given the enormity of your plan, some big sacrifices are needed. Truth be told, this isn’t a walk in the park. You are talking skipping vacations for a year or two, downgrading your car, giving up on or reducing some of your daily pleasures – $5 lattes – and more.
This is not easy! We want to get to our goals, but are not ready to make these big sacrifices. And frankly, no matter how important your goal is, it doesn’t seem worthwhile that far in the future when you have to give up so much in the immediate term.
Go Gradual and Build Momentum
I have been there and it is not easy. First off, the very act of giving this process a start date is a bit depressing, albeit psychologically rewarding. For example, you have just had a great Christmas holiday season, partying with friends, feasting with families, and just having the best and most wonderful time of your life and the year. You then have to suddenly go cold turkey on January 1st and deprive yourself of half of the things you were enjoying just a few days ago. That is not only cruel, it is borderline inhumane. Not to mention, our brains will likely rebel as the task seems too steep to climb.
There is an easy solution to this: rather than going the nuclear option, take easy steps and build momentum gradually. For example, instead of deciding to completely eliminate any vacations, decide to tone it down. If you spend $10K a year on family vacations each year, pledge to spend half of that rather than cutting it completely. And then by next year, cut another thousand and so on. Do the same with other big expenses that you have. If you love your expensive Starbucks coffee run and tend to do it multiple times a day, then try to eliminate one of these trips a day as a start. Even that one trip will save you hundreds in a year.
By implementing these gradual shifts, you’re setting the stage for a sustainable transformation. Each small change builds upon the last, and before you know it, you’re ascending your financial mountain with newfound confidence. The road may be long, but remember: it’s not about denying yourself entirely, but rather navigating smarter and more deliberately toward your financial peak.