Welcome to the third week of the Master Your Money Bootcamp on deciding what you want. This week, we’re problem solving.
Exercise 3: Identify what’s standing in your way
You have your financial goals listed and prioritized, so now it’s time to figure out what’s holding you back from achieving them tomorrow, next year, or in 20 years.
When things are going badly, financially or otherwise, we often point the blame at outside factors. To some degree, that’s fair. Layoffs, health crises, recessions, and systemic issues like the racial wealth gap and gender pay gap are beyond our control. But there are several things within our control that we tend to overlook when evaluating our ability to afford something.
Paying off high-interest debt, reconfiguring your budget, improving bad credit, or increasing your income is totally up to you, and it can lay the groundwork for achieving your biggest dreams.
The goal for this week: To identify the financial barriers within your control and evaluate the options for overcoming them.
1. You need to save or invest money to achieve most financial goals. What do you think is holding you back right now?
Here are some common examples:
- I want to save for a vacation, but I have too much debt
- I want to save for retirement, but I don’t earn enough
- I want to save for an emergency fund, but my expenses are too high
2. Next, consider your options. What specifically could reduce or eliminate each of your obstacles?
Here’s what that looks like for each obstacle:
- Too much debt
- Pick a payoff strategy
- Apply for a balance transfer card
- Take out a personal loan
- Refinance student loans
- Not enough income
- Turn a hobby into a side hustle
- Sell things you don’t need on eBay or Craigslist
- Ask for a raise
- Look for a higher paying job
- Too-high expenses
- Negotiate bills
- Track your spending
- Cut any unnecessary costs (subscriptions, dining out, shopping)
- Exercise 1: Dream big
- Exercise 2: Choose what comes first
- Exercise 3: Identify what’s standing in your way
- Exercise 4: Figure out your price tag and timeline
- Virtual Live Event: Homeownership
3. Pick a solution, or multiple, and get going.
The initial work that goes into creating this plan is important, but your priorities may shift and other obstacles will likely arise. Don’t beat yourself up if circumstances changes. This framework for identifying which challenges are within your control and evaluating the options you have at your disposal is one you can apply repeatedly.
As a reminder, here’s what you’ll accomplish in this month’s Bootcamp (we’ll link to each exercise as it goes live):
Master Your Money Bootcamp: Decide what you want
For each exercise, you’ll get a detailed explanation of how to complete it and why it’s important. Use the hashtags #MasterYourMoney and #MasterYourMoneyBootcamp to share your thoughts, progress, and connect with others across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram as you make your way through each exercise, then join us for the live events.
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