Financial instability, even in your 40s, doesn’t need to be the end of the world. You still have time to turn things around and gain financial independence. If you’re ready to get a grasp on your money, here are four steps you can take.
1. Consider what has worked.
Chances are, you didn’t get where you are by doing everything wrong. Think of things that had worked for you in the past, that you maybe could have taken to the next level to get a bit more benefit from it. Maybe it was automatically moving a portion of your paycheck to savings or cooking in for your meals.
Even these small changes can be built upon to make something larger. When you recognize something that you’ve maybe tried in the past, it can feel easier to ease it into your life today. It can also feel rewarding to know that you’re getting on a better track.
2. Think of the long term.
Many of us think of the things we need to afford now instead of the things we might need to save for in the future. Retirement seems so far away, so instead we buy a new car or upgrade our TV at home. We think that we have time to save for retirement and it isn’t a problem now.
3. View savings as a requirement.
One of the biggest problems many of us have is not thinking of savings as a necessity. Instead of putting our money away like we should, we believe it isn’t as important as meeting our bills and making ends meet. While this may be true in some circumstances, we need to stop seeing our savings money as “extra.”
To force yourself to save, view your savings goals as bills for that month. If you want to save $300 to your savings account that month, charge yourself the same way you would a bill. Don’t think of as it as extra cash anymore.
4. Get excited.
When you’re thinking about planning your future, you should be excited. One way to fuel yourself to start saving is to create an image of what it will look like when you get there. Are you and your spouse going to travel during your retirement? Are you going to move somewhere warm? Are you going to stay home to be surrounded my family?
When you have an idea of the lifestyle you’re saving for, you’ll do what you can to start saving to get there. Having an image in your head gives you something to work for and grounds the goals to something real.
Finances can be a struggle, but the more you put them off, the harder they will become. If you’re in your 40s and just beginning to consider savings, getting out of debt, and becoming financially independent, you don’t want to waste any more time.
It is never too late to get started, you just need to take the first step.