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Monthly Archives

February 2011

Conquering debt with a mindset change

By | Advice from Julie Murphy Casserly, Blog | No Comments

Whether it be student loans, a mortgage, that car note or plain old credit cards, the majority of Americans are in some sort of debt. And most of us have some sort of shame associated with it. A lot of us blame our debt on not being able to do the things we want in life. But it’s really the shame that holds us back from our true life purpose.

A few weeks ago, I talked about attracting wealth. If you set the intention to create a better life and take significant steps towards it, you will attract positive people with the same goals. This principle works the other way as well. If you think of your debt as insurmountable and you tell yourself you’ll never be able to get it under control, you put yourself in a negative place. When it comes to debt, your motivation needs to come from a positive place in order to make major changes.

Letting fear dictate our actions

There’s two ways to conquer debt: the positive way or the negative way. When you come at debt from a negative perspective, you don’t get very far. Negative self talk leads to lackluster efforts and failed attempts at making long-term changes. Eventually, you fall of the wagon completely. And then you feel worse than before.

After the recession really hit home, people acted out of fear. Seeing our friends or family lose their jobs was a terrifying wake-up call, and we anxiously reacted. We started saving money out of fear of losing our jobs; a recession means we have to cut back on anything fun. And we stopped going after the things we wanted in life because we were discouraged by the economy; and we told ourselves that our dreams could wait, right? It’s difficult to look at what you can do with what you have when you’re focused on what you can’t.

Letting of fear and truly conquering debt

When you come at conquering debt from a positive perspective, you net totally different results. Instead of being fearful of what might happen, be excited about what will happen. When you’re putting away money in savings, think about positive things that money is going to do for you.

Come from the same place when paying down your debt. Allow yourself to be happy when you put money on a big bill; celebrate the fact that you’re closer to your goal. Thinking positive about the changes you’re making in your financial life make the process easier. And always keep your end goal in mind. All those inches you take towards your dream are significant habitual changes, and you should be proud.

Tags: conquer debt, get out of debt, emotion behind debt, emotion behind money, personal finance, money advice, Julie Murphy casserly, money, debt, psychology of money

Achieving goals: Remembering the big picture

By | Advice from Julie Murphy Casserly, Blog | No Comments

When you’ve initially set this big goal, you feel a lot of excitement.  We make huge strides towards achieving what we set out for; and we justifiably feel a ton of pride for what we accomplish. Sometimes, though, when we’re on our path towards our ideal lives, we lose sight of the ultimate goal and get lost in the everyday hurdles.

So this week, I wanted to give you some tips on remembering the big picture when going after your big goals. Stop sabotaging your progress when it gets hard, and don’t allow falling off track to be an option.

Document your progress

When people are losing weight, they do a lot of things to keep track of their progress; weighing themselves every week, measuring themselves, or taking weekly pictures are all popular options. So why not do the same thing with your money goals?

When money is automatically transferred into your dream savings account (you have automated your savings, right?), have a spreadsheet set up. Update it with the day and amount you deposited into your dream account, and then keep a tally of the total. Seeing not only your total amount in savings, but also how many times you’ve invested funds into it is a rejuvenating thing.

Set up reminders

In the beginning, you may not know what will trigger the weaker moments. But once you figure it out, have a reminder system in place. If the clothing store right next to your favorite lunch spot makes you want to spend, spend and spend some more, set up a push notification on your phone for every day at lunchtime that just says “Dream Loft” or “Full-time Freelancer.” Seeing your ultimate goal is motivating, and you’ll be less inclined to spend excessively.

Have an accountability crew

Nobody can set you straight like your peers; and I’m not talking about the people you do drinks and go shopping with. I’ve talked before about surrounding yourself with people who doing the things that you want to be doing. Be sure to tell them your goal of being debt free (or paying for a new car in cash) by the end of the year. And then have them check in on you every so often to make sure you’re making progress. If they have a big goal they’re working on (maybe a seven figure retirement portfolio), you can bounce ideas off of each other and keep each other accountable.

Next time you feel the urge to abandon your big dreams, take a moment to consider the big picture. Whether it is through post-it notes on your desk at work or setting up an account at a different bank, remember your goals and be ready to counter the weakness with strength. Continue to encourage yourself and be proud of what you’ve already accomplished.

Tags: goals, dreams, ideal life, money, money management, personal finance, achieving goals, achievement, Julie Murphy casserly, emotion behind money, Chicago finance, Chicago personal finance, Chicago money