Finding Financial Freedom: Stick to Small Goals to See Big Changes

The beginning of your journey to financial freedom is challenging: not only are you researching and deciding on the budgeting, investing, and savings tools that work for you in theory, but to really make it work in practice, you must also master the art of discipline. If you live paycheck to paycheck, it’s easy to assuage your anxieties about tomorrow with small, gratifying rewards today. But achieving small goals can have the same effect as indulging in small treats that, in the long run, don’t do anything for you. Here are four ways to hack your motivation right now to stay on your hustle.

Tinker with Your Budget Every Pay Period

For many, getting a handle on your monthly budget is the first step in gaining control of your finances. But what if you’ve dutifully planned your month long budget only to find that you’ve mismanaged some aspect that throws it all off for the rest of the month? This is when the mission to get organized and on task can fall apart, and it’s all too easy to shrug it off with the best intention to ‘start again next week.’ Motivation masters (and, for most of us, reality) informs us that failure is inevitable. Budgets will get off course. Our attitude towards our failures and how quickly we get back on track will determine our long term success.

You’ll feel in control of where your money is going by looking at it more often. You’ll also give yourself more opportunities to put off meaningless spending by convincing yourself you’ll get it next time. So, try working on your budget every pay period. This could start with you taking care of priorities and fixed expenditures first and then moving onto the variable costs. Suppose you have a few repairs to make for your home’s HVAC system that you’ve been putting out for a while; since that can be considered a priority, you’d want to call up professionals (like those at and set aside some money for the necessary fixes. Similarly, you might have to pay an instalment of a loan, which is a fixed expense. You’d want to cover that before you move onto other variable expenses.

Save Towards Assets

Let’s face it, it is difficult to materialize long term plans when you don’t have any investments in place. And you need to actively save to assure a comfortable retired life. While these might be disheartening realities, you should invest smartly so that you can maximise your saving capacity. Set aside money for saving and investing every chance you get to. Dive deep, learn about personal finance, and figure out the kinds of assets that align with your goals. Maintain a record where you write answers to questions like – What stocks are the best and safest to invest in for the long term? what is the top gold investment company? What companies are worth investing in? What investment can provide me with the best retirement benefits?

Understand the pros and cons of each asset that interests you, and invest in small amounts over a period of time to meet your financial goals. This is a great way to pave the road towards financial freedom and achieve a balanced sense of personal finance.

Pay Yourself First, Every Time

Maybe you like to see one account grow, or maybe you’re a multiple bucket saver. Either way, you get a hit of motivation each time you see that number grow, so be an active participant in your savings and investment plans. Yes, automatic savings plans are great, but if a hands-off approach doesn’t keep you engaged in your financial journey, start doing it manually every paycheck. After you have planned your pay period budget, put whatever you can away, thinking of it as a payment to yourself. This will remind you of what you are really working for.

Pick One Debt to Tackle at a Time

Of course you need to keep making payments on all your accounts to keep them current. If you don’t have much room beyond the minimum payments, focus on one debt to take down at a time. Experts suggest two ways: either pay off the debt with the highest interest rate or the smallest debt. Pick one debt and focus on that until you’ve crushed it and can move on. Just like looking at the small progress you’re making with your budget and your savings by taking on a short-term strategy, your motivation will stay elevated because you are seeing the changes every two or four weeks.