Balancing the checkbook, you look ahead at the new month with great anticipation. Low and behold, you realize this month won’t be much better than the last. Hope begins to shrivel inside you and discouragement quickly takes its place.
You stare debt down wishing it would just disappear. You live modestly, you don’t eat out, vacations are few and far between, and every month feels like a no spend month! You don’t need to jump on the ‘no spend month’ bandwagon because you’ve been there for years.
What you need is Financial HOPE!
Hope is to believe, desire, and trust with reasonable confidence.
Without hope, it’s easy to become discouraged and GIVE UP.
Let me just say, DON’T GIVE UP HOPE! Not yet. You can do this! You got it! Dig deep and believe with confidence that your finances will work out.
1) Realize It’s A New Day!
Each day is a fresh start and a chance to start again. You got off track. Today is the day to jump back on!
What do they say? The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is NOW!
2) Set Goals
No matter how small, when we achieve a goal, confidence rises and hope returns.
Seventeen months ago, we decided to save $100 a month in an emergency fund. At that rate, it seemed as though it would take FOREVER to save a substantial amount. Guess how much we have this month? You got it, $1700!
What goal can you set?
3) Challenge Yourself
- Call three companies this week and ask for a lower rate.
- Live within your means. In other words, don’t spend more than you make. That’s a great challenge, right there!
- Set a certain dollar amount for all monthly expendables and stick to it.
For us, expendables are anything we can pay cash for, throughout the month. This includes groceries, dog haircuts, co-pays, hardware store purchases … you get the idea! We give ourselves a pre-determined amount and make a game of working within that amount.
Challenge yourself and be victorious!
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4) Count Your Blessings
It’s nothing short of amazing when you take a look around you and realize just how blessed you are!
Lists are a favorite of mine! Somehow, just making a list of things that need to be done, bought, or planned for is an awesome release. It’s fun to look back later to see how much you’ve accomplished off that list that you didn’t even realize. There will also be things on that list that are no longer important and you won’t believe you wanted it in the first place.
Blessings come in many different shapes from the tangible to mental, spiritual, and physical. Take a look around right now and count three blessings in your life. Mine are awesome kids who love God, a cozy, comfortable home, and a husband who dotes over us all!
Now, take a look at your want list. What wants have you gotten, or don’t care about anymore, and can cross off? For me, it’s a beautiful garden area, a nice computer, and a Berkey! When you realize you are actually making progress, that list becomes full of hope!
Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.
Look at what you’ve accomplished!
5) Give Yourself A Pep Talk
We all need a pep talk now and again and who knows you better than yourself?
So, you’ve paid the bills for the month and it’s scary. A nightmare, really. Take a good look at where you are right now and then look ahead to the light at the end of the tunnel. Next, make a list and number it 1 – 10. Next to number one, write what you are feeling right now. Next to number ten, write where you want to be. Now, fill in numbers 2 – 9 with steps to get there.
It could look something like this:
- We will never be out of debt.
- Smile every day!
- Take time to laugh.
- Make my coffee at home.
- Brown bag my lunch.
- Make the best of what I have.
- Look for money making opportunities.
- Watch movies on Netflix.
- Stay away from the mall.
- Be debt free!
I will rock my finances because ___________________________.
Now give yourself a high five!
6) Do The Best You Can With What You Have Right Now
You can make it work!
The floors need to be replaced, the green countertops are ready for an upgrade, the dryer dries oh so slow, and that dishwasher, oh my goodness, every wheel has fallen off the bottom tray. Good Gravy, Miss Mavy! Sometimes you think the house is falling apart!
You know what? You can make sure that old carpet is clean, you can shine those green countertops, be patient with the dryer, and lift that bottom dishwasher tray out, and get a work out doing it, too! You can make this work!
Delay gratification and make it work! (Of course, there are instances which are just plain emergencies that can’t wait. If the structure of your home is compromised, action needs to happen. I’m looking at you, mossy roof!)
7) Look For Ways To Have Fun For Less
On one hand, you feel like you can’t have fun if you don’t spend money. On the other hand, you realize there are plenty of ways to have fun without spending a dime.
The definition of fun is different to everyone. While I might enjoy gardening, my teenagers would never list gardening as a fun activity. As a matter of fact, their idea of fun is probably all about the money. That’s where it’s our job to reel them in and show them frugal fun! It’s a quality that will serve them well in their futures!
You CAN have fun!
8) Do Something For Someone Else And Keep On Giving
It’s amazing how doing for others can give you a whole new perspective.
There was a student at my husband’s school who participated in track, wearing shoes that were held together with duct tape. We decided to buy the student shoes but not just a cheap pair to get him by, we purchased nice, name brand shoes that the student could be proud of. This incident put a bug in my husband’s heart to do more. He began a shoe closet and invited co-workers and friends to donate their used tennis shoes, still in good condition. He knows all too well what it’s like to wear shoes that need to be taped, as he has worn them himself, in his younger years.
What can you do for someone else?
9) Have An Attitude Of Gratitude
Gratitude and hope go hand in hand. Can you be discouraged and grateful at the same time?
An attitude of gratitude shifts your mindset. Instead of waiting for life to change, change your attitude! When you have an attitude of gratitude you no longer are whining and complaining but, instead, looking for solutions. Your attitude will become contagious and you will attract others with the same positive outlook on life!
BE THE CHANGE!
10) Keep Moving Forward
One step at a time. Yield to God’s creative work in you. Don’t resist it or try to speed it up. Let Him set the pace. Hold His hand and the way before you will open up, step by step!
You gotta believe it.
You gotta want it.
You gotta trust you can do it!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Print off your very own 10 Ways To Gain Financial Hope worksheet and work through building Financial Hope!