By Charlestien Harris
Hello, my financial fitness trainees! This week, I decided it was time to help you recognize some obstacles that might hinder you from moving forward with getting your finances in order once we move past this health crisis. Whatever they are, just know that you are not alone and many people have these same issues when it comes to getting their finances in order. Below you may see some factors that you are familiar with and others that you didn’t realize were a hinderance to you achieving your financial goals.
- Denial- How many of you have seen a picture of an ostrich with its head buried in the sand? Avoiding your finances is just as ineffective as the ostrich trying to hide. Denial can give you a false sense of security and can cause you to feel like you have everything under control, when in reality you do not. Not giving your finances the attention they need can lead to bigger and more costly problems. Instead, address them as soon as possible.
- Social Circles- As humans, we often are concerned with how others view us, and don’t want to appear to have less than anyone else. This is more commonly known as “Trying to keep up with the Joneses”. Influences such as our family, friends and sometimes the environments we grew up in can affect the way we handle our personal finances. However, friends and family can be a resource or an obstacle to our financial progress. If these relationships have a negative influence on how you handle your finances, it may be time to seek guidance elsewhere.
- Fear- Most of us fear change. Making changes to an otherwise familiar routine can be paralyzing and cause us to do nothing at all. Ask yourself what you fear most about changing how you manage your finances. Is it having to deny yourself certain luxuries? Are you worried about what your friends will think? Will you not be able to help your family as much? Recognizing the fear and addressing it makes it manageable and easier to find a solution.
- Absence of targeted goals- Setting goals can be an overwhelming task if not handled correctly. The SMART goal system is what I would recommend.
Specific – short and concise.
Measurable – able to measure progress.
Achievable – can I really get this done.
Relevant – how is this action benefiting my finances.
Timeline – Give yourself a target date for completion.
- Lack of Knowledge- Not knowing what to do, where to begin or who to talk to can also hinder us from moving forward with making the necessary changes to our personal finances. A great place to start is to seek out agencies that offer services that can assist you with that process such as www.hud.gov. This website will direct you to counseling agencies within your state that can help with financial issues such as budgeting, credit, foreclosure, and many other financial topics that might be of interest. Another resource that is available: www.banksouthern.com/opportunity-center/. There you can find a number of financial resources and the material is downloadable.
Recognizing your roadblocks is an essential step to improving your financial health and wealth. I just mentioned a few to get you thinking about how you will approach handling your finances from now on. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at 662-444-0371 (cell), 662-624-5776 (work) or email me at Charlestien.firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me on Facebook. Until next week, stay financially fit!