Live Life On Your Own Terms - 2016 And Beyond

As 2015 comes to a close, now is the time to pursue all those things you've been putting off. It is the time to take along hard look at your finances and make the commitment to change. 

Your goals in 2016 should be to strive to live a more healthier and happier life. 

I Will Learn About Money

I can not stress this enough. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to financial matters. Many women have found themselves in trouble because they carried this notion that money management is complex. So many are still paying for their ignorance and mistakes. But managing our finances is not that hard. It is like any other skill you can learn. If you tell yourself you’re simply not good at it, you’re less likely to pursue the knowledge. So stop doing that. Give yourself a fighting chance to learn about your money instead of admitting defeat before you even start. You don't need to turn into a financial whiz overnight. But you can start by taking the time to educate yourself on the basics and learn to manage your money smarter. So take some time to build your financial knowledge. Read and attend seminars that offer sound advice and build your knowledge. 

I Will Follow My Financial Goals 

Want to be free from debt and be financially stable? Then have financial goals, prioritise them, take action to achieve them, and review and revise them periodically as you develop spending plans (budgets) for the months ahead. Choose goals you can get excited about because that will make you more determined to reach them. If you have trouble sorting your goals out, try classifying them as either wants or needs. Go a step further and add long-term or short-term to the description. If you know what you want to achieve and keep paying attention to your goals, you'll be more likely to achieve success.  This is an ongoing process; that takes time and energy and above all, a commitment to face the challenges head on to make the necessary changes to gain financial freedom. 

I Will Take Responsibility For My Finances

Personal finance means taking responsibility for your finances. Financial responsibility brings freedom. Stop making excuses about why you are not handling your own finances. Stop blaming the president, your ex or your business partners or parents for your financial situation. Your circumstances might not be entirely your fault, but they are your responsibility. When you blame others, you give up your power to change. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Start where you are today with what you have, own up to your mistakes and move forward. 

I Will Live Within My Means
As women, we love to shop, but sometimes that consumerism leads to debt and monthly financial struggles that we can't handle. This is an easy and common pattern to fall into, and one that requires some planning and discipline to reverse. Living within your means is defined as "to live within the amounts you have or know with certainty you are going to get". 
Living beyond your means also involves setting very specific goals, because goals influence how you set up your budget. The budget then dictates spending and saving activities.

I Will Find Ways To Make Money Work For Me

Cutting costs is easier than making more money. Anyone can cut costs because doing so generally requires reduced effort in the long run. But boosting income? I don’t know any way to do that without working — and usually that means working hard. There are no magic bullets to fix your financial struggles! It takes time and effort. If you’re unwilling to put in that time and effort, you’ll stay where you are. 

I Will Not Compare Myself 

This is so easy to do, especially when you’re feeling uncomfortable about your own money. Comparing your finances to anyone will ensure you never create wealth. The problem with comparing is that: If someone else has a huge net worth it may seem intimidating, like you’ll never get where they are. If you’re ahead of most other people you might have a tendency to slack off financially. Another person’s finances, good or bad, will not pay your bills, won’t fund your retirement and will not provide you peace of mind. Stop comparing your finances to someone else’s.

I Will Maximise My Career

To stay ahead of the cost of living, you have to be alert for opportunities to make your money grow. For many women, the day job is actually the best place to explore increased earning opportunities.  There is only so much you can cut out of your life before you start feeling deprived. Increasing your income is probably the smarter way to save more.  The simplest and most gratifying way is to make more at your current job by getting a raise. If that’s not in the cards and you routinely find yourself struggling to make ends meet, it’s time to look for a better-paying job Remember, if you don’t take responsibility for earning more money, nobody’s going to do it for you. You have no right to complain about being underpaid if you’re not at least looking for better alternatives.

I Will Exercise An Attitude of Gratitude

When creating our financial life plan we need to include our values and dreams to create a set of goals that can feed our spirit as well as fill our basic needs. The next time you want to indulge in some retail therapy, make a list of ten things you're grateful for first. Switching your focus from what you don't have to what you do puts finances in their proper perspective. Accumulating stuff cannot bring long-term happiness, but feeling like a slave to your money will certainly bring long-term misery.

Following principles like these in caring for yourself and what you have, and applying the measures here, will help you attain the objective of living within your means.  Decide that in 2016 and beyond, you are going to live on your own terms - financially, mentally and physically.