finance

'I help people get good with money. Here are 3 steps for a financially successful 2022.'

"This is it. This is the year I’m going to change my life!"

Ahh yes. That optimistic feeling we have on January 1st. 

The past year is over. The year ahead is full of possibilities. 

Yes, many people give up on their goals before January is even over. But not everyone. 

There are people who make huge changes in a single year and come December 31, they look back feeling proud. I know because I see a lot of these people every year. 

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A few years ago, I started a financial education platform to help people take control of their finances. Today, hundreds of people have transformed their financial lives through SkilledSmart’s Mastering Money program. 

Every year, I witness many of our students turn their lives around in just a few months. I’ve seen students go from being 'broke' to saving tens of thousands of dollars; go from terrified of investing to becoming a confident investor; and achieve goals they never thought possible. 

So, if you want this to be the year you turn things around financially, here are three tips that can make a big difference: 

1. Get more excited about being wealthy, than you are about looking wealthy.

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing some very financially successful people. One of the common denominators that helped them achieve that success? 

They cared more about being wealthy in the long-term, than looking wealthy in the short-term. 

Most people want to look wealthy now. They want the flashy car, expensive holidays, big house... now. 

But if you care more about the things that build real financial wealth (i.e. learning to earn, save and invest), you will inevitably put future-you in a position to buy nice things with less stress. 

This mindset shift can be a total game-changer. 

I’ve seen so many of our students turn their finances around once they truly embrace this mindset and understand the importance of building wealth.

For example, Bianca came to us with very little savings (despite years of working and a good income). She would save money, spend it, and inevitably end up with an empty bank account. She couldn’t figure out how to stop over-spending. 

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Then, within months of completing our Mastering Money program, she completely reformed her spending habits. Within one year, she’d paid off her credit-card debt and saved tens of thousands of dollars. In about three years, she was in a position to buy her first property. 

How did she make such a huge change in such a short time?

Once Bianca really understood how wealth is created and what that could mean for her future, her priorities started to change. She started valuing financial success more.

She started wanting a property, more than she wanted that dress. She started valuing having money, more than she valued spending it. 

We behave in alignment with what we care about. So, when your priorities change, your behaviour changes as a result. 

Today, Bianca can afford to splurge on a little luxury without the guilt and stress. Why? Because she flipped the script. She focused on financial security and stability first. 

2. Realise that avoiding it is actually harder than just getting it done.

Are your finances the thing on your to-do list that never gets done? 

You see it on your to-do list, dread it and push it back, week after week, month after month.

Don’t worry, it’s normal. No judgement. 

But what most people don’t realise is that avoidance consumes a lot of energy.

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You think doing the thing is hard. But in reality, not doing it is harder. 

When you’re avoiding something, you live with a nagging voice in the back of your mind. 

Every time you see that thing on your to-do list, you feel a twinge of guilt. Every time you overhear someone talking about their finances... you feel a tiny moment of anxiety or dread.

"Ugh, I have to get onto that." "I’ll get to it next month." "I know I said that last month, but this time I mean it." "I should really fix my finances."

It’s a slow, painful death by a thousand cuts. 

If you really want to change your financial situation this year, rip off the bandaid. Set a "get-it-done" day. Switch off your over-thinking brain. And get it done.

3. Stop disempowering yourself.

"I don’t have a finance degree." "I’m not good with numbers." "I hate maths." "I don’t earn enough money, so there’s no point trying." "It’s too complicated for me."

This is a tiny fraction of the things I hear people saying about why they can’t learn how to manage their money and build wealth.

Before they’ve even really tried, they’ve decided that they can’t do it. 

They think that what’s stopping them is how complicated finance is. In reality, what’s stopping them is really their own fears and insecurities. 

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So let me break a few myths for you...

You don’t need to be good at maths. 

You don’t need professional experience to be a great saver or investor. We’ve helped people from all kinds of professional backgrounds (teachers, lawyers, psychologists, actors etc) learn to save tens of thousands of dollars, start investing, and hit big financial goals.

So, what if you gave that disempowering inner critic a break? 

What if you thought that maybe, if others have learned how to do it, you could too? Even if it’s hard, so what? You’ve done lots of other 'hard' things in your life... how hard could this really be? 

The worst that can happen is you’ll end up where you are right now. 

But the best-case scenario? 

You replace financial anxiety with confidence and excitement. Instead of feeling like you never have enough, you have more than enough. You can enjoy your money, instead of resenting it. 

Sounds pretty great, right? 

So, take a shot on yourself. It’ll be worth it. 

Paridhi Jain is the founder of SkilledSmart, an independent financial education platform helping adults learn to save and invest their money. For more money tips, you can grab a free e-book on “5 Money Mistakes Costing You Thousands” via their  website, and follow them on instagram.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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