As with anything you challenge yourself to, you’re going to make mistakes along the way. This holds true in wealth management, too. You’re going to make mistakes on your journey to financial betterment, and that’s OK.
I repeat: it’s OK.
Sometimes they won’t even be mistakes, but you might read them as mistakes. Sometimes these so called “mistakes” will really be adjustments. Whatever goal you have in your finances, things will come your way that require modification to those goals. You shouldn’t be scared about that or consider yourself short because of them. Most importantly, you shouldn’t close yourself off because of these alterations.
I have had some very obvious mistakes in my finances leading up to the good part of my financial independence and stability, but I honestly believe that those mistakes were needed for me to learn more about how money works and how I can work with the money I have. Even where I am now in my finances (a good place), I still have the occasional hiccup.
For example, this month I am one week away from payday. Time cannot move fast enough. I have been crawling toward the 16th because I had several hiccups in my wealth management.
The hiccup? Well, there were a few.
- I have not been actively keeping tabs on my spreadsheet. My typical behavior would be to check in on it once a week, but I have not been keeping up with this habit of mine.
- I got into a minor fender bender, which resulted in an unexpected charge for a deductible and car rental fees. This particular hiccup was out of my control, but had I been keeping track of my spreadsheet better, then I would have been a bit more prepared for it.
- I got cocky and began shifting money in my bank account from one goal to another. It started off by moving five bucks here, and then maybe 10 bucks there, and before I knew it my monthly goal amounts were all over the place. (For anyone not familiar with my bank, I use Simple which allows goal creation where you can set money aside for certain things like bills, etc. This feature typically holds me accountable for where my money is going, but this month I got a little careless with adhering to those amounts.)
- I started using my credit card for everyday purchases, which is not what I had originally intended on. BAD HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE BAR, BAD! These little things can add up.
I wanted to share this with you to show that there is room to make mistakes on your financial journey, and that realistically you will probably make some every now and then. I do not have everything figured out because I will always have room to learn more and enhance my habits.
The part that matters in this case is what you plan on doing to fix those mistakes that you make along the way. Don’t beat yourself up over them. Create a plan to overcome them.
In my case, the mistakes are no way dire partly due to the fact that I have been building my money skills for some time now. They are mistakes that I can easily correct this coming month, and in no way do they affect my bills.
If you make some financial mistakes along the way, what can you do?
- Review what didn’t work (the mistake) and review what did work (what were the strong aspects of your finances this week/month?)
- Take the things that did work and keep doing them. See if you can apply any of the strong aspects to what did not work.
- Reflect on how you got to the mistake. Is it likely to occur again?
- Create a plan. Don’t ignore. (Do you have to shift some priorities around? Do you have to side hustle? Do you have to sit out this weekend round of drinks? Do you have to wait to buy that one thing you initially wanted? Do you have to set up notifications in your bank app to keep track of spending?)
As with anything, allow yourself to make mistakes. Don’t let those mistakes overwhelm you because you are in control of your finances. Learn and remain proactive.
This has been it for your financial pep talk!