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I’m not perfect. I have made financial mistakes in the past that I am not proud of.
I’ve overspent on stupid crap that I didn’t care about. I went into credit card debt. I avoided investing because it seemed “too complicated” and also seemed “like a gamble.” I didn’t save money consistently. And the list goes on.
Even though I went to grad school and was doing well in my PT career, I still felt overwhelmed by my finances. I was confused as to why I had a good paying job, but I still wasn’t happy with where I was in my financial life. Why was I happy with my career, but unhappy with everything else? Shouldn’t my career be enough?
As much as I love being a PT, I have other life goals as well. I want to have financial freedom. I want to travel and explore the world. I want to start a family. I want to be able to do what I want, without stressing out about finances.
So for this post, since I already share many of my financial mistakes in hopes to help you avoid them, I want to talk about how I recovered from this. Because now, I am in a much better position. But it wasn’t easy. I found solace in other member of the FIRE community inspiring me to stay on track and to realize that I was much more than my mistakes.
So here is my 3 prong advice for how to recover from financial mistakes:
1. Forgive your past self
You can’t change the past. You can spend time dwelling on it, but where is that going to get you? I wish I could have all those minutes and hours back that I spent sulking about my situation and feeling sorry about myself. I could have used that time more wisely and actually start changing my behavior.
The best way to let go of the past is to forgive yourself. Yes, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for getting into debt. Forgive yourself for not saving or investing. Forgiveness will set you free and take that burden off of your shoulders. Once you can forgive your past self, you can let go of the past and move on.
2. Focus on what you can do in this present
Now that the past is a distant memory, focus on what you can do this very moment to help you achieve your goals. Do you even know what your financial goals are? If not, turn off the TV, put down your phone, and come up with a list of financial goals that you want to reach. By having these goals set, this will also help you look to the future.
When you have those goals, what is the ONE thing you can do to help you get closer to those goals today. I read the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller, and what I learned from that book is that if you could do just one thing to make your life 1% better. If your goal is to save more, that’s great! What can you do this very moment to help? Do you have a high yield savings account yet…if not, sign up for an account! Can you sent up auto deposits into your savings…if so, go do that!
By focusing on what you can do in this very moment, this will help you to stay focused, use your time wisely, and to be more productive.
3. Look forward to the future
Remember the days when you were in school, and you knew you wanted to be a PT/OT/SLP/insert your allied profession here, and all you could look forward to was to finally starting your career? It was tough studying for your tests and your licensing exams, but what drove you to those late night study sessions was knowing that your goal was to start your career. And once you were in your career, how good did it feel that you had finally made it? All that hard work had paid off, and now you’re in your dream career.
This mindset is the same with your financial goals! Whether your goals are in reach in a few short months, or in multiple years, remember that feeling you had when you finally reached your goal and started your career. That feeling will be there once you reach your financial goals!
Something I like to do is create dream boards! You can make one physically – I typically use magazines and cut out letter and words and pictures that inspire me. But you can also make them digitally!
If you’re ready to get started on your personal finance journey, click here to schedule your FREE 20 minute consult, and let’s work together to get you one step closer to your personal finance goals!
Note: I am not a certified financial advisor/planner or a certified financial analyst, or a CPA, or an accountant, or a lawyer. Remember, I am an allied health professional, just like you! I am a self proclaimed amateur investor and personal finance enthusiast
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