Great Savings 57 – Meet Problems Head On


Are you ignoring a big financial problem?

If you’ve been sitting on a problem for awhile, maybe it’s time to change things up.

When it comes to the world of debt and savings, most everyone has experienced a situation where they put an important decision on hold and it created a much bigger problem down the road. Time has a way of compounding and confusing the issues. That’s why facing problems head on is so important for building a brighter future. But what if the change you seek feels too hard or you always end up coming up with another excuse for why it didn’t happen? Are you doomed to repeat the same pattern again and again or can you really make a change?


Think of a situation you dread involving money. Maybe you know you have too much debt, but haven’t yet taken steps to reduce it. Or maybe you want to save for college, a home, or retirement, but somehow another month passes and you’re no closer to your long-term goal.


Problems come in many different forms.

Sometimes we need to see a problem in a new light to find a solution. Engage with friends and love ones to hear a different perspective.

Problems like these are common and there are endless excuses we can make for allowing them to continue. Maybe we blame an unexpected spending emergency for wiping out the monthly budget. Or perhaps certain friends planned to do something fun and we didn’t want to feel left out. Or maybe we find certain activities like shopping or dining out are the way to fend off dealing with a host of bad feelings around the home or office. Whatever the excuse, we spend more money than we have and the problem sticks around.




Is anyone ever going to die if we fail to achieve the financial goals we set? Probably not. However, there is an emotional toll for avoiding problems, and for doing little to nothing to achieve our goals. Every time we set a goal, we set it for a reason. Usually, it means we don’t like where we’re at or we just want to achieve something better. When we continually miss important goals the problems they were meant to address have a way of rearing their heads to remind us of our failure. And when we feel like we fail often enough, we start to believe there is something wrong with us.


This is Great Savings tip #57 - Meet Problems Head OnGoals can empower us to change, but it doesn’t pay to beat ourselves up when we fail to achieve one. It’s much better just to “get back on your horse and try again,” as they say. However, before taking that step, think about what went wrong or whether your goal was realistic to begin with. Sometimes, adjusting the scope of the goal is all it takes to achieve a success the second time around.


It may help to think of goals as the way we define our dreams with words so we can achieve them via our actions. Problems crop up when our words fail to adequately express the dream or the dream is still only a vague notion in our head. And sometimes actions and good intent aren’t enough to guarantee success, or the unexpected gets in the way. Sure, it’s great to achieve goals when we can, but it’s often counter-productive to think of them as an end in themselves or something that can guarantee happiness. That said, it never hurts to stay motivated in life. Goals can help us set milestones and measure success, especially if we spend time creating ones that are achievable from the get go. For more on this topic read our post: Turning Dreams Into Reality: Setting Goals 


This problem is way to big.

Does a solution feel out of reach for your problem? Can you view it a different way or break the problem into smaller, more manageable pieces?

Are you avoiding dealing with a financial problem? Maybe it’s time to ask why? Sometimes the reason we can’t motivate ourselves to act is because we never really wanted to do a certain thing in the first place. Other times we may want change, but fear the fallout or consequences if we push forward. Or we may not fear change at all, but just can’t figure out how to go about fixing the problem or how to do it on our own. It’s good to figure out what keeps us in a holding pattern. Knowing that is the key that allows for real change to happen.


One thing is certain, without doing something different right now change is unlikely. Einstein is oft-quoted for his words, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” That’s a great point when it comes to feeling trapped in a distressing reality for how can we truly expect a better future unless and until we screw up our courage and make a conscious choice to do something different?


5 Steps For Meeting A Problem Head On


If you’re running into trouble creating the change you seek in life:


1) Enlist a friend to help define the issue.

2) Consider whether the change you seek is something you really want for yourself or something you’ve taken on only because others expect it of you. If it’s not something you want, you’ll need to address that first.

3) Set small achievable goals for moving forward.

4) Commit to taking one action today or by a certain date.

5) Keep at it until you succeed.


Saving money is possible if you figure out how to meet your challenges head on.

A problem like accumulating savings is a function of income, spending, your motivation to save, and time. To succeed at it, set small, reasonable goals and celebrate your successes along the way.

Action Item: Identify a financial problem (or potential problem). Risk bringing it up and talk about it with a friend or loved one. Consider what is holding you back from making the change you see you need. If it’s a big problem or seems overwhelming, break it down into chunks you believe you are manageable. For example, adequate funds for retirement are important, but if you feel there is no way to reach your savings goal you may never be happy adding anything to savings. Thus, figure out how much you can commit to saving this week, this month, or this year. Once you meet that goal celebrate your success and keep at it. Now, instead of feeling depressed you will never save enough, you will create incremental successes along the way, and you’re bound to end up with something in your retirement fund instead of nothing.

For more on how to claim the future you want and deserve see our complete list of Great Savings Tips.

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