Making a conscious financial decision

Taking control of your personal finances can reduce stress.

Trying to get control of your finances can prove to be difficult. For some, the initial shock of actually gaining control can send you in a downward spiral. I almost stuck my head back into the sand and convinced myself that I will deal with my finances later, thinking things like: “I have way too many other things going on.” Fortunately, I decided to make a conscious decision to get a grip on my financial health. Enough was enough; it was time to tame the uncontrolled personal finance monster that I was avoiding.

In the past I have always “made do” and “got by”, and yet voiced statements like “I wish I had more money to pay my bills” or “I can’t seem to get ahead.” The very moment I made a conscious decision to make a change, I was in control of my financial situation. Granted, I did not like the financial position I found myself in, but I could now start to put a plan together and take that first step.

Be aware that even though you make a conscious decision, a lot of resolve to take action is needed. Otherwise, your head could slowly sink back into the sand and you will be back at square one. Or even worse, if you called a family meeting and involved them in this life-changing decision, and end up not following through, you may lose some credibility and do more harm than good. Once you make the decision to become financially healthy you are creating a positive effect on your life.

There are potential pitfalls that may be heading your way when you make this significant decision to take control of your money. Michigan State University Extension suggests educating yourself in personal finance and visiting MIMoneyHealth so that you can avoid or minimize these potential pitfalls:

  1. Not knowing where to start. How do I do this? If you are like me, I was never raised with a spending plan, budget or setting financial goals. I have had to educate myself on financial literacy.
  2. Resistance from changing you or your family members’ lifestyle. Yes, I did mention the word that some people dread: “change.” This may not be easy. Patterns, behaviors and a way of life have been formed. If your finances are already in order and you would like to have a little extra at the end of the month, these changes will not be as painful. However, if you find yourself falling further and further behind each month, the necessary changes may be very stressful.
  3. Staying on the new course. At different times it will seem easier to slip back into the old ways. Just remember that these old ways are the reason for your new conscious decision.

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