Cents and Sensibility

Five Financial Tips for Success

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First thing, first. Why wait until the New Year to get back on track financially? Start now by utilizing these five basic financial tips:

1. Be Willing to Change

If you are not able to adapt to drastic change quickly, start slow. Start with your spending habits. Instead of buying coffee every day, only by it three times a week and slowly transition into making your own coffee to carry to work each day. Also, start putting away the loose change that you receive after breaking a bill; coins add up quickly.

2. You Are Not Alone

Don’t think you are the only person struggling with debt burdens. Millions of people are in debt (all races, both genders, educated and non-educated, professionals and non-professionals). In fact, 40 percent of Americans spend more than their monthly budget. Try not to be included with the statistics, be compared against it.

3. Be Prepared to Put Up a Fight

There are many issues that we waste our time fighting with. Why not fight for the burden of debt to be lifted? It is time to put up a fight with debt. Put your boxing gloves on, ball up your fist, put one foot forward, aim at the debt, and knock out one debt at a time.

4. Have Balance

Have a balance by living for today and tomorrow. The “living for today” mentality can have you doing things today that you will regret tomorrow. For example, it may not be a good idea to leave for a vacation and charge all expenses to your credit card. Making a mental note to eventually pay the credit card off later when you don’t have a plan in place to pay off the credit card immediately is a simple way to get off balance. It ends up costing much more money and stress in the long run.

5. Go With the Flow

Go with the flow and embrace change. Change is inevitable. We might like our daily routines, but there will always be someone or something that comes along to interrupt those routines; so don’t become too inflexible. If a bump comes in the road of your financial success, don’t get frustrated. Do what you can to get back on track. With practice of moving ahead regardless of barriers, you will be more comfortable with issues as they arrive.

Bottom line, don’t get frustrated if you overspent during the holidays; get back to the basics and put first thing, first.

Dr. Karen Ratliff

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff and her website at