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My friend Megan used to be terrible with money. When she got her first job, she borrowed money from me to shop for work clothes. I thought that was a valid reason so I just went ahead and gave her what she needed.
After a few months, she started borrowing money again to pay for her new apartment. She decided to rent a small room near her office so that traveling would be more convenient. Well, I thought that was good for her so I lent her some money again.
One year later, she received a salary increase after being promoted and also got her first credit card. I expected her finances to get better, but as it turned out, I was wrong. After a few months of using the card, she maxed it out. To fix her finances quickly, she borrowed money from loan sharks.
Recently, she got another promotion, which meant additional earnings for her. However, Megan said she couldn’t really feel that her life was getting better because she has just been paying loans the whole time.
I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by being so frank so I just told her to re-evaluate her choices and reconsider how she was running her life.
I was so glad that she understood and she seems to have figured it out. She realized that her lifestyle was not aligned with her financial goals so she has started making adjustments by looking for a cheaper apartment and spending less on unnecessary things.
Ladies, when you feel that things are not falling into place, it’s time to take a pause and reflect on your ways and perhaps consider changing your strategies in attaining your dreams.
Here are some signs that you’re not on the right track and that you have to step up your game where it counts
When You Continue to Think Down on Yourself & Accept Low Standards
Take control of your life by living on your own terms and setting high standards for yourself. Make a firm decision that you’ll never settle for anything less than you deserve. Having high personal standards encourages you to accomplish more and outperform old versions of yourself.
Adjusting and lowering your standards just to please some people in your life will absolutely get you nowhere near happiness or success.
In love, for instance, you can’t expect anything to happen if you just keep on dreaming about your prince charming. You have to wake up and make him a reality by going out there and connecting with someone who will treat you like a princess and not some piece of crap.
To help you treat yourself better, writer Zara Barrie shares some relationship red flags that you should have zero tolerance with.
Ladies, you should never accept a man without ambition, who is abusive, who doesn’t put effort in improving his life and who is unwilling to support your happiness. Remember that this is a cruel, cold world for the weak. So, don’t let yourself be a victim.
When Your Plan Remains a Plan
Writing your plans on a piece of paper and staring at it every day will not bring you any closer to your goals. Sorry, girl, but you actually have to take action and make things happen. You have to work your butt off to keep on improving yourself. Be willing to change, step out of your comfort zone and learn to adapt new ways necessary to reach your dreams.
If your case is similar to my friend Megan and you really want to get out of your financial trouble, you can put these useful strategies into action to learn better financial self-control.
When You Are Always Settling for a Quick Fix
Nothing worth having comes easy. Choosing an easy way out, instead of working hard to achieve lasting results, is a total waste of time because the outcomes are short-lived and temporary.
For example, if you’re serious in shedding some pounds, rather than using diet pills as a shortcut, try doing exercises that can actually show real results. And please, don’t make excuses that you don’t have time to go to the gym because there are intense workouts that you can do in small spaces.
When You Haven’t Shifted from Judging Your Thoughts to Embracing Them
Judging your thoughts or giving particular weight to something that is not really important makes life a lot harder to live. The only way to handle negative and manipulative thoughts is to learn to accept what can’t be changed or undone, and focus on what you can fix.
In the piece “7 Ways to Let Mindfulness Change Your View of the World,” writer Daniel Matthews explains how monitoring your thoughts can help you focus on your purpose and restore your happiness.
Ladies, there’s no telling how far you really have to go to chase your dreams. So, you really have to work as hard as you can and as long as you can to make things happen. And as long as you follow the path I’ve provided above, I am confident that you will never get lost and that you will always make steady progress towards your goals.
I have to admit there are times I’ve said I won’t do something when I knew I should have. I find I need to work harder on keeping my commitments rather than putting them on hold. I forget there is a certain satisfaction at finishing up a job or commitment.
Wow, I’ve been where your friend was. Borrowing to pay off borrowed money. That was a big mistake. Thankfully I got a better paying job and family who helped me plan financially. Without a plan my life would have been a bumpy road to go down.
I can relate to your friend. I was in a cycle for years where the more I earned the more I spent, with nothing really to show for it and I wasn’t happy. But somehow I felt as though I deserved to go out for lunches and dinners most days because I had a stressful job.
Recently I had to take a massive pay cut and so my social life and unnecessary spending has been adjusted accordingly.
And I am much happier with this simpler life. I wish I’d had a friend like you years ago to bring me this realisation sooner!
I like the tip of not accepting anything less than you deserve. You are worth more, so require more from yourself. Work towards the person that you want to be. That’s the lesson that I am learning every day of my life.
Generally, good things don’t just happen. You can’t sit at home waiting for the good things and resulting happiness to come to you. You have to be proactive if you want to be happy. Go and do the things that make you happy. Go and get the things that make you happy. It’s all in your control.
When you started talking about your friend Megan, I just saw myself and how my life was 5 years ago. I used to be just like her; never really knowing where I’m heading and always feeling lost. I had to learn the hard way, but I’m so glad I changed that now.
Just until a few months ago, all my salary was going towards paying my credit card bills and other debts. I’m so lucky that I have really honest friends around me who have helped me get out of that chaos.
I hope your friend was able to return all the money you had lent her. Discipline with money is something many people struggle with. I have such a friend at work who cannot keep track of her expenditure but my advice to her has been that she needs to reorganize her life and set the priorities right. I like the point about not settling for less.