In college, at the beginning of every semester, I told myself that I was going to stay on top of my reading. I was really excited to be responsible. The only problem was that the book list hadn’t been released yet, so while I was able to tell myself I was going to do something, the reality was that I couldn’t really get anything done.
This used to happen a lot to me, whether it was in school, when planning to run (it was raining that day), or job searching (I’m going to get a good job by networking. But the career fair isn’t until next week). It’s very frustrating to want to get something accomplished when we are unable to. At the same time, by telling ourselves that we WILL start, that starting at a certain point we’re going to be better, we’re putting a stumbling block in front of ourselves.
Sometimes it’s hard to take action immediately, but there are always things we can do. We can ask friends what book was used last year, we can decide that running in the rain isn’t actually so terrible, and we can go find out which employers will be coming to the career fair and make a plan.
We love putting things off, and quite often, by doing this, we hurt ourselves. Still, there are almost always things we can do immediately to improve. Here is a list of 5 things we can do today to improve our financial lives:
- Create a Budget – Create an account at Mint.com and find out where you can cut down expenses.
- Adjust your Withholding – Are you overpaying on your taxes when you could be
- Open a Savings Account – I absolutely love my ING account, so sign up and set up an automatic savings plan to deposit a certain amount each month. Plus, email me and I’ll send you a link for $25 when you sign up!
- Read! There are tons of great personal finance books out there than can help you make significant changes in your lives, and there’s nothing more important than getting educated.
- Negotiate – Call your wireless carrier, your cable company, and your internet provider and ask for a discount for being a long-time customer. Or explain that you don’t think you will be able to continue service at the current rate, and they will most likely be willing to work with you.
There’s no reason to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. So get started changing your life right now!