We’ve all made financial mistakes, and chances are we’ll make more mistakes in the future.
Maybe we aren’t socking away enough money for retirement, or overdrew our account, or bought at the peak of the housing market and are underwater. When things like that happen, it’s common to take a step back to analyze our mistakes to see where we went wrong.
While reviewing and learning from past mistakes is good — that’s how we improve and prevent repeats of the mistakes — dwelling on them and beating ourselves up over them isn’t.
But when it comes to analyzing the past, there’s a step we often
overlook: Reviewing our past successes.
Take a moment to think about it. What have you done right lately?
See what you have done well in the past, and what you could repeat in the future. What caused you to make a decision that turned out well?
What traits did your successes take advantage of?
For example, maybe you’ve set up a bill paying system that where you pay your bills at the same time each month. Since then, bill-paying has been a breeze. That takes organization, so organization is probably one of your strengths. How else could you use organization to improve your financial life?
“Make a list of financial goals” is the first thing that pops into my mind when I ask myself that question. Once my list is made, I can set about organizing it further so that I can achieve the items on it.
Or maybe you’ve automated your bills so that they’re withdrawn from your checking account each month like clockwork. And since you’ve done that, you haven’t once overdrawn your account, which was a problem for you in the past. If automation is working for you, look for other areas that you could automate. (Such as retirement, investing, savings, etc.)
Play to your financial strengths and use them to your advantage.