According to Groundhog.org, Phil the groundhog predicted an early spring for 2016 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, this morning. Phil did not see his shadow!
In celebration of Groundhog Day today, many people will be watching the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray that has become a cult classic, with some movie theaters showing it today only and various TV stations across the country playing it all day long.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Bill Murray’s character, Phil, wakes up the day after Groundhog Day, only to find that he’s living Groundhog Day all over again. Phil is not the nicest person, and he continues to wake up to Groundhog Day, day after day, forcing him to make some needed changes to his attitude and personal life.
Are you living what seems like an eternal Groundhog Day in your own financial life? Here are 5 steps to break the cycle!
5 steps to break the cycle of Groundhog Day in your finances
1. Create some goals.
What do you want to achieve in your life? If you have a goal of being debt free, providing a better life for your family, finding a more fulfilling career, or saving for an awesome retirement, you can do it! You just need to break down your dreams into smaller pieces — goals — and work on them one by one.
It’s true that you won’t get to your goal immediately. The old saying goes, if doing something hard was easy, everyone would do it! Achieving what seems like an insurmountable goal will take work, it will take sacrifice and you might have more barriers than others — just like other people will have more barriers than you.
But at the end of the day, the way you respond to life is completely up to you. Different choices lead to different result. So, what do you want out of life?
Establishing goals for yourself can help you get there.
Here are some good financial goals and how to accomplish them:
- What it takes to retire a millionaire at any age
- 3 ways to get a grip on your money in 2016
- How to save more money: Rethink your spending
- Struggling to pay off a huge debt? This story is for you.
- How to pay off credit card debt quickly
- How to pay off your mortgage early
2. Start saving a little bit of each paycheck.
If you’re in a tough spot where you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can be difficult to change the cycle. But even saving just 1% of your income can make a big difference in your finances.
If you’re having a hard time breaking the habit of non-saving, here are some ways to start:
- Saving just a penny per dollar can make a big difference
- Easiest way to start saving for retirement when you’re saving zero right now
- Watch: It’s never too late to start saving for retirement
- Wealth-building wisdom from super savers
- Over 40 with no retirement savings? Take these 6 steps
3. Find a new job.
Since the economy has improved slightly, people are starting to move around in industries where they may have previously felt stuck.
Some things to consider: You might need to learn a new skill or move to a different location to get a better paying job. But being willing to make some adjustments to either your geographical location or growing yourself to learn a new skill might just spell ‘opportunity’ for you.
Here are some tips to help you land a great job:
- What you need to know to find a new job in 2016
- Applying for a job? Here are 9 keys to online resume success
- 8 interview tips to help you land that new job
- 10 high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree
- Here are the 29 highest-paying entry level jobs in the U.S.
- The 21 careers with the largest salary growth potential
4. Learn how to invest.
If the word ‘investing’ makes you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone! Finances can be overwhelming to everyone. But, don’t let that roadblock keep you from being where you need to be financially. Keep searching for the answer even if it might take you some time.
Did you know that choosing a low cost brokerage company, such as Vanguard or Fidelity can mean the difference of thousands of dollars of your money, as much as 50% or more? That’s why you need to be as educated as possible when it comes to investing for your future.
Check out these investment guides:
- Clark’s investment guide
- How to invest your first $1,000 to $5,000 wisely
- Low-cost investment options by dollar amount
- How to find a fee-only financial planner
5. Practice contentment.
At first, this might seem like it has nothing to do with improving your finances, but in reality, practicing contentment has everything to do with finances.
When we practice contentment, we can be grateful for what we have right now and we avoid making financial decisions that can cost us big later.
Have you ever made an unwise financial purchase due to lack of contentment, or trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses?’ I sure have, and I’m sure everyone has at one time or another. But being content helps us say, ‘What I have right now is enough, and I’m grateful,’ while still keeping an eye on our goals.
Instead of always thinking about the next big thing, create a balance between future goals and present reality by being grateful for what you have right now.