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Thinking With the End in Mind

Have you ever gotten in your car and started driving without knowing where you were headed to? Have you ever gone to the fridge a night, three hours after dinner, and just stared inside without knowing what you were getting? Have you ever started putting a bunch of ingredients from your pantry and fridge into a pan without knowing what you were making?

Most generally, you will know what the end game is before you start any of these tasks, unless you really want to drive around or just cool off in front the fridge...Guilty on both accounts...

If you don't know what the goal is of doing those tasks, then you are wasting time and resources and you know that. That's why you generally have an end in mind when you start a task in your day. So why are our finances any different? Why do we fly by day by day without keeping track of our money and why is it so darn hard to keep a budget?

The answer lies where our focus is. If I'm only thinking about making it to Friday and the fun stuff I get to do on Friday, then my future and retirement is placed on the back burner. If my focus never shifts away from Friday to somewhere in the future, then I'll have gone my entire life and make it to retirement with nothing to show for it. Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with how much money you make rather how much you are paying attention to where it is going.

If you have tried getting out of debt before and just simply "can't" do it, your "Why?" isn't big enough or isn't defined clearly. Why do you want to get out of debt? Why do you want to invest your money? Why do you want to pay of you mortgage? Why do you want/need to budget?

For me, my why is my family. I want my family to be well taken care in the future. I want to be able to pay for my kid's college and not have to worry about the burdens of debt. I want them to live a better life than me. So when my budget is staring at me and I really don't want to do it or pay attention to it, I remind myself that I'm doing it for my family and my family's future. It makes it a lot easier to sit down and pay attention to my future when my "Why?" is clearly defined and big enough.

So I'm challenging you to figure out what your WHY is. Right now. Write it down and say it out loud. When you do this you are now taking the first step to taking control of your finances. Without it, you'll roam through life without a radar and end up somewhere you didn't want to be.

"If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it every time" - Zig Ziglar

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