Suddenly the end of 2014 is fast approaching – where did the year go? Has it caused you to panic like it has me? All those plans we had to make this year a big hit flash in front of us, unfinished. Is it too late to “fix” 2014 the way we thought we would in January? The welcome answer is NO, it is not too late. It’s never too late.
If we had targets to achieve this year, and they haven’t been met, now is the time to re-motivate ourselves to make sure that they get done. This article will focus on financial targets, because if you fix your money problems you can straighten out your lifestyle, business, family... everything!
Did you have a target to earn more income or revenue this year than last year? Did you start out 2014 working harder and smarter, and then somewhere along the way life happened and your income just stayed roughly the same as last year? Then try and do exactly what you did to get going full speed in January. Full speed ahead actually works well all year around. There is also the possibility that by now you have learned what worked and what didn’t, so you can be even more productive and successful now than at the beginning of the year.
If we had targets to achieve this year, and they haven’t been met, now is the time to re-motivate ourselves to make sure that they get done.
If you feel the need to chill towards the year end, all of your competitors probably feel the same. If you work hard instead, the business is yours! And of course, at year end people are in the mood for special offers. Get creative by promoting good deals that customers and clients cannot refuse. Let other people do the excess spending instead of you (more on cutting back on spending later).
Was your target more directed towards paying off the debt you owe? Focus afresh on a strategy to pay more on your debt. You will need to earn more (follow the advice just given above) and dedicate an extra portion towards the debts. How short are you in achieving the target you had for this year? Write down the amount on a piece of paper and carry it with you. Get creative in thinking about deals or opportunities or specialised sales that will bring in exactly that amount. Ask staff or friends to make suggestions for income producing ideas with exactly that amount. You will be surprised at how this absolute focus helps you to think clearly and find solutions.
Another way that will help you to free up some money to pay off more debt with is to find a way to cut unnecessary costs and then dedicate that cost saving to the debt. Yes, I know that at year end somehow the costs are even more than usual! Gifts, holidays, and entertaining all cost a small fortune. But you can manage them.
So this year, why not stick to a budget? If you have unmet targets and you want to finish 2014 as planned, write down how much you can afford to spend in total and only use that allocated amount for everything. When it’s gone, it’s gone! No more spoiling yourself or your family. The gifts must be smaller; free is even better. If you offer your time and skills, like mowing someone’s lawn, washing their car, cooking a meal, giving driving lessons etc as a present you will save money but still give a valuable gift (time is money!). Share the love instead of the money.
Also, you could stay at home instead of going away for a holiday and act like local tourists. Visit local places of interest that you never have time for while you are working. Plan to play games and have fun with your family. Street soccer is always a big hit! You don’t need to go somewhere to have a holiday, just do the usual holiday activities at home. Make cocktails and have them by the pool, or a neighbour’s pool, at sunset. Buy ice creams and go for a walk in a park. Go to the movies a lot. What would you have done on an expensive holiday that you can still do at home?
So there you have it. Get back on track even though it's year end. Push to earn some final extra income and budget to save more, too. Extra income plus less spending can get you to reach your targets if you plan it well.