It’s great to have goals to help you get ahead in life. But setting totally unrealistic goals is one of the most common financial mistakes I see all the time.
Maybe it’s human nature. But way too many individuals spend many years – sometimes even decades – getting themselves into financial trouble. Then they want to fix a chronic or long-term problem either “this year” or “next year.”
Some even want an instant solution to their troubles – today!
Case in point: the woman who’s had perennially bad credit is almost invariably the same individual that wants to “quickly rebuild” her credit and buy a home “next year.”
She might fall for the con man who promises – for $500 – to “instantly erase” all the negative credit items showing on her TransUnion, Equifax and Experian credit files.
Or what about the guy who hasn’t been able to save any money for the past five years? He’s often the same fellow that wants to buy a brand new car “next year.”
But then, six months after getting that new car, he’s desperate for money and finds himself going to a payday lender.
Then there’s the cash-strapped couple living paycheck to paycheck. They’re barely making ends meet, but they want to have an over-the-top wedding “by next spring.”
They’re ready to go max out their credit cards, go into debt, or do all kinds of financially foolish things, just to have a “dream wedding” that they truly can’t afford.
In addition to obvious financial mistakes, all these people are making a not-so-obvious, but big, financial flub: they’re not being realistic about how to engineer a financial comeback – and how long the process will take.
Very bad credit simply can’t be fixed in the blink of an eye – or even in a week or a month.
An inability to save is typically rooted in bad habits that don’t just go away instantly.
And people who live only for today will constantly wind up regretting their choices down the road – once they want or need a “quick” fix to the next economic calamity in which they find themselves.
The lesson: you don’t get into serious financial problems overnight. So you usually won’t get out of those financial jams overnight either.
Having patience and consistency are two keys to addressing your economic challenges and weaknesses.
I’m not suggesting that you should wallow or languish in financial distress.
But do take time to financially educate yourself, practice good habits over time, and learn crucial lessons from your past mistakes. That way, you can help ensure that you never repeat those financial flubs again.
Ultimately, that approach will provide you with a longer-lasting, more stable solution to your problems. And that’s far better than any short-term, or instantaneous quick financial fix.