This week, the month of March ends and with that we also have the end of the first quarter of 2012. Whether you are in business for yourself or you work for someone else, this is the time of month where you hear phrases such as: “we have to finish the quarter strong” or “let’s make sure that gets in before the quarter closes”. In essence, the end of a quarter is good time to take stock and report on how the business did against a set of goals.
Regardless of your particular employment situation, you do have responsibility for a particular company: You, Inc. You are responsible for the direction of the company and its success. You get to decide on goals and strategies. You get to report back to the most critical of stakeholders: yourself. So in terms of financial management, what will your scorecard say for the 1Q of 2012?
- Did you prepare a budget each month (Jan, Feb, Mar) before each month began?
- Did you track your expenses for the month, each month?
- Did you manage to stay on budget?
- Did you have any savings goals for the quarter? If so, how did you do?
- Did you plan to eliminate any of your credit cards? How did it go?
You see, the key with achieving success with your finances is very simple: you need a plan (goals plus specific tasks) and you need to execute on that plan. Only you can run You, Inc. No one else cares as much and no one else can do a better job. Not your parents, your friends, or the government. It’s all on you.
Regardless of how you did in 1Q, the time to do better is now. No more excuses, no more passing of the buck (we have enough of that in our country already). So let me give you some ideas for a set of goals for the 2Q of 2012:
- Prepare a budget for each month of the quarter before each month begins (April/May/June).
- Track all spending during each month.
- Finish you beginner’s emergency fund ($1,000).
- Pay off your 2 smallest consumer debts.
- Start giving.
- Start saving for Christmas.
- Prepare a will.
You can win with money but you have to get in the game. You need take action. It will not be easy at times but it will always be worth it. Set some time this weekend to set your goals for the next 3 months. If you need help, call me. I would love to coach you through this process. There is help and hope for your finances.
“Discipline, not desire, determines destination.”