First thing’s first; if you are in need of emergency cash, we have two avenues to help you get exactly that. The first is through a payday loan, where you can get up to $1,000 to help bridge the gap between paychecks in a pinch. The second is car title loans, which can get you up to $5,000 in spendable funds by putting your car, truck, or RV up for collateral. Both are for when life throws you some particularly sour lemons. Ideally, these lemons would have never come about because you were able to see them coming and prepare for them. Some lemons are visible, and some are not. Today’s post is about preparing for the lemons you can see and can prepare for.
In other words, we are going to help you be better at budgeting. At least, we are going to try. Ultimately it’s up to you, but the good news is that you have made it to this blog — that tells us you are motivated!
Recap: Part One
To briefly recap what we covered in part one of this two-part series, we highlighted several of the most common reasons that people forgo the practice of effective budgeting. We encourage you to go back and read the blog post in its entirety if you get the chance, but for our purposes, the long and the short of it is that people tend to avoid what they are afraid of. This creates something of a feedback loop in the sense that the longer you let your problems go unattended, the worse they will become. Part of you realizes this, which makes you all the more afraid of facing your fears at all!
This vicious circle has to be stopped in its track eventually. Otherwise, you’ll end up at the end of your rope with nowhere to go. This is when people end up needing emergency cash in the form of a payday or title loan. At Your Loan Depot, we do our very best to make sure our customers understand the fine print and the repayment process that they’ve agreed to so that they are sure they can get back on their feet once the proverbial storm has passed. Other payday loan companies, however, might not be so friendly (giving honest places like ours a bad name in the process!).
So, what can be done? We can learn how to manage our money better, of course! But it’s going to take some work. Today’s post is about providing a few practical, easy-to-remember tips so that you don’t find yourself in a precarious financial position again any time soon!
How To Manage Your Money More Effectively
Whatever the reason for your difficult financial situation, there is no time like the present for making some positive changes. In our previous post, we talked about what some of the most popular reasons for not budgeting effectively might be. But no matter the particular reason, effective solutions usually have quite a bit in common with each other.
Namely, budgetary solutions are simple, manageable, motivating, achievable, reasonable, and time-specific. In other words, you have to believe that you are able to achieve your goals, and there are specific, proven ways of doing that. If you take a step back and try to look at the big picture, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But on the other hand, realizing what’s at stake might be the very thing that motivates you!
As Orison Swett Marden put it so well, “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”
Or take this wonderful snippet from one Pablo Picasso — a man who knew a thing or two when it came to accomplishing seemingly abstract goals: “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
Picasso was right. We need a plan. But how do you make a plan? Do you need a plan to make a plan? It’s enough to give you a headache.
Luckily, there are professionals who have done the hard part already, by developing something called SMART goals. SMART goals are the solution for people who seem to drift from crisis to crisis, or perhaps problem to problem. SMART goals help you identify how to make the changes you know you should be making but just aren’t able to.
SMART is an acronym. That means it’s easy to remember. Here’s what your budgetary goal should look like:
- Specific – Find out what you want to accomplish. Write it down. Write down why the goal is important, who will be involved in making it happen, and which resources you need to get it done.
- Measurable – Your goal needs to be measurable in some way. In this way it is specific so you can keep yourself accountable. Instead of saying to yourself, “I want to be better at money management this year,” you can say, “I want to have $5,000 in my bank account by October, and here’s how I’m going to make that happen.”
- Achievable – Here is where you ask yourself how exactly you can accomplish the goal you’ve set for yourself. Here’s where it might get tough. Does accomplishing your goal mean making a lifestyle change? Does it mean hanging out with a different crowd — people who don’t influence you into making financial decisions you know you can’t afford? It’s not easy, but it’s worth thinking about.
- Relevant – If the goal doesn’t matter to you on a personal level, you’ll be much less likely to follow through and accomplish it. Remind yourself why you are making yourself budget more effectively. It might be for your kids, it might be for a better life for yourself, or for some other reason entirely. The point is, it has to be meaningful and worthwhile for you.
- Time-Bound – This issue, somewhat obviously, deals with the issue of when the goal will be accomplished. If you’ve ever repeatedly tried to start a workout routine, you probably know why it’s important to give yourself this time-based structure. If you don’t formalize the timeframe, you leave yourself room for excuses. This entire exercise is about making sure the worst parts of us don’t win out over our best parts!
Other experts have changed SMART to be SMARTER, with the E representing Evaluated and the R, Reviewed. Both of these point to the idea that all goals need to be evaluated and optimized over time. As we learn and grow, we need to challenge ourselves in new ways. Your first month of budgeting might see you start in a very small, manageable way. By the time you’ve completed 12 months of effective budgeting by adhering to your SMART goal, you might be ready to take it to the next level.
The great thing about SMART goals is that it doesn’t have to be restricted to financial issues — you can use SMART goals to improve any part of your life!
For The Invisible Lemons: Remember To Call Your Loan Depot
Remember the lemons, both seen and unseen? All that above was about how to tackle the visible lemons, or rather, the problems in life we can prepare for. There are circumstances outside our control, however. You aren’t powerless when faced with unexpected medical expenses or other emergencies that require a flush of cash. All you need to do is remember to call Your Loan Depot if you are in need of a payday loan to bridge the gap between paychecks. You can get up to $1,000 in fast cash with a payday loan, and up to $10,000 in cash when applying for a car title loan!