How to Give Yourself a Clean Slate With Your Finances

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As with any other area of our lives, we each carry our own fair share of financial baggage. Whether it’s regret stemming from credit card debt that began accumulating in college, or a bankruptcy spurred by a job loss and an unsustainable mortgage payment, we each have our own financial “stuff” to contend with.

But sometimes moving forward means recognizing the accumulation of negative “stuff” and clearing the slate for a positive and untarnished financial future. The good news is that your past doesn’t have to leave a permanent black mark – even when it comes to your finances.

So are you ready to clean your financial slate?

Realize that yesterday’s mistakes resulted in today’s realizations

It’s always easy to judge yesterday’s mistakes with the wisdom and understanding you have today, but you likely didn’t have access to that thinking back then, did you? In truth, the mere fact that you can recognize past mistakes means that you learned what you were supposed to learn from those situations and they served their purpose.

And, after all, when you know better, you do better.

Instead of fruitlessly searching for ways to alter the past, recognize the benefit it had on your life. Failed business dealings, accumulated debt, lack of financial planning – it all can positively guide our thinking towards a smoother path in the present moment.

The only thing you have control over is what is happening in the here and now. And remember, if you made any financial mistakes in the past, ReadyForZero can help you create a plan to get back on the right track.

Beware of the power of your thoughts

When we make mistakes, we often think mulling over them is necessary penance for whatever wrongdoing we’re guilty of. We need to feel bad in order to do better next time.

Maybe on a small scale there’s some truth to that, but ruminating in “what ifs” and “I should haves” really only perpetuates the negative thinking that positive change isn’t able to spring from.

It’s just like losing weight. If someone constantly berates you for being overweight, you’ll likely ditch the eating and exercise habits that would help you to address the problem in the first place — simply because the harsh words discourage you.

Even if the harsh thoughts and words are coming straight from you, they can very easily seep into your subconscious mind and keep you from really moving forward with a clean slate.

Find gratitude in the lessons

Like everyone else in the world, I’ve trekked through some tough situations in my life, and the pain from those experiences molded me in profound ways – as did the lessons I learned along the way. Without those experiences I wouldn’t see the world and my life through the lens that I do.

Finding a way to be grateful for the struggle might seem counterintuitive at first, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to not become mired down in thoughts of “why did things have to happen this way,” or “what did I do to deserve this.” The struggle occurred so that you could be aware – and thankful – when you experience the easier times ahead.

The tougher the growing pains the more substantial the growth. So learn to say thank you for all the bad situations that got you to where you are today.

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Recognize how quickly small changes can snowball

Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed by the size of the changes that we need to make that sticking with the status quo seems like the only viable option we have. But change is like anything in the universe, it’s made up of small parts – small decisions, habits, etc. Shifting those small things changes the shape of the larger picture.

Simply committing to change and an emptying of your financial “baggage” also creates shifts all on its own. When you have a “whatever it takes” mentality, a path is cleared – even if you don’t see it right away.

All you have to do is commit wholeheartedly to starting the process.

Know that today’s decisions are shaping your tomorrow

The greatest power that you have always lies in the present moment. So while your current financial situation might be a mess of sorts, the situation is really just the result of yesterday’s thoughts and decisions. Today’s thoughts and decisions are molding what your tomorrow looks like – and that right there is pretty powerful stuff.

You essentially already have a clean slate today – it’s all on how you choose to exercise your power that will make your tomorrow look like your yesterday, or something else entirely.

Make a promise to yourself to let the past die

If you’re ready to move forward with a clean financial slate, allow the past to die along with your negative thoughts and financial habits. Commit to seeing the future with a fresh perspective and it will undoubtedly be brighter than any of your yesterdays.

Image Credit: monikahoinkis

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  • Valerie

    Beautifully said! Thank you for this inspiring article!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/bwfeldman Benjamin Feldman

      So glad you liked it, Valerie!