Why yes, circumstance does play a huge role in the way your financial life plays out. In fact, different circumstances throughout your life can swing you into a good financial spot or take you down a path you never thought you’d have to face. But circumstance isn’t always the blanket excuse you want it to be.
A few weeks ago I had a guy on the podcast whose daughter was facing insurmountable medical odds. While his focus was on his daughter’s wellbeing, the impact on his financial life wasn’t lost on him. He became so overwhelmed by their circumstance he’d given up hope his situation was fixable. 99% of the time your situation is fixable to some degree. For this guy, it was setting small, attainable goals. When the whole situation is overwhelming, you have limit your focus on something small to get yourself motivated. You need a win.
In most situations I want you to look at your financial life holistically. It’s why I talk about the past, present, and future of your financial life so much. Yet, if you’re presently in a rough situation, it’s okay to take a more myopic view for a period of time. Locate where you can make some progress and go with it. This isn’t an excuse to neglect other financial priorities, it’s a way for you to avoid running in place or giving up completely.
Find a place you can win, and do it.
Read my full Indy Star column here.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.