Look, spring is here. The skies are clearing, the birds are beginning to chirp, and you feel like you have a lot more energy than what you should have. Honestly, these are all good things to have in your life. But what about your finances? Just trying to set a resolution to do better isn’t going to necessarily make that the outcome. You’re going to need to really dig deep and stay focused.

We live in a world of distractions. Cell phones, Facebook, the Internet at large. It feels like the moments where you settle into work, ready to have a killer day…until someone sends you a video of a cat being pushed into a tub full of water. Hilarious video, but definitely not contributing to your overall productivity in the slightest.

So, what are you really going to do with your life? You have to make sure that you are going to stay focused in order to reach the goals that matter to you. If you have an idea of where you want to go, this guide is definitely for you.

First and foremost, you have to go slowly. This isn’t a sprint — unless you win the lottery, of course. It’s a marathon for the rest of us that will never win the lottery. You have to make sure that you’re constantly thinking about the chances of changing your life as rapidly as you want. If you’re not someone that has ever been able to budget, you can’t expect legendary budgeting skills right from the beginning. That’s just too much to honestly ask for.

Personal Finance Pitfalls

Why not step back and think about taking things more or less one day at a time. The worst thing that you can think about is rushing into a new financial plan when you know the chances of falling on your face are rather high. Now, we’re not trying to tell you that you’re going to fail or anything like that. On the contrary — we think that you’re going to be doing pretty good for yourself. You just need to give yourself enough time to really get things off the ground. If you know that you like eating out, going from 7 nights of eating out to 0 nights of eating out is going to be a shock.

It’s better to pare down carefully. Go with maybe 5 nights…then 3 nights… then a night out. You might find yourself thinking “Wow, with all of the money I’ve saved, I really don’t need to go out this week.”

Of course, that brings us to saving doesn’t it? You need to think about the fact that when you really start saving money, your goals become closer and closer to you. You aren’t going to have to think about going without the type of luxuries that make up your dreams. A home that you can call your own is worth giving up a few nights on the town, isn’t it?

Isn’t it worth it to think about that brand new car that could be sitting in your driveway as a months of giving up cable television that you didn’t watch anyway? It’s always good to see where you’re headed.

Getting the right people matters as well. Surrounding yourself with people that are just living for the moment in front of them is a bad idea. For one, saving and investing aren’t going to be high priorities. Asking for a raise so that you can put the extra into the bank isn’t going to be a high priority. When you’re only thinking about the short term, you’re going to have a rough go of things.

Saving, investing, budgeting — all of these are classic things that have to be done. How you get them done is up to you.

Stuck? Not sure if you can do it? Get a buddy to help you out. Reporting to another person is the top way to really make sure that everything will be fine. Why not check it out yourself? You probably have someone that wouldn’t mind helping you reach your financial goals!

By Jasmina