Key First Steps to Change Your Financial Course

Change your financial course

Each household has its own set of operating expenses, and family make-up plays a large role in the way money managers conduct personal finance.  Despite differences, however, most families face the same types of challenges and rely on similar creative solutions, overcoming life's inevitable financial obstacles. If you are in a bind, or simply want to take control of household money matters; learning from others' experiences can help you reach your goals without making too many costly mistakes.

Take Responsibility for Individual Money Matters

If you don't protect your financial interests, who will?  Although budgeting and cash management may seem intimidating and interfere with your free time, the first steps toward financial stability include owning up to your personal financial responsibilities and doing everything necessary to make the most of your financial resources. 

Learn as you go

The learning curve mastering personal finance is a wide arc, continually challenging household money managers to learn new skills and stay informed about personal economics.  From the early days, learning to balance your checkbook, to understanding advanced investing principles; financial savvy grows over the course of a lifetime.  In order to facilitate the best financial outcomes, it is important that you feel comfortable with various aspects of finance.  If you do not have the answers at your fingertips it is your responsibility to seek help and reinforce your financial understanding.

Do whatever it takes 

While it's impossible to create a bank balance using only your will to be financially successful; your attitude and mindset do influence personal financial outcomes.  Committing to a "whatever it takes" philosophy means accepting sacrifice and adjusting your spending habits for the betterment of your financial health.

Prep for future unknowns 

If there is one thing you can count on, tending to your finances, it is unexpected expenses.  Around every corner, repair bills, medical costs, and countless demands outside your customary cash flow, take a toll on your finances.  To reinforce your security, whenever possible, prepare for future spending, setting aside "rainy day" resources you can lean on under financial duress. 

Identify the Underlying Cause of Your Financial Problems

Too often, financial issues are swept under the rug, left to grow until they present even bigger problems.  While the approach may put-off the unpleasant reality of facing troubling money matters; financial problems do not go away on their own.  With a flawed financial foundation, even the smallest cash flow issues can quickly grow into formidable hurdles.  If you are serious about turning your finances in a healthy direction, resolving the underlying causes of ongoing issues is the only way to stabilize shaky household finances.  

With so many demands pulling at your financial resources, any number of causes may be at the heart of your money problems.  And since each solution speaks to a different underlying issue, understanding is at the heart of correcting financial shortfalls.

Is it a spending problem? 

Naturally, spending is related to most financial difficulties, but it is important to distinguish between everyday money problems and irresponsible spending habits.  If you seem to come up short each month, take a close look at where your money goes.  Reeling-in unnecessary spending may be enough to ease the pressure and change your financial fortunes.

Are you in over your head?

Cost of living problems are sometimes harder to face than temporary setbacks.  When your income level doesn't support your monthly financial obligations, drastic measures may be required to restore balance.  If your financial problem appears systemic, analyze your base costs, including rent or mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, car payments, credit card obligations, and any other bills you expect to pay month after month.  If there isn't enough coming in to consistently cover the basics, building an affordable base or increasing household income are the only ways to find firm financial footing.


Taking responsibility for financial difficulties and identifying the underlying cause of issues impacting your cash flow are two keys steps, which must be taken before you can change harmful habits.  For the best results, learn from others' success and take a pragmatic approach to stabilizing household finances.

Bola Onada Sokunbi

Bola is a Certified Financial Educator, money coach, finance writer, business strategist, social media influencer and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves and to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.