Money Psychology: Find Your Motivation

Erika is a 24-year-old former shopaholic-turned personal finance blogger who writes about finding the perfect condo, trying to get into law school, saving money, shopping, and fitness and saving money for it all on her blog at From Shopping to Saving. She works as a Contracts Analyst in the legal department of a Fortune 500 company, lives with her boyfriend of 6 years, and when she’s not at the gym or at work, she is playing with her dog and studying for the LSAT.

My dad told me to become an environmental engineer when I was filling out college applications, so I took his advice and somehow got accepted to one of the best engineering colleges in the US. I thought everything would pan out the way I thought it would with no speed bumps in the road. Well, it didn’t exactly happen that way.

I started college when I was 17. I was in no way, shape or form ready to endure hard work to become the successful person I foresaw myself of becoming. I had no path and I had no guidance. As a result, I was academically dismissed (a fancy way for saying kicked out) from college. I thought my dreams were shattered and I thought that I would be forever known as a college drop-out, but I soon learned that there is always a way in which you can learn from failing, and that is how to pick yourself back up again.

I ended up taking 7 classes a semester at 2 community colleges, working 30 hours per week, and re-applied to the college I was kicked out of. Despite everyone telling me that I could not get back in, I proved everyone wrong and was accepted into the same college (but for a business degree) because I told myself I could.

It’s so easy to let that “Negative Nancy” in your life ruin your day, or actually make you believe that what he/she said was true. People will tell you that they have overcome significant obstacles in life, but my hardest obstacle was learning how to listen to myself instead of others and finding my motivation.

How does this relate to personal finance you ask?

Getting motivated is the first step in achieving financial freedom. I am a huge advocate of getting inspired and preparing yourself – by coming up with a plan of attack to tackle anything you decide to take on, no matter how insurmountable it may seem. Here is a guide for finding motivation:Let’s take for instance – saving for retirement, saving for a wedding, paying down credit card debt, paying down student loans, or planning to start a family or a big move. You won’t begin the journey to achieve your goal unless you find what truly motivates YOU.

  1. What is your ultimate goal? Think of your future self after you have reached your goal. Imagine the happiness that will fill you up and imagine the satisfaction you will achieve.

  2. What inspires you? I find my inspiration through music lyrics, quotes, movies, books, and by looking up to people whom I admire. Make an inspiration board on Pinterest or at home and think of why you are trying to achieve your goal. What gets you fired up, riled up, pumped up, and ready to kick some goal-achieving butt?

  3. How will you continue to remind yourself of this? Motivation is not something you find and keep in your pocket. You must continuously think about why you are doing what you are doing-keep reminding yourself of why you are doing this.

  4. Involve those you love. Whether it’s a family member, your significant other, or just sharing it with the blog world – people are there to listen to your trials and tribulations. Good or bad, you will succeed in the end and you will need positive reinforcement.

  5. Repeat!

What is one thing that we PF bloggers have in common? We all have that motivation to prosper and make our money work for us, and that is the key to success.

This can apply to everything, not just personal finance. I have applied it to school, studying for the LSAT, applying to law school, and getting back into shape. So let me know what you have done to find your motivation, and will you keep this in mind until you achieve your goal?

Michelle’s comment: Thanks so much for guest posting for me! Being motivated is definitely important. I try to think of a goal and that helps me achieve what I want. Check out her blog please!

What do you do to stay motivated? What’s a big goal you’re trying to accomplish?



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