Any time there are big changes in our lives, the financial planning aspect of things gives me a bit of anxiety. I begin to think about every penny we will need to make the new shift in our lives go off without a hitch and, guess what? Things almost never go to plan. Not exactly anyway. So, we have had to put some thought into how to prepare for big life changes headed our way.
Huge Changes Coming Our Way
In a few weeks’ time, I hope to be able to share some positive news with you all on the blog. There are some HUGE changes coming our way. They are also changes that will involve some financial planning and saving on our part. As you know, we recently moved into a new home. On top of that, we’ve been going through even more changes that will impact our family in a big way.
Thankfully, my husband recently got a new job. He is able to work from home with me now and his income will greatly assist with these changes. We are aiming to get a substantial amount of money saved and then looking to double up on our debt payments. Hopefully, within the year, we will have our car 100% paid for (that is the goal anyway).
Since we have started planning for this big change coming up in our lives, it got me thinking about how others prepare for big life changes. Of course, there is nothing that works for everyone but there are several common ideas and things most people do when they are prepping for something big.
How to Prepare for Big Life Changes
Depending on what kind of change you are preparing for, the steps to get there will look different. If you are preparing to buy your first home, you will be making some financial sacrifices and also spending a great deal to get ready for that. If the changes you are making are more personal in nature, like quitting cigarettes or getting sober, your steps will look different. However, each of these tips seems to be applicable across the board.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. When you are going through something life-changing, you need to build a solid support system. Find people with who you feel comfortable talking about your upcoming changes with who you can rely to be supportive when you need them. In some cases, this may mean financial support or simply emotional support to get through the big change.
- Express your feelings often. One big mistake people make when they are going through a big transition in life is not expressing themselves clearly. When you aren’t able to make your own emotions and thoughts known, it becomes difficult to shake them. For instance, if you feel like you have hit a wall with your financial goals and feel stuck, express that frustration to someone you trust. Getting those feelings out will help you tremendously.
- Know why you are making the changes you are making. For each small goal you have, know why you are making those changes and how it contributes to the bigger picture. Knowing the “why” behind each move you make can help motivate you.
- Be realistic with expectations. Many people hit walls or stop seeing progress because they aren’t realistic with the goals they set. If you are facing a huge life change like we are, it is important that you are down-to-earth with what to expect of yourself and others. Change does not happen overnight.
- Allow for difficulty. Nothing ever goes according to plan, not exactly anyway. Make concessions for difficulties that may befall you along the way and don’t let them hold you back. Simply alter your plans to adjust for the bump in the road and move on.
- Practice self-care. No matter what, you need to continue to take care of yourself. Practice self-care in whatever way is most rewarding for you (just make sure it doesn’t hinder your progress). For some people, this may be taking time out of the day to unplug and read a book – that is my personal favorite. Others may need to work out or unplug and take a nice bath. Think about how you practice self-care and schedule time for those things while you are going through big changes. This will help you stay on track and keep you sane.
When it comes to how to prepare for big life changes there is no “how-to” guide. You need to find what works best for you mentally, emotionally, physically, and go with that. It may not look the same as what worked for your friends or family, but if it works for you, that is all that matters.
Readers, how have you gone about preparing for big life changes? What was key for you?
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.