Athletes need to make financial decisions like any other person, but the challenges they face, such as the special nature of their income and managing sudden wealth, makes them susceptible to taking a hard fall when faced with similar financial hurdles as the majority of the population.
Whatever the cause of finding yourself in financial distress and with no light visible at the end of the tunnel, giving up shouldn’t be an option. We have created a list of 5 simple steps that can help you take control of your situation and move forward:
- Accept your situation and define your starting point
It might be hard to accept your new reality but it should be the first thing on your list since it’s the only thing that really matters right now. Thinking about what led you to your current situation and getting stuck in the past is only holding you back from moving forward. Letting go might not be the right thing to do but it is definitely the best thing to do to help you get unstuck.
Defining a starting point for your financial plan to reverse your current situation requires you to make a list of all the available resources and liabilities you have. If you don’t know where you stand, you can’t create a route, a plan towards the goals you want to achieve in the future. It is really important to make this list as accurate as possible because it will greatly affect the success of your financial recovery plan.
- Setting your Goals
After defining your starting point you have to define your goals and where you want to stand financially in the future. You created a starting point at step 1 and now at step 2 you are choosing an end point, your destination, which is the same thing as setting a goal. For more details on how you can set financial goals you can read our article “Money Smart Athlete’s goal setting” here.
- Develop your plan
To continue our analogy, after choosing a starting point (where you are now) and an end point (where you want to be in the future) you have to plot the most efficient route to connect these two points. This route (your plan) must be balanced and devised based on your personal characteristics and the resources you have available. Optimally you must make the process fun and fulfilling in order to motivate you but that may not be feasible in the case of a financial recovery plan. However, you can find motivation and emotional satisfaction through achieving smaller milestones on the way to financial recovery.
- Taking the first step
Taking the first step is one of the most difficult things you will have to do. Of course it’s scary and the result is uncertain, but planning without converting your plan into action is nothing but wishful thinking. The second step is equally important. Taking consistent action based on your financial recovery plan is what will turn the goals you have set into real results.
- Make adjustments to your plan
No one can guarantee that your plan will be successful. But going through the planning process and then taking action towards your goals, is a learning experience you must take advantage of.
Your plan won’t be perfect from the beginning and you may have to constantly correct its course. The road to financial recovery won’t be a sprint but a marathon, and you may need to apply all the skills and knowledge you have acquired throughout your athletic career. The path to recovery itself will definitely be a winding one and you will need to adjust your course several times but if you keep going, at the end you will manage to achieve your financial recovery goals!
If you need assistance in creating a financial recovery plan, you may send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org