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financial health assessment

Source: Charday Penn / Getty

It’s important to stop and appreciate our progress. I think so many of us just have those big, higher-level goals that we’re always focusing on, that we don’t realize all the little achievements we make along the way. Some of those are financial achievements. Would I like to pay off my mortgage early one day, with one massive payment? Sure. But for now, I am making my monthly payments on time, and that’s something to celebrate. Would I like to be able to donate so much to an animal organization one day that I save hundreds of lives? Yes. But for now, when I can, I donate enough to buy food for a dog for a week in a shelter. And that is still something to be proud of.


If we don’t stop to pat ourselves on the back for our smaller milestones, how are we to find the motivation to keep going towards those larger ones? If we don’t stop to recognize the progress we’re making, how are we to even know we are getting anywhere? A lot of us are doing better financially than we think—not because we are, in a vacuum, somewhere great, but because we’re somewhere better than we were yesterday. And last month. And last year. And last decade. It’s about that steady incline.


Even those who you see as tremendously wealthy can probably tell you that it didn’t happen overnight (besides those rare success stories). They will tell you that they made these changes, that led to these results, that they harnessed in these ways. As long as you keep moving forward, you’ll reach that higher-level financial goal. So stop to appreciate that you are moving forward. Here are financial milestones to be proud of.


Going off on your own

I don’t know how old you are or were when you did this, but going off on your own is a big deal! At age 23, my parents stopped providing all financial help (besides keeping me on their health insurance plan—I was still paying it, but receiving their discount). That’s huge. That means that, on that day, your parents no longer had to worry about making enough money to support you. You relieved them of that.

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