The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.


4: Make a Plan

Identify Barriers

identify barriers

So far this course has focused mostly on your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, but in many life transitions, you will face outside challenges and real barriers.

Once you have clarity about your own perspective, it’s time to assess the obstacles in front of you using the strategies from earlier in this course. When you can face these circumstances clearly, you can start to make a plan to take intentional action.

With any obstacle, ask yourself, is this something I have control over? For the things you can’t control, you might benefit from letting go of the thought and stopping the worry, at least for the moment.

  • Financial Barriers
    The first step to any money challenge is to get very specific about how much you need. It might be hard to get started, but just the act of writing down all your projected expenses can start to make it feel more manageable. Know your numbers. Write it all down. Then you can start to problem-solve how to tackle it.
  • Relationship barriers
    If you see a particular person or group of people as an obstacle, first separate your observations from your interpretations. Take time to identify exact words, actions and inactions. Resist the urge to blame or judge them. Even if you truly are a victim of injustice, your case will be stronger if you can present it clearly, with evidence, and without bias or emotion. When you’re ready, you might talk to the other party on your own, or enlist an objective third party (such as a mediator or trusted friend or family member). It is crucial that any outside person be neutral and that both you and the other person/people trust them to mediate.
  • Personal barriers
    Sometimes you might need help managing your own inner resources in times of change. If your emotions or thoughts feel out of your control, then you must care for yourself before attempting to move forward. If you need help and you don’t know where to turn, call 2-1-1 to find local resources in your area or call someone you trust. No matter what you are going through, you do not have to do it alone — especially if you are scared or in extreme emotional pain.
Course Home