Whether you got a late start on saving for retirement or you racked up credit card debt, or invested wrongly, you’re not alone in making some ill-advised financial decisions.

Whenever I find myself trapped in a tough financial situation, the first thing I usually do is reflect on the situation and ask myself this simple question: “What can I do right now that would improve my financial situation?” Listed below are four things you can do to recover from your financial mistakes.

1. Learn from your mistakes:

The most important life lessons we will ever learn will be from the bad decisions we make. We need to learn from our mistakes so that we don't run the risk of repeating them. Many people rack up debt, spend years paying it off, then end up in the same position years later because they never change their ways or fix the core source of their problem. So, take ownership of your mistake, figure out what went wrong, and be ready to fix the core source of the problem so you don't make the same mistake again.

2. Make a plan to remedy your mistakes:

Some mistakes can’t be “fixed” (e.g. losing money to a get-rich-quick scam), but others can be remedied. Take, for example, a damaged credit score. There are ways to bring your score back into good graces over time. Your plan of attack would include paying your bills to get your accounts out of default, ensuring debts are paid without fail on the agreed fixed date and using credit responsibly.

3. Financial Education:

By learning all you can about personal finance and money management, you will discover how to win with money and the pitfalls to avoid. If you find yourself overwhelmed by debt, learning about different debt payoff strategies is a smart thing to do. Remember, knowledge is power. Anything you can learn about personal finance will leave you in a stronger position to build wealth and avoid future money mistakes.

4. Create a Financial Plan and stick with it:

Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. Without a short, medium and long-term financial plan in place, you’re less likely to achieve any of your financial goals. If you want to be financially successful, you need to plan for your success. And that includes writing down your goals, creating a financial plan to get you there, and sticking with that plan.

Remember, to make mistakes is to be human. Don’t let your financial mistakes tarnish the way you view yourself and your self-worth. Your past money blunders don't define you.

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Oyenike Adetoye

About Nike

Oyenike Adetoye (aka Nike) is an impactful speaker, author and personal finance expert. A Chartered Management Accountant by profession. Nike is the founder and CEO of LifTED Finance, a private financial firm that educates, coaches and supports people on their journey through financial fitness and wealth management.