Let me suggest a foolproof strategy for achieving financial savvy…especially if you’re having a hard time doing it. Think big. Act small. And never, ever stop until you reach your goal.

One reason so many have trouble with money—saving more, investing wisely, or paying off debt—is because it seems so overwhelming. And indeed it can be. But I truly believe the secret to success is this: small steps consistently taken create remarkable results.

I am convinced:

  1. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get smart.
  2. It doesn’t take a lot of money to create wealth.
  3. It’s best to begin when you’re young, but it’s never, ever too late to start.

A big part of attaining financial freedom is simply changing your habits.

Early on, I devised a 3-step plan for myself that was amazingly effective at changing my habitual avoidance. Try these 3 steps for 4 months, and see what happens:

Reading up1. Everyday, read something about money, even if it’s just for a minute or two, even if it’s only the headlines of the business section of the newspaper, or a money magazine while you’re waiting in line at the grocery. So much of getting smart or smarter about money is understanding the jargon and the current trends.

2. Every week, have a conversation about money, especially with someone who knows more than you. I learned this from my interviews with financially savvy women. Whenever you meet anyone who knows more than you, ask them how they got smart, the mistakes they made, and what’s worked best for them. I think it’s our secrecy and silence about money that keeps us stuck.

3. Every month, save. Automatically have money transferred from your checking account or paycheck to your savings account. How much? Better to save say $10 a month, than try to put aside too much and eventually give up because you feel the pinch. Small amounts really do add up surprisingly fast. And as the saying goes: it’s easier to find 500 ways to save $1 than it is to find 1 way to save $500.