When we deal with our finances – spend less, save an emergency fund and invest for retirement, all of this requires good money habits and discipline. Following good money habits is easier said than done and if we are to add guilt and shame that some of us carry then we are certainly heading for a mental breakdown and financial disaster.
Well, the solution to this is to follow some relatively simple steps to move from negative feelings and lack of discipline to a positive money mindset and great habits.
So, lets check them out!
1. Its human to err – so forgive yourself
We all make mistakes. Inorder to move on, we need to accept and acknowledge whatever financial mistake we have made. And be sure to own up to the mistake if it was truly our fault. Whether it’s with a financial coach, or loved one―its important to talk about the mistake with someone else. While this step may sound scary right now, I promise it will lift the weight off your shoulders! It is time to get a game plan into action, get rid of debt (scream “I am debtfree”) and futureproof your finances.
The 3 simple yet powerful sentences to say aloud when we do make a mistake:
- It is not the end of the world. If this is the worst mistake I could have made, I will count myself lucky. I will come out of this stronger.
- My worth is not connected to my finances. I am worth more than my money.
- If a loved one made this same mistake, I would choose to forgive them. Therefore, I choose to forgive myself.
2. Understand Your Money Mindset
While you may think you know your attitude towards money, it’s possible that you’re not fully aware of how your views are shaping your decision-making.
As most experts suggest, track the thoughts that come up each time you make a money decision. As we make so many money decisions in our lives, doing this for just one day and then reviewing the results for patterns can be enough to deepen your awareness of your attitudes. With more clarity on your mindset, you can identify beliefs and habits that affect your ability to stick to (or even create) goals and plans.
3. Avoid the comparison game
In this age of social media, reality TV, and designer brands, it’s far too easy to get sucked into making comparisons. We compare ourselves to other family members, to our friends, to celebrities, and to fictional characters on TV. Rather than comparing yourself to others, start by creating attainable goals for yourself and compare yourself to those. Celebrate the wins and update your goals as you reach them.
4. Follow and maintain the goal plan
You have your goals clearly set up and an actionable plan in place so now is the time to use effective habits to help you on that journey. Set one hour per week to check in with yourself. Use helpful online platforms like YNAB or Mint or just a simple spreadsheet.
If you’re in a relationship, pick a convenient time for both of you and ensure you will be fully present for the duration of the conversation. Granted, money discussions aren’t always smooth sailing for couples, and arguments can ensue. However, pushing through the discomfort can be the difference between staying together or splitting up for some couples.
5. Gratitude all the way
I cannot but stress the importance of practicing gratitude in everything we do. Adding to that is practicing daily affirmations which work as a powerful tool towards financial abundance. I do believe writing down all the things we are grateful for even if that means one small thing each day can help tremendously when you go through those challenging times and operating from a balanced mindset makes all the difference.