The global pandemic that hit in 2020 threw me into a whirlwind of emotion and I challenged myself to take a hard look at my relationships, overall lifestyle habits and my financial situation. I quickly found that I wasn’t alone in how I was re-examining my life, my value system and my overall approach to the future. The K-shaped recovery our economy is experiencing has some people high-fiving a fruitful 2020 and others scrambling to find new employment and even a new career altogether. Whatever your situation is, I want to share 5 easy ways to find financial wellness in 2021.
#1- Raise your financial awareness
You can simply raise your financial awareness by reflecting on how your financial situation panned out in 2020. You can dive deep into financial situation if that works for you or take a simpler approach, regardless of what you decide, it’s a great time to look at last year through a financial lens. We look to the past not to judge ourselves but to see how we can tweak, pivot and make micro-habit based changes that can improve our overall financial wellness in 2021. Here are 3 questions you can ask yourself to get your financial juices flowing:
#2- Focus on what’s working
The New Year often comes with resolutions up the wazoo! There can be outside pressure to change to be BETTER. We can internalize that in a way that causes more set backs. If you’ve created a gigantic list of all the things you need to change about yourself to be a better version of you, I’d encourage you to throw that away! Or at least put it aside and instead jot down 3-5 financial habits or behaviors you’re really proud of, keeping in mind what’s served you well up until now. Rather than looking at all the things you want to do differently, focus on what you do really well! This slight mindset shift and it’ll open up space for what inspires you every day and motivate you to improve your financial wellbeing. We want to look at this from a place of inspiration not lack. Because in case you forgot, you’re already amazing!
#3- Set financial dates
What’s sexier than a date night filled with numbers? I know, right?! But seriously, whether you’re planning alone or with a partner, make financial dates recurring on your calendar. They can be thoughtful times for connection and vision planning for your future rather than these awkward forced moments to talk finances.
#4- Pay yourself first
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but if you’re like me, things tend to go on my To Do List and I often put things for myself closer to the bottom. Pick 1 financial goal that you have, this could be to set up an emergency fund, your kid’s college fund, a second home, anything you want! Set up automatic savings from your checking account or paycheck directly into this account. You want to set it and forget it so it’s happening automatically behind the scenes. The amount you put in right now is less important than actually starting. Start now!
#5-Align your value system with your money
Your life and money don’t have to be separate conversations. As you define what’s important to you and meaningful in your life, begin to incorporate what role money plays in the big picture. Spend time intentionally thinking about what role you want money to play in your life and clarity will follow shortly thereafter.
Financial planning should become a habit and the more you raise your awareness, the easier reaching your financial goals will become. As Steven Covey wrote in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.” When you sit down and figure out where you want to go, you will hop on the path to get there! Happy Saving! 🌸