Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Money is a subject that many seem to get touchy about, probably because it causes so much worry and anxiety amongst nearly everyone. The only way to get over this uncomfortable feeling and take hold of your financial situation is to confront it head-on and get organized.
Being financially healthy does not happen overnight...it takes 21 days to create a habit, and 90 days to change your life.
It's going to be a challenging journey, but once complete can make your life much more comfortable and easier. The most crucial point to make here is to PLAN. Saving money and being conscious about what you are spending it on can be almost stress-free if you outline a basic plan or set of rules you’d like to follow in the long run; even having something such as The Ambition Planner's 50/30/20 Method Worksheet to organize where your money is going can be helpful in the slightest bit.
1. GET ORGANIZED
The first and arguably the most important step is to organize all of your finances. What is needed and what is nonessential? Are you spending too much on eating out? Do you have money in an emergency fund? These are some basic questions to look at to help you get started. There are many different moving parts when it comes to being financially sound, such as:
Growing savings and retirement accounts.
Planning a weekly or monthly budget.
Keeping track of your recurring monthly expenses (subscriptions, rent, etc.).
Having one stable source of income (and sometimes, having multiple sources of income).
Knowing what the difference is between good and bad credit and how to maintain a credit card while avoiding long-term debt.
2. CREATE GOALS
Setting goals is something we have mentioned before in this blog post about living with intention, and this is important because it will guide you throughout accomplishing important steps that put you on track to reach your goals. If you have goals set in place and can visualize exactly where you want to end up, and the road to becoming financially fit is much less intimidating. When setting these goals, remember to think S.M.A.R.T. (there is a helpful guide in our 90-Day Planner if you aren’t sure where to begin) and set attainable standards. Some money-planning goals people create are debt elimination, saving a certain amount per month, or being more strict with spending.
3. IT’S A MINDSET
Having a money mindset is a real thing. It means focusing on exactly what you want within your finances and driving yourself towards that. You have to manifest the life you strive for and continue to do so until you have reached what you want. If you go to work every day with the mindset of “this is all there is for me” then you’ll end up staying stagnant. Here are some affirmations to repeat daily or weekly that will assist you in reaching your financial goals:
“I am capable of whatever I set my mind to and work hard for.”
“I am in control of the decisions I make and the consequences that follow.”
“I will take advantage of challenges I face as an opportunity to grow.”
“I am a money magnet. I will attract abundance and prosperity.”
“I am focused on being so financially secure that I forget when it is payday.”
4. PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES
This is especially relevant, considering the lessons we learned in 2020. Things happen in our lives that we can’t plan for, and you have to be prepared for when they do arise. Something in your house might break, your car will have troubles, you could unexpectedly lose your job…the list could go on and on. Your emergency fund in no way has to be a large sum of money but should be there for you in case you need it. Go through and classify what you consider to be an emergency and what is not, and regularly set money aside for when you truly need it.
5. INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE
Investing in your future can mean something different for each individual, from actually investing money to simply doing something that will reap you benefits in the future. For me, this might mean passing on impulse purchasing clothes (or something similar) so I can use that money for something I will actually need in the future. Regardless of how you choose to interpret this, it will always pay you back later. Save your money when you have the opportunity, invest in yourself, discipline yourself now so that you can spoil yourself later. Some small things you can do to invest in your future could be:
Starting a leisure savings account.
Learn about and invest in stocks.
Make decisions while keeping your future in mind.
Learn about things you’re passionate about and apply yourself.
Cut things out of your life that are toxic and negative.
Obviously, some of these are more money-minded, while some are just general life principles that can bring you mental peace and wealth. All of the tips above are applicable to various stages in life and levels of wealth, so go ahead and try them out! There is no better time to start than right now, so stop making excuses and start making it happen for yourself!