Imagine living one of your dreams. What does it feel like? What does it look like? What does it smell like? You have dreams and goals for your life, but the $$ keeps going out the door for other things that feel urgent at the time. Your goal seems to move just out of reach as you stretch out your hand for it. Disappointment and guilt set in. I hear you, girl! Don’t get discouraged, though. You’ll get there!
Each day you make choices that affect where you’re going. Most often, life does not simply happen to you. The little choices that build up along the way lead to where you are now. The wonderful part of it all is that you can choose to change that path trajectory at any time. You’re not stuck! You can start to implement routines and new habits to reach your goals. Physical heath gets talked about often, but financial health is an important piece of life to talk about also. What does it look like to be financially healthy? I’m writing from my own personal experience and research, but it looks different for different people. Methods that work for one person are hard for the next to implement. So take a look and determine which tips and ideas fit you and your situation the best!
– Start Meal Planning
Having a plan for your meals can save you tons of money each month. When you have a plan, you’re able to get the ingredients ahead of time, eat out less, and reduce stress when it comes to meal prep time. If you’re able to put some meals in the freezer for later, even better!
– Go to the Grocery Store with a List
Avoid additional purchase that are not on your grocery list. Decide before you even walk into the store that anything that is not on your list will not leave with you.
– Set Up a Money + Coffee Date
Whether it’s with yourself, or with your spouse, set up a day/time each month (put it on the calendar) to look over your finances, what progress you’ve made towards your goals, and any adjustments that need made. Make it a time to reflect, revise, and encourage.
– Stick to a Spending Plan
If you don’t have a spending plan yet, it’s time to create one. A spending plan is a list of the categories each month such as bills, expenses, and income. Having a spending plan works even if you have variable income. A couple of experts on the topic that I recommend are:
– Measure It
This may be an unconventional tip, but it’s true! Money is a resource that can be measured. It can be easy to think we are “saving” money by going to ten different grocery stores to get the lowest prices, but when we add up the time it took to get to all of them, it may actually be a loss. Buying clothes on sale even though we didn’t really need them isn’t saving money. Consider whether you are actually saving money, or if the product is being marketed to make you think you are. Your time is worth something too, so don’t forget to factor that in.
It can be easy to overlook the financial impact of the day-to-day activities that you engage in. When you’re tired and don’t want to cook, the urge to get teriyaki take-out can be hard to overcome. If you’ve planned the spontaneous takeout night into your spending plan, awesome! Go get that chicken and chopsticks. If you haven’t planned it in, take some time to consider what you’re giving up for that quick, last minute outing. It all adds up!
Money and time are resources that we exchange. We can make more money, but can’t get more time. We are meant to enjoy life and steward what we are given. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to make the most of what you have. Be generous, enjoy life, live within your means, and go make an impact with the resources you’ve been given!
Question: What is one thing you can do this week for your financial health, and to bring those goals one step closer?