You’ve got goals girl, and some pretty big ones too! There’s just one little thing holding you back… you’re kinda ignoring your finances, and you’re over it.
You’re ready to get a plan in place, or start executing on the plan you already have, but you’re wondering, “what financial habits can I be doing on a regular basis?”
I’m going to share a lot of ideas, but don’t feel like you need to be doing all of this immediately. Start slow with creating one new habit and build from there.
Also, everyone is unique and different and it’s about finding the habits that work for you and your goals. So take what you like, leave what you don’t.
Track your income and expenses
This is a great habit if you have trouble saving money, paying down debt, or if you want to be more mindful of where your money is going.
The point of tracking your cash flow is to understand what’s going on in your finances right now. This is not about putting yourself on a restrictive budget. This is about awareness and being mindful of where your money is going, without judgement, guilt, or shame.
It’s all about collecting data and information about what’s going on right now so that you can begin to make intentional and conscious decisions about where your money is going.
Track your net worth
Okay, so what’s net worth?! Net worth = assets – debts
Assets: things you own. Cash, investments, property.
Debts: things you owe. Mortgage, student loan, car loan, credit cards.
Why might you care about this? Well, it’s a great measure of your financial health. You can see how effectively you’re building wealth by knowing the value of your investments. You can see if you have too much or too little cash in the bank. You can check your progress in debt repayment.
Your net worth goes up as you increase your assets (save money and gain value on your investments) and as you decrease your debts (make payments to your loans and credit cards).
Set and review your financial goals
This habit can help you gain clarity on what you’re working towards, motivate you to take action, and give you a purpose for your money.
Financial goals are really just the money part of life goals. Most life goals require resources like time and money, and financial goals help you figure out what that looks like so that you can take intentional action towards creating the resources you need to make your goals happen.
I think it’s a great habit to both set these goals but also check in with the regularly, review your progress, and make tweaks and changes as necessary.
Set a focus for each month
There are so many moving pieces to your finances that it’s really easy to get overwhelmed and not take any action.
That’s why I would recommend taking baby steps. I like to set a focus for each month. You may work better on a weekly or quarterly basis, but whatever that time frame is, pick 1 small part of your finances you can work on.
Forecast what’s happening next month
I think this is especially helpful for business owners who deal with variable cash flow, and also if you’re working on building up your emergency fund and paying down credit cards.
Thinking ahead to what’s already in motion for the upcoming month is a great way to get an idea of how your finances will be affected – how much will you be making, any big expenses coming up, how much will you be saving, etc.
This can help you identify the gaps between what’s already happening, your current resources, and the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Create a plan to bridge the gap
As you’re identifying your goals, current situation, and the gaps, you can start to create a plan and actionable steps to work towards your goals.
Maybe you notice you have to get your car repaired so you need to pull from your emergency fund.
Maybe it’s that you want to save into your investment account so you set up a transfer from your checking account to your investment account.
Maybe you want to hit a certain revenue goal in your business and you need 2 more clients to get there.
Maybe you want to buy a house and you have no idea what your budget is so you want to do some research to figure out what type of home you can afford.
Do you see how you can start to set action steps to bridge the gap between where you are right now and the goal you’re looking to accomplish?
Hold space to take financial action
Okay so now you have your action steps, and sometimes the hardest part is actually doing the work to follow through.
Create the time and space for yourself to make your finances a priority and to do the work. What you put time and energy towards will grow, but you have to want it enough to create that space.
You can carve out a weekly or monthly financial meeting on the same day/time. You can ask a friend to sit down with you while you each work on your finances. You can work with a coach or a professional to hold that space for you.
Check in when things change
Life events are always a good time to review your finances.
Things like sharing finances with a partner or spouse, buying a house, having a baby, starting a business, changing jobs, etc.
Anytime you’re in the midst of a transition, it’s likely your finances will transition a bit as well, and it’s a good time for a review to see what tweaks and changes you need to make to your finances.
Stop before you swipe
Before you’re about to make a purchase, take a mindful moment to check in with yourself. Ask yourself – what about I buying, why am I buying this, how do I envision myself using this, is this something that I value and truly care about, am I spending out of emotion or to try and “quick fix” a problem?
Simply taking that mindful moment before swiping your credit card can help you spend more intentionally
Pay attention to thoughts, words, and beliefs around money
Notice where you may be saying, thinking, or believing things about money that are negative or holding you back.
This is about being really self aware and honest with yourself and noticing when you have thoughts, words, or beliefs that do not serve you and do not work with you to achieve your goals.
By learning how to think more positively and abundantly about money, you can have a better relationship with money, which usually leads to more dollars in the bank account.
If you’re stuck in your head, get help
If you’ve noticed thoughts, words, or beliefs that are negative and don’t serve you, reach out for help. There are mindset coaches, financial professionals, therapists, friends and family, and like-minded communities that can help you work through your money mindset blocks. Just make sure they’re supportive and non-judgmental.
I also recommend approaching asking for help with an open mind and a willingness to be honest, self aware, and ready to take action to grow. You are not “dumb” and you “should not know this.” I know you didn’t learn this stuff in school, it’s okay to get help to learn a new skill!
Consume financial content
This is a fun habit if you’re just looking to learn and deepen your knowledge on finances. You can have a weekly, monthly, or whenever habit where you are consuming financial content.
There are tons of podcasts, blogs, workshops, and more all geared towards finances. You don’t even have to learn practical “how-to’s.” There’s content on mindset, stories, and inspiration.
This is a great way to normalize this topic and make finances feel less scary.
Most importantly, take action
I gave you a lot of ideas right there and you may be feeling overwhelmed. I’d like to give you permission to start slow and focus on 1 small thing at a time.
You may also be confused about how to put a habit into action, since this was more of a broad overview and not necessarily a detailed description. So if that’s the case, please schedule a free 30 minute money chat with me and I’ll walk you through step by step how to implement the new financial habit you’d like to work on first. Don’t be shy, I’m here to help!