Are you tired of having a negative relationship with money? Do you often feel as though your finances control you, not the other way around? By taking a few simple steps, you can improve your relationship with money and learn how to enjoy life without having to constantly keep an eye on your spending—and at the same time, keep your budget in line so that you’re able to increase your savings and prepare for retirement.
Step One: Acknowledge the Money Relationship
Many people go through life without ever acknowledging the need to spend time with their finances. They vaguely keep an eye on their bank accounts, but they spend without taking the time to think it through. Crafting a relationship with your money takes just as much work as crafting a relationship with a person–including spending time getting to know it, working with it, and keeping an eye on your finances.
Step Two: Recognize that the Power is In Your Hands
Your money isn’t going to magically start working for you, nor is a fairy going to magically make you rich. When it comes to money, you’re the only one who has the power to create change, and it’s important that you do exactly that. Improving your relationship with money means acknowledging that you have the power. When you take charge and stop letting others make your money decisions for you, you’ll find that it’s easier to make good choices toward improving your financial standing.
Step Three: Look At Your Big Picture Goals
What is it that you want money to do for you long-term? What are your big-picture financial goals? Chances are, you don’t want to keep simply living paycheck to paycheck, but what do you want? Do your big goals include…
- Buying a house?
- Sending a child to college?
- Pet or hobby expenses you’d like to be able to afford?
Take the time to sit down and think about what you really want your money to accomplish for you. Have you always dreamed of owning a boat? Is it important to you to be able to take a vacation with your family every summer? Taking the time to think about your big picture goals will help better shape your future money relationship.
Step Four: Evaluate Your Current Standing
Where is your current financial standing? Are you able to achieve your goals in your current situation? In some cases, shifting your spending may be enough to help you reach your goals. In other cases, you may find that you need to increase your income or make your money work for you in order to actually meet your goals. Make changes to your money relationship as needed. For example, you might cut unnecessary spending or look for ways to bring in passive income to help meet your big picture goals.
Step Five: Keep Track of Your Goals
Making financial changes is great, but not if you make only short-term changes or if you’re still failing to meet your goals. Set time for a money “date” each month to make sure that you’re making progress toward your goals–and celebrate it when you do!
When you see that savings account increase or you get closer to paying off debt, reward yourself. You don’t have to spend extra money to enjoy a little time with a loved one or do something special with your family. When you aren’t reaching your goals, on the other hand, see what shifts you need to make in order to do better in the future.
Your relationship with money doesn’t have to be a terrible one. Develop better overall financial outlook that will help support your family and reach your monetary goals. The tools are in your hands to repair your relationship once and for all.
Information appearing in this article is obtained from sources we believe are reliable. The information may not be a complete statement of all available data and is not guaranteed as such. Marine FCU is not responsible for the contents of this article and advises its membership to investigate claims before following the information provided.