New year, new me.
2019 is finna be MY YEAR!
Have you ever passionately declared your financial intentions only to fizzle out? You’re not alone. Yup, it’s that time of the year where we make declarations and oaths. Today we’re talking all about resolutions, specifically money resolutions, and how to make and keep them as a married couple. Financial resolutions rank second, behind health goals, that we tend to declare once that clock strikes 12. We set intentions, even visualizing how we want to feel WHEN we accomplish them. But the problem is that we just don’t know WHAT to plan for. All we know is that we want “to be better with money”, pero what does that even mean?! Here lies the potential potential challenge: having wishes, without purpose, accountability and direction. As a result, we work hard, not smart. We tirelessly work at this goal that is only fueled by emotions and fumes. Not to worry, let me help guide you so that you avoid overwhelm, burn out and defeat. I’m sharing seven ways to prepare to make this new year, and EVERY year, your best financial year ever.
Starting something new, or making necessary adjustments, can be intimidating. The resilience it takes to stay consistent and commitment in the midst of delayed gratification is hard HARD. It is so easy to find ourselves overwhelmed and tempted to quit, or worse, actually throwing in the towel. Let me help you avoid defeat and discouragement by reminding you to pray! Ask God for financial direction. Ask God for the discipline needed to push through. Ask God for joy amidst what may seem like a long and grueling journey. Ask God for encouragement along the way. Ask God for strategy. Ask God for His plan for you this season. By now, I’m sure you get it: pray! Do not go at this alone, because you are not!
Most people do not hit or accomplish their financial goals because they haven’t made a decision to do so. Sounds simple right. Get to a place where you collectively have had enough and then make a decision to make choices that will align with your financial dreams. Meet as a couple and give that goal a name. Saying things like “we have to be better with money”, is not descriptive or enticing enough to light a fire under you for meaningful actionable steps. Decide as a couple on a measurable goal, with a meaningful outcome, and then make it happen. I want to save $1000, eh, that’s cool or whatever. $1000 saved so that a car repair doesn’t send me into a financial emergency and eating Instant Ramen noodles for a week will light a fire underneath you to execute and stick to.
Celebrate your financial wins
If you’re like me, you unfortunately beat yourself up and FORGET to celebrate areas of excellence and progress. So let me remind you to go over what transpired financially last year that actually worked. In what areas did you guys kill it? Did you guys save money by sticking to a meal plan and budgeting once a month for date night out? Celebrate those areas where you developed a discipline muscle.
What Needs To Change
Before you can aim towards a goal, set yourself up for success by accessing areas that need improvement or full-on eradication. What is your financial kryptonite? When and where are you most likely to overspend? Did you spend way too much on dining out? Do you need a 17 million gig data plan when you use WIFI while at work and home? Did uncle Uber see more of your income than your savings account? Are you buying too much groceries only to have it spoil? What are your spending triggers? There are so many luxuries, not necessities, that we can elimiate or reduce from our lifestyles. When you are aware you are of your financial temptations, you become empowered and vigiliant over financial leaks.
Make an Audacious Money Goal
Allow the momentum of knowing you guys killed it in certain areas, to motivate you to set an audacious money goal! Now is not the time to retreat and strraegize “safe money goals”, out of fear of failing you stick to comfortable goals. You’ve heard the phrase “strike while the iron is hot”. Don’t get complacent! Double down on what worked! Did you Guys pay every bill on time? Perhaps put them on auto-pay and see if each company would cut you a deal for doing so. Did you comfortably pay the minimum of your debts? How about pay 10% more? Debt free and want to max out retirement contributions? How about giving more to The Kingdom? There are so many audacious goals you can make. Have the conversation as a team.
The Plan To Execute
Knowing what to do and having a strategy in place, are TWO 👏🏾different 👏🏾 things. We walk ambitiously, and arguably, naively into our resolutions without a plan in place. What I have come to realize is that we need to establish HOW shall we’re to accomplish our financial goals. What can we uncomfortably, but with God’s grace and support from others, cut back? Do you want to cut back on mindless spending? First look through your accounts and monitor your expenses. You can not eliminate/reduce what you are unaware of. Do you have a swiping problem in certain store? Perhaps allocate cash and carry envelops with you when you go there. Do you have a spending plan in place? How about a debt repayment plan?
Call in the Reinforcements
Have a plan, for your plan, to be successful. What needs to be put in place to ensure you stick to your new or enhanced money goals. Do you need to enlist an accountability partner? Do you need to set alerts in your phone to schedule budget meetings together? Do you tend to overspend while out shopping? Carry cash and walk with a list. Once your cash is done, you’re out that door!
Being a steward for God is a marathon, where progression is the goal. Release the ever fleeing perfection and learn to shower yourselves in grace. That’s only possible to The Lord. Do not take on more than you can realistically commit to. Have open, consistent money talks to encourage one another to stay the course and abreast to what’s going on. And lastly, may God give you both a measure of hope to believe that you are more than empowered and capable of creating the financial future of your dreams.