A new year is upon us and it feels as fresh as the blanket of snow that covered the Black Hills last night. As I write this, I’m surrounded by the hum of our home, the crackling of a fireplace, and the reminder that nothing changes unless we do.
Like my clients, I am always looking to make progress toward my goals – spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally, mentally, and family-wise. What I’ve found over the years is that taking the time to build a strong financial foundation is key to unlocking doors so we may pursue other areas of self-development, as well.
For this reason, my advice for the new year – for current and prospective clients – is to take a deep breath and get serious about capitalizing on positive change this year. The following 5 tips will hopefully help you do just that.
Be willing to look at the hard stuff
Budgeting, credit card debt, interest rates — oh my! It’s all a lot to take in. But, when you feel motivated enough to create change, you’ll want to get serious about understanding the reality of your current financial situation. Sometimes, you just have to “rip off” the bandaid, so to speak. That requires courage and the willingness to see things as they are. Fortunately, my team and I are here to help you do this and buffer the blow with a sound financial plan.
Consider your investment options
The difference between the “low-income” and “rich” is primarily the understanding of investing. When a less wealthy individual receives $250 that they were not expecting, they are likely to put that toward groceries, a new video game, or a wonderful night out. While those are admirable splurges and I encourage everyone to also enjoy the life they are creating, it’s different from what a wealthy person would likely do. The wealthy person has already planned for their “night on the town” and, therefore, would make the money work for them. They would find a way to invest it – either in stock, precious metal, or perhaps putting it in one of the tax shelters they’ve started to grow their money with guaranteed compounding interest.
Once again, the wealthy make their money work for them by investing. When you can stop exceeding your income with expenses, eliminate debt, and free up cash flow, that is when doors unlock because you stop living paycheck to paycheck and instead start making your money work for you. Our team will help you dive into your monthly spending and “free up money” that can be put toward investment options. Then, after taking the time to understand your short and long-term goals, we’ll find investment solutions that match your lifestyle, cash flow availability, and long-term objectives.
Make your health a priority!
As someone who has worked as a chef, holistic nutritionist, personal trainer, and bodyworker for 8+ years before transitioning to work in the finance world, I 100% believe that our wealth is closely aligned with our health. Furthermore, many tax shelter investment options are not available to those who are not physically healthy enough to qualify. For instance, whole life insurance with a cash value provides living benefits that individuals and families can access. To qualify for one of these programs, however, you have to pass a medical exam.
This year, my advice is to get serious about accountability. Stop making excuses for excessive drive-thru visits when you could have taken 20 minutes the evening prior to boil rice and bake chicken. It’s not a time problem, it’s a priority problem. Those who are willing to put in the work and help themselves get ahead are the ones who succeed. As you will succeed financially, take the time to also care for your and your family’s health. You’ll be grateful you built your life with appreciation for both financial and physical well-being.
Embrace the “uncomfortable”
Change is uncomfortable – it just is! It’s easier to stay in a habitual way of living rather than take the time to learn new skills and modes of behaving. But, I 100% promise you that doing this with the goal of constantly evolving throughout your life will change everything. Nothing gets better unless you do. So, buckle up and accept that when you are uncomfortable, you are growing in those moments. Shifting your perspective can even encourage you to keep at your goals with the understanding that nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. We are meant to put in the effort and be shaped (in positive ways, ideally) by our experiences.
Start tracking your $$$
When you track your money, you control it. That’s just the truth. 97% of my new clients never budget or track their spending – which is partially why they’re in trouble! Using free tools like Mint or your bank’s money management apps, you can observe and track what comes in and goes out every month. It’s a game-changer and will be a habit you use throughout life if you desire to actually achieve your financial goals.
What are your thoughts? These are my tips but do you have any? Feel free to comment below and share your wisdom!
CEO & Licensed Investment Advisor