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Inner Financial Peace

07.31.2019

Many people see money as something to be stressed over. But is it actually possible to gain inner financial peace? Yes! How? Read on.

Tip #1: Define a financial goal

Tracking goals and linking them to a larger purpose increases the likelihood of success and motivation. For instance, you are much more likely to save money, if you are saving a specific amount to go on vacation, rather than picking an arbitrary amount for no particular reason.

When setting a financial goal, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. How much?
  2. When will you reach this goal?
  3. What actions will you take?

Example:

  • How much: I am going to pay off $8,000 in credit card debt.
  • When: By July of 2020
  • What actions: I am going to set a budget and stick to it. I will restrict eating out with friends to once a week and reduce impulse spending. I will make a monthly payment plan that will lead me to success.

It’s helpful to know why it’s important for you to reach your goal. Refrain from berating yourself if you slip and overspend now and then. No one is perfect! If you spent too much money on a frivolous purchase last week, make a note of it, and resolve to do better.

Tip #2: Remove shame

You spent a lot of money in the past that you didn’t have. You racked up quite a bit of credit card bills. You made careless financial decisions. Now, you want to be proactive about making your financial situation better. Do you think feeling shame around your past mistakes is helpful or hurtful to your new financial goals?

Hint: Shame is terrible if you want to achieve a goal.

So, how do you get rid of shame, or at the very least, lessen its hold on you? Write down how you feel about your finances. Do you feel scared? Ashamed? Overwhelmed? Writing down your feelings can help to dissolve the strength of the emotion, which in this case is shame. If your feelings of shame and guilt do not dissipate, then you may want to talk to a trusted friend.

Tip #3: Visualize the end result.

Visualize how you will feel when you reach your goal while being realistic about the obstacles you will face. For example, if your goal is to pay off debt, but you have to buy Christmas presents for your nieces and nephews, then it will be helpful to brainstorm ways you can spend less.

Tip #4: Create a positive environment

We all have both negative and positive people in our lives. Do yourself a big favor and only talk to your more positive friends about your financial goals. Saving money and paying off debt can be challenging – don’t add to that challenge by talking to someone who you know will be all doom and gloom about your goals. Talk to your self-deprecating, sarcastic, ‘negative’ friends about other things.

Tip #5: Make a weekly date with your money

Hey, money. Do you come here often? What in the world is a ‘date’ with your money? It’s simply this: go somewhere you love, such as a bookstore or your favorite café for one hour a week. Pull up your bank account and have a look at your current money situation. Ask questions such as:

“What has been surprisingly easy about saving money?”

“How much did I spend this month on buying groceries instead of eating out in restaurants?”

“What’s a recurring charge I could put on hold for a few months?”

Checking in once a week will allow you to see little wins, and make course corrections before a colossal mistake is made. You may even begin to enjoy hanging out with your money!

Tip #6: Don’t give up!

Persistence is key to achieving long-term financial goals! Hold yourself accountable and own mistakes, but don’t give up. Take note of why you slipped up, ask for support if you need it, and make sure you are keeping your weekly money dates. Write down your financial accomplishments and celebrate your wins!

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