The Elephant in the Room: Your Finances
We’re going to talk about money. Did your heart rate just increase?
We’re going to talk specifically, your money and how much you have. Does that make you feel more uncomfortable?
If so, you’re not alone. A recent survey found that 44% of Americans would rather talk about death, religion or politics than discuss their personal finances.
Just because people aren’t talking about it, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it. The same survey found that nearly 40% of people named finances as their biggest source of stress and report regularly losing sleep over money.
Not talking about money can have a negative influence on your life. Money is listed as one of the leading causes of divorce, and can affect your happiness and health. So why don’t people like to talk about it? Here are some ways to tame the money monster and take back some of your sanity and control over your finances.
Why Wealth Goals?
So you can have control. With strategic wealth goals, you’ll get a clear picture of the current state of your wealth and will develop a plan to improve your financial health. Whether you just want to get out of debt or want to invest in developing long-term wealth, the first place to start is with your budget. Goals will help you recognize your financial habits and make the necessary changes for the future.
Get Out of Consumer Debt
Goals can help you stay motivated as you work to improve your financial situation. Part of a long-term plan for wealth building may include strategies for getting out of consumer debt. As you begin to prioritize your spending, you will watch your debt shrink and your wealth grow. You’ll feel more in control.
Increase Your Savings
Once your budget is under control and you’ve removed consumer debt from your life, or have
learned to manage it better, the process of building your wealth goes to the next level. This is exciting and available to anyone.
One of the primary means of accumulating wealth is by investing – that is having your savings work hard for you and multiply into more money. When you set wealth goals, you take back control over your finances and can start to see money as a tool to help you get to an end-goal, instead of looking at your money and finances as something to fear.
Attaching a purpose to your financial goals will help you stay motivated and on track. A purpose is the “why” behind the goal. An example may be you saving for a vacation. It’s not really the actual vacation you are saving for, rather it could be the time with your family, or the ability to explore a new part of the world.
How to Set Wealth Goals
Use the SMART system of goal setting for an effective way to reach your wealth goals.
Ensure that your goals are Specific. What exactly do you want to accomplish?
Craft a Measurable goal. Do you have a specific amount you want to save? Want to be debt free? Attach a measurable element to your wealth building goal.
Make sure your goal is Achievable. Is it possible, given your current financial state, to reach the goal you’re setting?
Is your goal Realistic? Create goals that are based in reality.
Attach a Time to your goal. Don’t use nebulous, open-ended goals. Be diligent to attach an end date to your goal.
Seek Outside Help
If you were working towards health goals, it wouldn’t seem strange to seek the assistance of a personal trainer or a doctor. When it comes to your finances, seek professional help. Wealth coaches, your banker or your financial planner can help you develop realistic goals, and can help you identify strategies and techniques that will propel you to your goal.
Talk About Your Wealth Goals
You don’t need to go into specifics, but by bringing your finances into your daily conversations with someone you trust will help you stay focused and will help you slowly get rid of the fear around your finances. Sharing your goals with trusted friends and family will give them the opportunity to help keep you on track and will help eliminate the stigma of “talking about money”.
Are you ready to get started building your wealth?