When you want to see money changes in your life, there is no question that some of your habits have to change. I know this from working with thousands of people these last nine years. However, it helps to know what kind of money person you are. There are different ways to change our money habits – for the positive – depending on who we are.
If you are a relationship person: Put the FUN in money. Reward yourself if you stick to your spending plan for one month (as long as it is in the plan). Join a group or organization that will keep you motivated on a weekly or monthly basis (Check out 4 Weeks to Your Strong Financial Foundation, starting April 7th) Have a backup plan if your week doesn’t go well. You will have weeks that you do not feel like checking your mutual funds or just using cash. That is ok. Having a group or money buddy to lean on can really help.
If you are a person who likes routine: Don’t talk to people who will not support you or criticize you. Read online blogs of people that are tracking their money success. Take small steps and journal them (i.e. looked up my funds on morningstar.com). Get help on an individual basis, either through an independent financial planner or a coach. Bookmark the financial calculator sites such as kiplinger.com or money.com. They can be very motivating toward changing your money habits for the positive.
The key is to focus on your strengths in the other areas of your life (career, relationships) to help determine what works for you. Then apply those strengths to change your money habits for the better.
For example, I have been working with a client for years who could not keep her budget. We tried everything and nothing managed to stick. Our last attempt was finally the one that worked. She worked for herself and whenever she got paid, she automatically took 40-50% of her income and put it into a savings account. Then she was easily able to live with the money that was left. Every few months, we would meet and then allocate those savings to her SEP IRA or other types of investments. In her mind, if the money wasn’t in her checking account, she didn’t spend it!
I know that I work well in small steps. I focus on one task, get it done and then move on. I feel very accomplished paying my bills online, then I check the status of my SEP IRA. What works for you?
BTW: If you need help with these issues, we have resources for you. Check out: