“I am totally overwhelmed by money and finances.” I hear this comment from prospective clients a couple of times a week.
Whether there is plenty of money or not enough money…it can be overwhelming. It may be that there is not enough money. It may be that there is enough but you don’t enjoy, or feel that you are good at managing money. You may feel that you don’t have the knowledge you need to invest it or even to work with an advisor.
The truth is, it is never about the money. It is always about how we think about the money. Before we can shift our thinking and relationship with money it is important to have a few things in place.
1. What do you want? – Absent of knowing what we do want, we focus on what we don’t want. When we focus on the aspects of money and finances that are creating the overwhelm we get more of that. It is crucial to have goals. Short term, mid-term and long term goals will create the frame-work for your spending, savings, giving and investing. When your mind wanders to what you don’t want, goals give you a positive place to redirect your thoughts.
2. Automate Payments, Savings and Giving. 1. Some payments are recurring, put them on auto debit. This saves time and the stress of dealing with them. 2. Set up an automatic savings plan, even if it is a small amount. This tends to nurture that part of us that needs security. It is empowering to see the amount grow when the monthly statement comes in. 3. Set up an automatic giving plan. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. The Law of Circulation requires that in order to be able to receive, we must give. It is not about the amount, it is about the continuity. Automating recurring activities is a freeing experience.
3. Systematize – It has been said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” Quicken, Mint or Microsoft Money are great tools to help manage your money. Not only will they keep you in the know about where money is coming from and going to, they allow you to reconcile in minutes and find discrepancies before they turn into problems.
4. Calendar Time – Schedule a regular time to manage your finances. For most people setting aside bookkeeping time once a week allows them to stay on top of things and pay bills on time. When money or financial concerns pop up or into your mind, press the internal “pause button”; acknowledge the concern and inform that ‘little voice’ that the concern will be dealt with at the scheduled time. Refocus on the task at hand. If it is really/truly urgent, don’t minimize or catastrophize it…take responsibility and deal with it.
5. Ask “What?” Not “How?” – We tend to ask pygmy questions like “How am I going to make it until the next paycheck?” When you do that, the only ideas that come to you will be answers to that question. You will be stressed until the next paycheck and you will somehow scrape by until then. A better question would be: “What resources do I have to create additional income and put money into savings this month?” You might be surprised about what ideas and opportunities reveal themselves to you.
Does putting these tools in place seem overwhelming? To receive my complimentary Guide and to join my community click here to download my Guide – 5 Simple Strategies for Managing Financial Overwhelm.
Chances are if you are overwhelmed about finances, you are overwhelmed in other areas of life as well. Am I right? I find that to be the case with most of my clients who are feeling stressed around finances and financial decisions. If this is true for you too, click here to read Strategies for Overcoming Overwhelm or set up a personal one-to-one Strategy Session by clicking here "Meet Me".