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“I’m wealthy enough and I have enough money, I don’t need anymore” – said no one ever
If you read many financial planning blogs on how people are retiring early, traveling on a whim, and writing their own rules, you may be taking their straight advice to reach the same result. Save, save, save, budget, cut expenses out of your life forever. If it leaves you wondering, What’s the secret recipe?, you’re not alone.
While it’s always good to read reference material or find the most important tips, have you stopped to ask yourself questions?
Questions require self-reflection and elicit a deeper response. Questions provoke brain-simmering. When you let questions float through your mind, you stir up your cognitive ability, reaching into your deepest feelings. The edges of your mind will connect to concoct a spark of clarity that will throw the mental shades back. You will be surprised at the ideas and awareness that will surface. Flashes of creativity will pop to the forefront of your mind when you least expect it. Like, when putting dishwasher detergent in the little slot, you may think of the easiest change you can make to improve your financial status, then think, “Where did that come from? And why didn’t I think of that before?”
It may be as simple as asking someone for advice, looking up a book title in the library, or going all in on opening up a new investment account. Maybe you’ll figure out how to defer medical expenses when you re-instate your flexible spending plan. Maybe you’ll boost your savings by making a bi-weekly habit of transferring money from your checking to your savings account before you can spend it (a proven successful habit). Maybe you’ll pull all your credit card statements together and put them in order of payoff priority.
Challenge yourself to answer the following questions and see if you can create some new money habits or tweak your current methods.
Have I created financial goals for myself?
Am I saving as much as I want to?
Am I revisiting my financial plan on a recurring basis?
Can I afford a $1,000 unplanned expense?
What expenses can I cut back on?
Have I considered moving closer to my job to help save on my commute?
Am I spending less than I earn?
Have I created a Spending plan?
Am I relying on debt to pay for necessities?
Have I separated Needs from Wants?
Have I planned my purchases?
Do I overspend with certain people?
Am I spending to impress other people?
Am I paying off debt efficiently and consistently?
Am I utilizing less than 30% of my available credit?
Am I retrieving a credit report on an annual basis?
Do I check my credit card transactions on a frequent basis to identify unauthorized transactions?
Am I getting phone calls from creditors for past due bills?
Am I investing on a regular basis?
Am I aware of my fee percentage and getting it as low as possible?
Am I diversified enough?
Have I learned any new investing terms?
What investing books can I start reading?
Do I have my investing emotions under control?
Am I still claiming that I don’t know how to invest?
Is my car insurance adequately covering potential liabilities?
Is my home insurance adequately covering potential liabilities?
Do I need insurance to cover excessive liabilities?
Do I need renter’s insurance or condo insurance?
Are my valuables insured?
Do I need life insurance? How much?
Am I investing the maximum toward my retirement?
Have I withdrawn from a 401(k) account when leaving a job?
Am I contributing enough to match my employer’s maximum percentage?
Do I know what my employer’s 401(k) choices are?
Have I asked Human Resources for help with my employee plan?
Have I looked into making Roth IRA contributions or non-deductible IRA contributions?
Are my money goals in alignment with my non-monetary goals?
Have I sacrificed relationships because of money?
Am I investing in myself? (training, reading, improving)
What can I do to reduce my money stress?
Am I doing this right?
How do I know I’m doing this right?
Have I examined my money script?
Am I reminding myself of my accomplishments?
Am I taking a mature stance in dealing with my finance issues?
What other questions do you ask yourself? Or should you be asking yourself? What financial advice would you give someone struggling with money issues?