By Coach Fin
|A new year marks new beginnings and new goals. Improving financial fitness is a common resolution, with goals to spend less, save more and reduce debt. Great goals, but how do you get there?
The secret to building financial muscle starts with the way you think about money. Changing your thoughts can help you stay committed — and successful — all year long. Know which thoughts threaten to derail you and how you can flex your thinking to benefit your bottom line.
Here are five examples.
1. Old thought: My ________ is old. I want a new one.
Financial flex: My ________ still works because I’ve taken care of it. I’m proud of that and I don’t need a new one to be happy. There’s always going to be a newer model. I can wait until this purchase is truly needed.
2. Old thought: I want _______ but I don’t have the cash on hand. I’ll charge it and make monthly payments.
Financial flex: I’d like to have _______ but it’s not worth paying the price — plus interest! I’ll keep an eye out for a great deal on a gently used one. I bet I can find one for half price or better.
3. Old thought: I love my daily/weekly/monthly treat. I work hard and I deserve this small treat.
Financial flex: This is more of a daily/weekly/monthly habit than a treat. It doesn’t cost much, but over time it really adds up. I’d rather save that amount to put towards something better, like vacation, an emergency fund or paying off debt faster to save on interest.
4. Old thought: I saved $X! Now I can get what I wanted!
Financial flex: I saved my goal amount. I can do this! Why spend it now and be back where I started? This is just the financial brick I need to build a stronger future.
5. Old thought: Life is short; why not enjoy things now?
Financial flex: Life is short and I should enjoy it. But overspending or staying in debt isn’t enjoyable. It just adds stress to my life. Besides, I don’t need stuff to make me happy. I can take care of myself and my loved ones in other ways.
How do you think about spending, saving and investing? What thoughts could you shift to be more financially fit? If you need ideas or help planning how to reach your goals, you can talk to a financial coach at any Cinfed branch, visit our online Financial Education Center or attend a Skill Session in person.