Finding Your Financial Balance
Life looks different right now, and the resulting lack of control can cause stress, especially when it comes to financial stability. The Wealth Management by CommunityAmerica team is here to help our members navigate through these uncertainties, with four ways to start working toward financial peace of mind.
Part of our job, especially with the pandemic still causing stress in our lives, is to help members find center with their family and determine what matters most to them. In doing so, we create a more complete financial picture that can help them find perspective, set priorities and manage spending decisions.
To narrow down your financial priorities, focus on where you find happiness, what you value most and what provides financial peace of mind. Then, when it comes to things that didn't make your initial list, challenge yourself to pause and think, "Is this a priority for me?" If it is, you should have the space to proceed. But if it's not, then take a step back and say, "Or is this other thing more important?" If you know what's important to you, these decisions will be easier to make.
If you haven't arrived at the point where you've prioritized everything, then start by developing an approach to spending decisions. Ask yourself, "Is this a need or a want?" One simple example of this is when you add something to an online shopping cart. Let it sit for 24 hours before coming back and deciding if it's something you really need.
Find a Balance
Once you know your priorities, it's easier to see how your financial decisions can impact your goals over the long run. A good goal is to start making decisions today that will benefit you and your family five years from now, but these decisions aren't always obvious.
Every choice has an opportunity cost. This factors into every financial decision people make, this potential tradeoff between the needs or wants of today versus the needs or wants of tomorrow. And balancing those two things is not easy.
Which is why it's important to make mindful money decisions. For example, if you're going to take a trip and know that it comes at the cost of saving money, that doesn't mean it's a bad decision. It just goes back to honoring your family's financial priorities. And by doing that, you can have some conviction in the decisions you make and are less likely to look back with regret. Ultimately, it's about finding the balance that works for you and your family.
It's ok if you do have some financial regrets. Whatever decisions you've made don't have to define your future. Many times, people simply don't know where to start when it comes to evaluating their financial situation and making a plan for the future, especially when it comes to disruptions or challenges such as what we've seen over the last year.
Start simple, by making little adjustments. This helps make change more manageable and builds momentum. Don't let a setback become bigger than it needs to be, to the point where you find yourself paralyzed and don't do anything. By finding and doing some small, actionable things, you’ll begin to see progress, which reinforces good money habits and patterns. This could be something like saving an extra $25 a month or committing to paying a little more than the minimum payment on your debt.
Have the Conversation
Talking about finances isn’t always easy. But no matter where you are on your financial journey, the best thing you can do is talk to somebody. Start the conversation at home. It's far easier to reach your financial goals when you can get everyone on board. By being honest and transparent with your family about finances, you can work together to set priorities and create a plan to support them.
And as always, our Wealth Advisors are here to help. At its core, the financial planning process isn't just about the money. We understand that every financial situation is unique, and we can use our knowledge and expertise to help create an actionable plan that supports what is most important to you.