In our experience, one emotion new clients often bring to our first meeting is guilt. We have heard apologies from folks who think they should have made their appointment months ago, who feel they aren’t organized enough when they come in, and still others who are dwelling on past mistakes. Our first piece of advice in cases like this: acknowledge the emotions that are present, so you can manage them and move forward towards a more productive financial future.
An empowered financial future
While the title on our office door may say “financial planning”, we do more than just crunch numbers. We work with clients to replace their guilt with a sense of empowerment. Before we can make a solid go-forward plan, it’s vital that clients forgive themselves and move away from any negative emotions clouding their decision-making. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past; it can’t be changed. Instead, we help our clients learn how to focus on what can be done from this moment forward.
Easy actions make a big impact
The way forward will vary some from person to person, considering individual goals, aspirations, history, current income and investments, and more. However, we have a go-to list of easy actions anyone can take to start on the right foot for the future. We can almost guarantee that after you make just a few adjustments, your feelings about your financial future will be better and brighter.
- Automatically send money to savings. You won’t miss what you can’t see. Even a small amount going into your savings account every month will add up faster than you think.
- Put pay increases towards retirement. Every time you get a raise, put that amount into your 401K. Your take-home income will look the same, and you’ll painlessly increase your retirement income. You’ll be amazed at how this small addition compounds over time.
- Be realistic about spending. If debt is weighing on you, start a new monthly check-in practice. Always pay off what you spent that month, the interest, and a little more. If you’re not doing that, you’re spending too much.
- Eliminate impulse purchases. If credit cards are causing your debt to rise, leave that card at home! If you have to make an extra trip to buy that special something not in your budget, or on your list, you’re much less likely to follow through.
If feelings of guilt, or hesitation, or uncertainty have been keeping you from your financial goals, its time to make a change. Take stock of what is preventing you from moving forward, acknowledge it and let it go! There are simple things you can start doing today that will alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed, unsure or unprepared. You can become an empowered, intentional person who is achieving goals and laying the groundwork for a bright financial future. We can help.