When it comes to your financial life, there are many terms used nowadays to talk about the moments when you feel more positive than negative. Financially successful, abundance, flourishing or simply thriving.
Research shows that the higher your income (to a point) the higher chance you have of being more healthy. But I would like to argue that having more money doesn’t always mean less financial stress. And this financial stress definitely impacts your well-being. Instead you could focus on reducing elements of your finances that feel stressful.
So how can you swing the pendulum in the way of positivity when dealing with your finances?
Introducing ‘Easeful Money’ practices into your life can be one way. What these practices are not, are stressful, anxiety-filled or not aligned with your lifestyle values.
Practice 1: A Financial Rhythm
Introducing a financial rhythm to your financial life can be a game-changer. This means that roughly at the same time every month you sit down and review your finances. You ensure all bills are paid, that all income has come in and you ‘balance the books’. Not many people use check books nowadays… so looking at the overall picture of your finances probably doesn’t happen quite often.
Ask yourself during this dedicated financial check-up:
- what worked well this month?
- what didn’t work well?
- what can I see here that I didn’t expect?
- how do I feel about my finances?
- what do I need change for next month?
You may need to set time aside specifically to do this and use some methods of accountability. A reminder in your calendar, meeting up with a friend or simply deciding which day of the month this will occur.
Carrie-Ann Moss eloquently puts this into words when she speaks about rhythms ‘holding you up’. You see, the thing about creating a rhythm is that when you are tired, busy or distracted by exciting projects, a rhythm keeps you in tune with doing those things that are important but may not feel urgent.
Practice 2: Systems of ease
It’s infrequent that we consciously think to ourselves- what can I introduce into my financial life to make it less stressful. We presume the status quo is busy, confusing or overwhelming. The financial industry has somewhat made it this way.
Think about the environment you thrive in. Simplicity, clarity and transparency are words that come to mind.
Have a look at the current state of our financial and monetary environments. Money is becoming more electronic (almost invisible), there is a higher volume of transactions hitting our bank accounts and we have unprecedented access to money that is not ours. Simple and clear is not the words that come to mind.
Systems are a way to combat this changing environment. A way to take back control. Systems can increase clarity by introducing bank accounts for spending and saving. The can lighten the load of financial decision-making because you don’t need to make a decision every time with a system, you just do the same thing in each situation that fits the criteria.
Ask yourself- what system or process can I introduce to my financial life that make it feel ‘lighter’ and more in control?
Practice 3: From one goal, small simple steps become clear
In today’s busy world, having a goal for your money can help create simple, actionable steps that feel aligned with your values. Imagine that the goal is an ‘X’ on a map. Now you have a single focal point you start to build or find the roads to get there. These are the simple steps you take.
In real life, your ‘X’ on the map may be your dream to travel, paying off student debt or saving for a house. It is completely up to you. Once you have chosen your one goal, then you know for sure the decisions and choices you make will either take you closer to this goal or further from it.
The steps that will take you there become clear.
How much will you put aside each pay to travel?
How will you pay down debt in 9 months?
How much do you need to earn to live the way you want to live?
If you find yourself veering away from your simple steps, you can simply ask yourself, is what I’m doing taking me towards or away from this goal. Choosing the right goal is of great importance. It needs to be in line with your values and be deeply meaningful to you.
When you implement some of these practices you may find you also start to feel completely different about your money. I encourage you to give it a go, find your financial rhythm, set up systems of ease and choose a meaningful goal with simple steps.
Then let me know how you go!
Please leave a comment below on how you create more ease in your finances.