Getting Through Financial Stress
The New Year is a wonderful time to start fresh and to bring new ideas and a new mindset to your financial life. “Being mindful” is trending these days, but when you think of being mindful, an image of a person in a quiet room meditating often comes to mind. However, mindfulness simply means being present in the daily choices we make.
As a concept may sound simple, yet for most of us, it is challenging not to be distracted by patterns of routines, a barrage of emails, daily activities, and moment-by-moment thoughts. Mindfulness involves taking ourselves off of autopilot and reframing the things we are accustomed to doing.
These same guidelines relate to being “money mindful” – staying present and aware of the choices we make about money. Our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness offer ways for being more intentional about your spending, bringing awareness to where money is going, and ultimately, shaping your financial future.
Create a Vision
By creating a vision for your future, you will bring a sense of purpose to your decisions today and pave the way for a more successful future. Think about where you want to go when it comes to finances and what you want your life to look like. Do you want to be able to pay for your child’s college, retire early, buy a vacation home?
Make Daily Decisions
Daily decisions help achieve what you want and what you need. Focus your time and energy on mindful decisions informed by where you want your money to go – your vision. Once your decisions align with what you wish to achieve, vigorously go through items that make up daily or weekly money decisions and match them to your budget. If the items don’t fit within your budget, move them over to a future decision. Mindful spending means you are intentionally making these purchases.
For many of us, being consistent with money mindfulness might be the hard part. Perhaps managing money is not discussed with our families or friends, we feel we have to go it alone to form new habits and routines, or we end up getting caught up in the busyness of life. Keeping a focus on long-term goals is the best way to stay financially fit.
Being intentional with money can change the way you live, and luckily, you don’t have to go it alone! The LCCU team and the certified financial counselors at GreenPath are here to provide useful guidance to help you become more intentional and consistent with your finances. As a trusted national nonprofit, GreenPath can help you become more aware of where money is going, how to build new habits, and ultimately increase financial health and wellness.
From budgeting and debt management to preparing for big expenses, knowing the fundamentals of money management helps us be more consistent. Visit lewisclarkcu.org/financial-fitness to get started with GreenPath’s free individualized counseling, guidance and educational resources.