You Don't Need to Be Struggling to Jumpstart Your Finances

Whew…a lot has happened and changed since last Sunday.

Before I delve into this week’s topic, please allow me a moment to express my horror at the insurrection that unfolded on U.S. soil last week. I was horrified and in disbelief. I still remain anxious about the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and what it affirms of the state of our democracy. 

And just like with last week’s podcast, I wondered if keeping to my publishing schedule would come across as tone deaf. (I’ve had many moments like this since March 2020.)

Here’s how I reconciled my emotions and concerns:

  • You have complete agency over your inbox and can choose if you read this when I send it, at a later time, or not at all.
  • My entire body of work focuses on the human side of money, which means we explore the nuanced elements of money, business and life. Emphasis on explore. Because we don’t always have the answers – especially not easy ones that neatly fit inside a box. Like much in life.
  • Politics is a culmination of money, business and life. So, there’s no way to avoid its influence and impact.
  • I did what was in my control when I voted, when I volunteered, and when I donated. And I will continue to focus on and do what is in my control, which includes pressing forward with today’s missive.

Not that we needed another reminder, but we got one anyway: it’s important for us to be on top of our finances.

(Financial) Reset

If you look up the definition of reset, you’ll read, “to set again or anew, to adjust.” 

When it comes to your computer or an application, you might do a “soft” reset when it has a glitch that can often be rectified with a “refresh.” Or, you can do a “hard” reset — the kind that takes you back to the defaults, eliminating any customization you’ve done. 

It may seem an odd analogy to make, but the same is true when it comes to your finances. 

Depending upon the situation and circumstances, you might just need a “soft” refresh or you might need the equivalent of a “hard” one. 

Either way, there’s a benefit to periodically doing a reset (not just at the top of the year), and here are three questions to help you determine which type you might need:

Financial crisis

Have you experienced a financial crisis? 

Did you lose a job, get a divorce, or was your family encumbered with medical bills from a diagnosis? In other words, did your financial safety net and security crumble? 

If you answered yes to any or several of these possibilities, a financial reset can help get through to the other side.

The benefits of a financial reset on the heels of a crisis is that it helps you to (re)gain control. Especially if you otherwise feel like you don’t have any control. 

But a word of caution: Often, when there is a crisis there are negative or hurtful emotions. Please remember that before you can get the numbers “right,” you have to address the emotional factors. If not, you run the risk of setting yourself up for a short-term boost – one that won’t sustain you for the long haul.

Financial milestones

Is there a financial milestone (or goal) you’re not as prepared for as you thought?

Have you recently discovered that you’ll need more than the amount you’ve already saved? Have you realized that you’ve been “saving” money for a particular goal when you actually should have been “investing” money for said goal because of your timeline? 

If you answered yes to either, a financial reset can help you course-correct.

The benefits of a financial reset when discovering this sort of mismatch is that you may not have noticed the discrepancy previously – or with sufficient lead time to do anything meaningful about it.

Financial boost

Do you have a strong foundation, but want to boost its resiliency?

If you answered yes, a financial reset can help you keep things on track. But the process may also even reveal opportunities you hadn’t considered before. 

The benefits of a financial reset when things are going well is that it reminds you that you don’t have to be struggling with your finances in order to jumpstart your finances.

Looking Ahead

A financial crisis may call for a hard reset. Whereas, a soft reset may be all you need to recalibrate in preparation for a financial milestone or to boost your financial resiliency.

As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of using the above questions as a way to discern which you may need for your particular situation and circumstances – right now. Because the questions, the thoughts they spark and the actions you choose to take turn out to be an incredibly useful part of your toolkit that can help to ensure you are being as financially healthy as you can be. ​

A financial reset can help you:

  • (Re)build your financial stability
  • (Re)build your financial confidence
  • (Re)build your financial systems
  • (Re)commit to “old” discipline and habits, as well as craft new ones
  • Look for ways to be more resourceful and creative 

And…

It can help with the story you may be telling yourself. Especially if you’re in the midst of a financial crisis. 

In an odd way, the process of a financial reset can ensure you’re telling yourself as empowering a story as you possibly can about your financial results, your experiences with money, and your relationship with money. This alone is worth the energy and effort of making the time to do a financial reset and make it uniquely your own.

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