Your Financial Strategy Should Never Lead with the Numbers

goldfish jumping out of the waterBut this is probably not what you are accustomed to hearing?

If you’re like most people, you’ve likely been told and have unwittingly followed the money paradigm that widely touts: lead with the numbers.

This approach epitomizes the traditional financial planning arena, and it assumes one-size-fits-all.

I describe this as a “paint by the numbers” way of developing a financial strategy. And as you reflect on your financial choices and some of the results thereof, you probably know from experience that this “numbers first” approach doesn’t really do the trick.

Leading with the numbers is appealing, though. For starters, it:

  • makes measuring easier – after all 1 + 2 will always equal 3
  • is less messy to discuss – especially with your mate
  • gives the media concise talking points so information can be delivered in quick sound-bites

Yet it trains you – as a financial consumer – to be singular and myopic in how you make financial decisions. Most important, it hides one of the biggest problems when it comes to money, and that is that money is personal. The role you need money to play in your life is just as unique as you are.

If you’ve ever had something custom-made – like clothes, jewelry, art – you know that special “just for me” feeling you get from your bespoke item. It feels awesome because it fits you – literally and/or figuratively!

When it comes to your financial strategy, you should experience that same “this is perfect for me” feeling, too.

© bramgino –

A strategy that leads with you requires a little more effort in the form of introspection, intention, and committed action. But it’s the best way to manage those times when you:

  • feel overwhelmed by your financial challenges
  • feel overwhelmed by your unanswered questions
  • are unable to focus just on what matters to you and your situation given the plethora of “how-to” financial information available to you 24/7
  • feel intimidated by what you don’t know about money
  • have misplaced fears about what you’re doing or should do with your money
  • don’t always feel confident you’re making the right moves, at the right time, in the right way

Because your personal finances are not just about the numbers, a plan that leads with them is like kryptonite to your financial wealth and well-being. When you integrate the psychology + emotions of money into your financial strategy you end up with a plan that is tailored-made for you – not one that looks just like what your neighbor has.

“Jacquette was able to help me look past the basic dollars and cents, to see the thought patterns that were driving my choices.” Aduke Thewell

Jacquette-M-Timmons-2013I’m Jacquette M. Timmons, and the first time I realized money wasn’t just about money was on October 19, 1987. Otherwise known as “Black Monday.” This is when the stock market crashed, dropping more than 500 points in a single trading day. I was a year out of undergrad and had only been working in investment banking a year. Back then, I didn’t have the maturity or language to describe the reactions I witnessed. But that experience planted the seed for what has become my message and my mission for more than two decades: the psychology + emotions of money matter.

They play a significant role in how you experience money and make financial decisions.

They influence your behavior with money.

They shape your relationship with money.

This awareness and philosophy is the bedrock of my work as a financial behaviorist. It is why I invite you to shift your primary focus away from just looking at and managing the numbers to also examining and managing your choices.

When you focus first on your choices, you’re starting with you and you’ll:

  • connect the dots between your goals, values, priorities and numbers, better
  • have greater clarity about what money motivates you to do; the habits you need to practice; and the choices you need to make
  • see why your money needs you to be a proactive leader – not a reactive follower
  • value insight over information, which will reduce how often you chase the latest, brightest shiny object – whether that’s the latest investment trend or personal finance app
  • learn to see your money-based questions as a good + necessary starting point for reaching your goals, addressing your fears, and fulfilling your dreams
  • stop confusing being tactical with strategic
  • broaden your definition of risk
  • realize that your financial strategy isn’t a one-and-done proposition — it’s a “living” document that needs to change as shifts in your life occur
  • have fun creating a financial strategy that is designed to fit you…perfectly!

I’ve helped a diverse group of individuals and couples that include entrepreneurs, doctors, academics, lawyers, bankers, artists, and activists – to name a few – achieve their most desired goals and outcomes with a “you first” financial strategy. Using a framework that begins with my signature exercise, “The Financial Wheel,” I’ve been able to help them gain clarity, confidence, insight and foresight, and hone in on the areas where more creativity and discipline are required.

And, I’d love to do the same with you!

Can your finances benefit from a paradigm shift in how you create a financial strategy?

When we work together, we’ll explore and successfully address some common questions, challenges, and problems that surface when it comes to making this shift. Like:

  • Am I doing it right?
  • Am I saving enough? How can I save more?
  • Where and how do I get started with investing?
  • My spending is out of control.
  • My wife (or husband) doesn’t agree with how to handle money, can you help?
  • I’m sure my situation is the worse you’ve seen…
  • I’m pretty good with money, I just want a second set of eyes.
  • I feel overwhelmed with my debt and can’t see my way out.
  • I thought we’d have joint accounts; he expected us to keep separate accounts.

Personal finance is not just about the numbers. So, your financial strategy shouldn’t lead with them if you want a plan that gives you that “this is perfect for me” feeling!

Beyond the Numbers

To work with me 1:1 and get individualized coaching + a custom-tailored financial strategy and action plan, click here to learn more about Beyond the Numbers. Your investment: $2, 250.

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