Wildflower Group recognizes that women often find the topic of financial management anxiety provoking. But once they take time to have a conversation and get better acquainted with their financial position, most women find it a transformative and empowering experience. They actually report it's fun!
It's a brand new year, which brings new goals, fresh directions and inspiration. We want to make sure you have the resources to approach your finances with clarity, conversation, and common sense. That's why we have a new online discussion group dedicated to the topic. Be sure to visit and post your questions: https://www.wildflowergroup.net/online-divorce-support-group-women/finances. We also want to start an in-person financial discussion group in the Denver-metro area. It could be a life changer and will definitely be fun! Email email@example.com today to participate!
Wildflower Group asked Lauren Rilling, our guest blogger and premier financial coach, to kick off our conversation. She presents easy to follow and anxiety busting financial tips.
5 Tips to Overcome Financial Anxiety
By Lauren Rilling
If you want to take control of your money and finally feel at ease when it comes to your finances, don’t stop at making a new year’s resolution (those fail 92% of the time). Instead, follow these five tips to overcome the fear factor and gain lasting momentum to achieve your financial goals.
1. Embrace an Imperfect Budget
Budgeting is a process, not an event. You can’t write out a budget one time and expect everything will fall into place as planned. Your budget will improve and get easier to manage the longer you stick with it and refine it. So when you’re starting out, embrace imperfection! Use your budget as a tool to recognize where you are overspending and to identify expenses that require saving for ahead of time.
2. Make a Not-Do List
John Acuff, author of the book Finish, explains that a not-do list includes the things you are intentionally neglecting in order to complete a goal of higher priority. After all, we can only achieve a goal--especially a financial one--if we are able to give ourselves the time and effort required to accomplish it. Ask yourself, “Can I afford not to prioritize my financial well being?” The truth is, none of us can! If your to-do list is getting in the way of your financial progress, it’s time to move money to the top of your to-do list and let something else slide.
3. Focus on Daily Habits
Real change happens in the small, daily habits that we cultivate, whether they are positive or negative. Identify one or two habits to work on at a time--small changes are doable! For example, using cash envelopes can be a powerful way to keep your spending in check. Try starting with just two envelopes for clothing and entertainment. Then the next month you may wish to add more categories to your cash envelope system.
4. Identify Your Why
To make positive changes that produce lasting results, you need a strong Why. These are the reasons that you are intellectually and emotionally connected to. Here’s an example from a client: her Why is to have the financial freedom to move closer to her grandchildren and be a bigger part of their lives. These are the kinds of reasons that make the effort worthwhile.
5. Get Support
We were not created to do life alone, but to be in community and to support each other. Don’t keep your financial goals to yourself, and know that there are a lot of resources at your fingertips! Here are some ideas: find an accountability partner to meet with once a month so you can review your budgets together. Attend Wildflower Group events to stay connected and supported. Work with a financial coach who can help you strategize and implement a personalized plan to manage your money. Read personal finance books such as The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, and attend financial wellness seminars.
The road to achieving financial security isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating either. Take small steps, identify your why, and surround yourself with support. This time next year you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished!
Lauren Rilling is a Dave Ramsey-trained financial coach who specializes in budgeting, debt elimination, and financial management. She is also founder of The Determined Dollar blog and has appeared in Forbes.com, as well as popular blogs Money Saving Mom and To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.