There are articles that are science heavy, and then there are blog posts that are less research-driven and more common sense. That said, a lot of people could afford to hear some of these things again. You guessed it, this week's post is about personal finance. While personal finance can be intimidating, it doesn't have to be that complex. This week's post will discuss a few different topics including individuality, intentionality, and goals pertaining to saving money.
Let's start with individuality. In short, every single person has their own needs relating to money. Like most things, there is no one system that works for everybody. Incomes, expenses, and quality of living vary so much from person to person that it would be naive to send out general advice and expect it to work for everyone. With this in mind, the recommendation is to give each person tools which they can then apply to their own situation.
First, intentionality. Intentionality is being mindful of where you spend your money, where you make your money, and the outcome of your spending. As you've probably seen in one of our mindset articles, just being intentional with your time, money, and energy can make a massive difference in your quality of life. For example, if after expenses each month you have 100 spare dollars, intentionally spending that money on things that are going to make you feel better or improve your quality of life is better than mindless spending. Again, this seems like common sense, but not a lot of people pay any attention to it. For me this was going out to eat one less time a month, and instead investing in a $30 per month gym membership. While CCHS does focus on lifestyle Health & Fitness, this idea can also be applied to general happiness as well. Of course, mindset and general happiness is not independent from your physical health, but that is neither here nor there. The general idea is to become aware of what you enjoy and what you do not enjoy and to reallocate money accordingly in your life. This only takes five minutes to sit down and think about and can make your money go a lot farther, increase your happiness, and improve your health.
Next, we will talk about goals related to finance. Smart goals can be made for any of our pillars. Relating to finance, SMART goals are also a useful tool for increasing motivation. Specifically, there is a large mental and emotional difference between saving $20 a week for no reason, and saving up for a $2,000 vacation on a beach with white sand and umbrellas and unlimited mixed drinks in coconuts in a couple of years. In fact, the more specific and exciting you can make the goal or outcome, the more likely you are to achieve it! So, when you go to make your goal, imagine the end in as much vivid detail and with as much excitement as you can. From there you can begin to set out smaller goals that lead up to that big goal. So, for simplicity's sake follow this outline. 1) Decide specifically what you are saving up for and when that will be. 2) Determine exactly how much said thing will cost to really do right. Dream big! 3) Set up many smaller goals on the way to the big goal. 4) Create a reasonable and realistic plan to achieve each of these small goals. 5) Allow yourself to get excited about your savings goal and take a couple minutes to imagine the outcome of your success in vivid detail. In fact, write down your goal and hang it around your environment! Tell your friends about it and they might even support you or join you in your goal!
Lastly, we will discuss a simple budget. I will be brief because we have covered this topic before in social media posts and other articles. On a sheet of paper, or an Excel sheet, create two columns. On the left write down all of your sources of income for a month, and on the right write down all of your expenses for a month. Add up all of the numbers in each column, and determine how much money you have left over each month. This will allow you to create a budget or spending plan to see where you spend too much money or where you could save some money. Again, look for the things that add or take away happiness/value from your life. With whatever income you have left over, you can begin to create the goal plans described above.
So in summary, live with intentionality, create exciting SMART goals, and use a budget to streamline your personal financing. At any point you want help with any of this, CCHS does not have any personal financial advisors on board, but would be happy to talk to you about your spending habits and where you might be able to save some money. As always, if you enjoyed this, please share it with a friend and direct them to our other blogs at ConnectedCHS.com. Also, if you’re serious about improving your health while not getting ripped off in doing so, reach out to us while you’re on the website (or through any of our social media channels). We offer virtual personal training and a host of other services that may be able to assist you in your efforts. Thank you for reading you wonderful humans and good luck as we Defy The Odds!