This year, instead of setting goals to pay off lots of debt or save X amount (which are great goals), let’s focus on healing our relationship with money. Let’s focus on spending intentionally rather than forcing ourselves to spend less, and let’s focus on adding money management to our tool belt of self-care goodies. Because having control of your money is just as important (if not more important) than a nice Wednesday night at home with a facemask and glass of wine.
So how can we set money goals that take away from our stress instead of add to it? Because I don’t know about you, but most New Year’s Resolutions tend to stress me out, feel overwhelming, and cause major burnout followed by guilt, annoyance, and frustration.
Let’s avoid that trap completely this year and by combining self-care with money management. How can you be sure your 2021 is a year of happiness and cohesiveness with your money? Here are my top 4 pointers…
Goal One: Spending intentionally
Right now, whether you know them or not, you have spending priorities. There are about 3 categories where you spend the most money. If you aren’t careful, you can end up wasting lots of money on things you don’t even really like, want, or need.
When you spend freely without really putting much thought into your purchases, you can end up with a cluttered home and closet. You end up with lots of things you don’t really use but keep around because it cost money.
So how does one stop spending unintentionally?
Write down your top three priorities and spend on those things. If you’re about to make a purchase that cannot be categorized under one of three priorities, think long and hard about whether this purchase would actually make you happy and enhance your life, if it’s just an impulse buy, or you’re buying simply because you’re bored.
Goal Two: Purchase quality over quantity
Stop buying fast fashion and the cheap version of items because you think it’s the responsible/smart thing to do. In the long run, this will only cost you more money. Cheap things often break faster, have more issues, and wear out quicker.
One of my most favorite sayings, “You get what you pay for.”
Buying quality items can also fall under ‘Spending Intentionally’ because when you choose to spend a little more money on higher quality items, you are intentionally buying things that will last longer and add to the overall happiness of your life.
A side effect of buying nicer quality items, you feel just a little more bougie- like you have your life together and dang it, if that’s not some self-care then I don’t know what is!
Goal Three: Schedule mid-month check-ins
Start checking your Net Worth monthly. This means adding up all of your assets and deducting them from all your liabilities. Assets consist of cash or anything you own (checking accounts, saving accounts, investments), and liabilities are anything you owe (credit card debt, student loans, medical bills).
Prioritizing this one thing each month can do a handful of things for you: 1) keep your personal finances top of mind; 2) give you a confidence boost and feel like that Personal Finance CEO you are; and 3) have a broad picture of your finances as a whole so that you know exactly where you stand.
Set a goal to check your Net Worth each month in 2021 (and the years to come) and watch how fast it starts to grow! Download my free net worth tracker HERE.
Goal Four: Automate EVERY.THING.
You can easily have your own little money manager who ensures all your bills are paid accurately and on time – it’s called automation!
It will take time up front to get this all set up and running smoothly but once the laundry list of bills to pay is crossed off your list each month automatically, you’ll have more time to prioritize the important things in life.
It can feel more overwhelming at first - which I know is the opposite effect we’re going for here but just trust me. I recommend starting small because it will be hard to let go of everything right off the bat. Start by setting up automatic savings for $20 per paycheck and see how good it feels - watch your savings grow without having to lift a finger. Slowly, you’ll be able to release the reins on other things and before you know it, automatic payments will allow you to have control over your money without it controlling you.
In the end, these tools are only here to make your life easier and to add to your life instead of take away from it. Put systems into place to ensure you can live a life of ease, happiness, and prosperity in 2021 instead of constantly stressing and overthinking about your personal finances and money management.
So, to summarize, spend intentionally, buy quality over quantity, Check-in monthly, and Automate! Those are my top 4 tips for making money a self-care item rather than a must-do item.
Happy New Year, Money Babes!
- Madison // Founder of Money with Madison