10 Wellness Tips To Establish Healthy Habits With Your Money
Have you ever wondered how you can have good habits in one area of your life but can't seem to pull it together in another? Maybe you are super organized at work and are a slob at home or are motivated to go to the gym but can't stick to a budget. You wouldn't be alone. As a money and life coach, I spend a lot of time helping clients identify their good habits and explore how they can apply them to other areas of their lives.
Usually our money is the ugly duckling, and no matter how many great habits we might have, it's hard to see how they can apply to our finances, yet there are so many great habits we have in our daily routines that will work for your money—like those in your wellness routine.
Let's break down those habits and apply them to our money:
You schedule it.
If you have a workout routine that has become a ritual to you, odds are it started with you actually making time for it by putting it on your schedule. Your bank account will not miraculously look better if you don't start carving out space to look at your numbers.
TIP: Scheduling five minutes a day or 15 to 30 minutes a week to review your accounts and update your budget can do wonders to reduce your stress levels and keep you on track.
You don't do it alone.
Just as you are more likely to work out if you have an accountability or support buddy, you are also more likely to build a better relationship with your money if you have a friend or group of friends you can talk to about it. We don't think twice about talking about how our workout or therapy session went, but most of us wouldn't consider having an open dialogue about money hurdles, and a lot of our money stress stems from feeling alone. We can shift that by actually starting to talk about our money with trusted friends.
TIP: Ask your girlfriends if they want to start chatting about their money goals to create accountability.
You have a goal.
The start of a wellness routine usually begins with a goal in mind. That goal might change, but the important thing is you identified a North Star. Applying this to your money can be a game-changer. It might sound like a no-brainer, but many decide to take action based on generic goals like "save more" without the details.
TIP: Be specific with your money goals ("I want $500 in savings"), and know why you are doing it, and you'll be shocked by how motivated you will be to stick with it.
You try new things.
Do you like ClassPass? Are you reading articles about the next new workout and then giving it a try? This habit of always learning and expanding your knowledge around your wellness is an incredible habit to apply to your money. Money is the one space in our lives where most of us know something isn't working, but we are too afraid to do something different. If we were talking about our food or fitness, we'd behave much differently.
TIP: If you aren't making progress on your goals, it might be time to try something new. Review what you are doing now and decide on one thing to shift.
You know what you like.
Have you ever really thought about all of the preferences you have and stuck to as it relates to your wellness routine? You know what classes and instructors you like better. You know what leggings are see-through and which ones pill after so many washes. You know which protein flavors you like and which ones have a weird consistency. You know because you are actively trying new things and deciding if they are doing the job.
TIP: Apply this same mindfulness and testing mentality to your money-tracking processes. You'll know exactly where your money is going and how to track your spending in a way that works for you.
You have a coach.
Whether it's for our fitness or nutrition, when we don't feel like we can get the results we desire on our own or we aren't sure what steps to take, we call in the experts. If you're talking about your money—the thing that will affect you every day of your life for the rest of your life—hiring a coach is usually not top of mind. But just like a wellness coach, a money coach can help you identify your goals, get your actions in alignment, and keep you accountable to the process.
TIP: If you feel like you are on a hamster wheel and keep falling back into bad habits, consider finding a money coach to help you move forward.
Your routine is fun & easy.
The best way to stick to a new habit is to make it easy and fun! These are two of the magic ingredients for those that have established positive routines for their wellness. There's a reason workout classes are incorporating more of the senses, and the main reason is because it feels fun and pleasurable and your brain wants fun and pleasure. When it's not fun, you don't want to do it. If you think of managing your money as easy and fun, you're in a whole different ballgame.
TIP: Turn on some Beyoncé and pour your favorite drink when it's time to sit down with the budget each week.
You're playing the long game.
If you have a solid wellness routine, you aren't looking for a magic pill, you're playing the long game. You know that consistency is key and small actions pay off. This mindset is hugely powerful when you apply it to your money because simple actions performed consistently will produce incredible results for your finances. Just like fitness, when we are looking for the fastest solution, we are often met with disappointment or falling back to bad behaviors a month later.
TIP: Every 90 days, check in on your goals and celebrate your progress.
You are OK with life happening.
Life happens. It gets busy and chaotic, and we experience things that are way out of our control and not within our expectations. If you are rooted in your wellness routine, you most likely approach this with much more ease and, most importantly, without judgment. Applying this same grace to your money can help you navigate stressful situations without adding more anxiety to the mix.
TIP: When you don't feel in control of your money and unexpected expenses keep popping up, touch base with yourself and ask if you did your best and is this something you could have planned for?
You know how to get back on track.
Because our human experience is unpredictable, we can often find ourselves veering off track. Thinking of your wellness routine as a "way of life" has done one amazing thing for you, it's taught you how to get back on track. If we aren't rooted in our practices and know what works, wandering off the path results in giving up. When we have a solid foundation, we usually know exactly what to do to get back on track.
TIP: When this happens with your money, review your goals and get back to basics: Make some time with your money.
Brianna Firestone is a Financial Education Instructor certified by the National Financial Educators Council. Her expert advice has been featured in Money.com, Real Simple, and Business Insider. Firestone received her bachelor's in theatre from Stephens College and lives in Denver, Colorado.