Money Kuel Category Expert: Melissa Ternes
In the face of the storm after the calm of the quarantine, how do you maintain or gain financial fitness?
How do you keep from splurging on all the things you feel like you’ve so “missed”? How do you keep from trying to buy “normal” back? Do you even still want “normal” or is it just habit?
As we begin to “open back up the country” and get back to “normal” the question begs, “what parts of my old normal do I want to keep and what parts do I wish to leave behind?” What parts are taking me toward all I want for myself? And what parts are detrimental to my dreams? Do I even know my dreams?
Take a moment and assess your current surroundings – do you have “stuff”, or do you have “treasures”?
In looking around your living environment, do you see things you are constantly needing to organize and find a home for? Or do you see the things you use and enjoy on a regular basis, things you can’t imagine living without?
This assessment is the first step in looking at what is part of a life you love and what is simply “stuff” blocking the path to your dream. This “stuff” may very well have, at one time, been the thing you thought would make you happy, was part of “all you wanted” in life. Now, it looks less than and seems heavy, dull and cumbersome.
“The beauty of the pandemic is that life has been disrupted”
This is where you begin to find the path. Examining what is and looking forward to what will be this is the path. All too often, we continue down an unexamined path for no other reason than that’s the way it’s always been. The beauty of the pandemic is that life has been disrupted and we now have a pause in what has always been. A pause that if we choose, will allow us all to assess the way we use our financial resources. The perfect pause, the pause that if needed can be used as the perfect excuse to choose our dreams.
Will consumption consume you again? Or will you make conscious, informed decisions instead of habitually going back to what was without questioning if you really enjoyed it.
Use this time to imagine, write and create picture collages of your dream life. Making sure that the version you create is actually yours and not some gathering of should have’s and marketing hype. Then taking small steps, begin to move in the direction of your dream. I tell my clients, it is the small, incremental, consistent steps that will get you where you wish to go. The giant leaps are usually short-lived and not sustainable.
“There are several ways you can take the journey to your dream and financial fitness.”
There are several ways you can take the journey to your dream and financial fitness. One option is to begin to remove all of the things blocking your enjoyment of daily life. All of the clutter that creates financial strain. This can look like yard-sales, Craigslist, or donating it to a charity you love. The goal is to clear the stuff out.
Another is to wander through your bank and credit card statements to pick out the things that are outside of the picture you imagined in your real dream life. The subscriptions, memberships, coupons, sales and excellent marketing that slowly drain your dream bank account. Make note of the items and stores you see that are correlated with all of the stuff you removed. Dig in to find the emotional pull associated with the item or store. Once you know the trigger it’s easier to connect the dots to the discomfort of money wasted or clutter in the house. And then to make less of those later painful choices.
In the days ahead, financial paths will be taken to the edge of ruin, along the road to security and to the peaks of success. Some of the routes will offer you choices and others will be determined by various roadblocks, obstacles and setbacks. The choice is yours to discover the path that brings together your dreams and your finances!
About the Author:
Melissa Ternes is a financial empowerment coach, author, serial entrepreneur, wife, dog mom and lover of travel. Melissa is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and when she’s not out speaking or teaching, she’s seeking an adventure on the “pretty blue water” of Belize with her husband and adventure companion, Wayne. You can connect with Melissa on LinkedIn and check-out her website at Master Your Money Now.