Did you know that healthy habits apply to more than just physical wellness? Good habits can affect your financial wellness as well.
It is extremely easy to simply swipe your card at the drive-thru, at Starbucks, or at the vending machine — but those tiny transactions can add up.
It is not a matter of sacrificing your luxuries; everyone should enjoy a night out or a treat now and then. It is about knowing where your money is going and making sure that you aren’t sacrificing financial freedom for the sake of convenience.
One of my goals is to shift the poverty mindset. This is the belief that if your grandparents were poor and your parents are poor then you will always be poor as well. There are two ways to approach this scenario: You can either accept it or challenge it.
If you accept it, then yes, there is a high likelihood that you will always be financially burdened. This isn’t the case for everyone, of course, but often people with this mindset are less willing to reach out for advice on how to better their circumstances. As an advisor I cannot simply create money from the ether, but I can provide advice and coaching for those in these situations. The catch is the person must be willing to listen and be open to making changes in their life.
For those who want to challenge this mindset, I applaud you. Nothing is harder than moving on from a situation that has become normalized no matter how detrimental it may be. Personally, I have difficulty asking for help and putting myself in unfamiliar situations. It’s natural to be uncomfortable when challenging the norm — but you can either be comfortable or you can grow. They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. Again, let me emphasize that I cannot create something from nothing but it is far easier to help someone through their financial journey who wants to learn and grow and to break the cycle.
Good financial habits also apply to debt. Debt is not a bad four-letter word. In this day and age it is almost impossible to buy a home or a car or to pursue higher education without debt. Debt only becomes dangerous if it is ignored and not controlled. Sometimes life happens and suddenly there are hospital or credit card bills piling up. At this point you have a choice: You can ignore them or you can reach out for assistance in debt management. More often than not you can get assistance for free or at little cost, depending on your situation. Please know that there are people out there that want to help and who are willing to give advice without draining your resources.
If you don’t know where to turn then just ask. You’d be surprised at the resources that are available. At the same time, I would advise you to be wary. In the era of instant information at your fingertips, make sure you do your research before making any type of decision. Remember, just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean that it’s true!
Ashley McNeely is an advisor with Thrivent Financial. She can be reached at Ashley.McNeely@Thrivent.com.