One of the many keys to effectively changing your life is prioritization. As a nurse you do this every day you work, but now we need to integrate that into our personal life.
Everyone has limited resources, whether those resources are time, money, or energy.
Since you’re likely limited by your time and energy, it only makes sense to focus your resources on creating those financial habits that will have the biggest impact on your situation.
Try this process to focus on your most important new habit:
1. Where are You Feeling the Most Pain in Your Financial Life?
- What keeps you up late at night? Is it the lack of savings? A non-existent emergency fund? Too little income to pay your bills each month? High amounts of debt you don’t feel like you can get ahead of? A bleak retirement future?
- Addressing the most stressful financial challenge in your life can be an effective place to start.
Let’s create an example: Lacey is an nurse who wants to pay off the last of her student loans she is a full-time floor nurse at her local hospital and has student loans, a car loan and credit cards. Her debts are keeping her up at night. She is so tired of living in debt and wants to be able to save for traveling and her retirement instead of paying debt payments.
2. Which New Habit Would Have the Biggest Impact on Your Finances?
Knowing that you need to work on your savings doesn’t necessarily highlight the optimal habit to adopt. Consider the impact each potential new habit would bring to your life.
- Make a list of all the potential habits you could build that are related to your target financial concern.
- Prioritize your list based on the likely outcome from incorporating that habit into your life. Eliminate the bottom 80%.
- Reexamine the 20% that remain. Visualize the impact each of the remaining possibilities will have down the road 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, and 5 years down the road. How will the habit impact your life 25 years from now?
- Choose the habit that makes the most sense after carefully considering the future.
If you’re torn between 2 or more habits, consider which would be the easiest to implement. Never underestimate the power of momentum. You can swing back around and pick up the other habits in the near future.
Example: Lacey’s list of habits that would have the biggest impact on her finances.
Taking inventory of her income and expenses. (This is the one she choses to implement)
- Making a monthly budget.
- Picking up 2 extra shifts per month.
- Taking inventory of what she has.
- Setting goals.
- Determining her values in life.
3. Seek to Be Average at First
Bring all the parts of your personal finances up to an average level before attempting to be a high achiever. The worst aspects of your financial life are causing your greatest financial discomfort.
- In other words, eliminate consumer debt, have an emergency fund, save at least 10% of your income, have adequate insurance, and be consistently saving for retirement before worrying about the purchase of a vacation home or the installation of a swimming pool.
- If your habit doesn’t address a fundamental, personal finance issue, be certain your target habit is in your best interest.
- On a 1 to 10 scale, bring each part of your finances up to a “5” before attempting anything on a grander scale.
Example: Lacey has an emergency fund and savings for things she enjoys to do, but wants to focus on becoming consumer debt free so she can accelerate her other financial goals.
4. Do You Have What You Need to Put the Habit Into Place?
If not, can you get what you need or start small enough that the habit is viable? If you’re 75lbs overweight and spend every evening on the couch, you’d have to start small if your desired habit was to run 10 miles each day. You’d need running shoes, too.
- Some financial habits might require you to gain a significant amount of knowledge or have a starting point that is currently beyond your reach.
- Determine if the habit is possible with your available resources and expertise. It’s possible another goal might be more appropriate.
Example: Lacey plans to make spreadsheet of her income and expenses by category by going through her past bank statements in order to clearly see where her money is going and re-prioritize her money to achieve her most important goal right now.
Time is a limiting factor for everyone, and there are only so many hours that can be applied to building and performing a new financial habit. Ensure you’re spending your time wisely and effectively. The most important habits are often the least appealing. Focus on positive habits to best enhance your finances.
If this all seems too much for you to complete on your own, we can work on this together. Schedule your FREE Clarity Session with me to dive deeper into this.
High electric bill.
That makes sense because it’s so cold right now
Your Feeling About the Situation
Look into a you can lower the bill or even out the payment over the year for the high months.
Take steps to decrease your energy consumption or get on an even pay system through your provider.
Do you see the difference?
This was a simple example but imagine if you did this with any money situation that came your way, you would inevitably decrease your money stress just by changing your thoughts.
Practice this on a money situation that has been weighing on you.
Send me a message with your example, I’d love to walk through it with you!!