Harry N. Stout
81- Three Actions to Improve Your Financial Health
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
We are all experiencing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the many facets of our lives — home, family, work and recreation. For me, at this stage of my life, my kids are all adults and living elsewhere, so it has meant spending dedicated time with my wife (we get along very well, thank goodness) and reaching out to my family and friends using all of today’s tools including phone, email and video conferencing. This quarantine time has also had me working each day to get in my 10,000 steps and trying to stay as active as possible.
I know this situation will pass and we will move onward to a new reality. One thought has continued to pop into my brain is that when this horrible situation passes, people will reevaluate their lives, habits and where they spend their time. Some will want to work from home. Others will long for the office and the contact with people it provides. As part of this reevaluation, I hope people will spend more time on their financial health. As we have seen or personally experienced, this pandemic has brought into the open many of the financial risks that I write about in the FinancialVerse.
Over the next few months, I will bring a number of ideas to our readers about what they might do as they reevaluate their relationship with money. Some of you will have survived the pandemic in great financial shape, while others may be struggling to make ends meet because of having lost their job.
Here are three key actions you can take to improve your relationship with money, post the pandemic.
Developing a Money Mindset
As I have written, the average American spends about two minutes per day managing their money. You have to spend more time than that to properly plan your cash flow, manage your debt, plan for your later years and effectively manage your spending. The time invested does not have to be substantial but it needs to be more than two minutes per day. Remember a mindset is an established set of attitudes held by you about a given subject. If you take time to develop a clear mindset about money your financial success should improve.
Taking Time to Learn About Money
Most of us spend about ten minutes per day just reading. Not a lot in a world where things change rapidly due to new technologies and continued innovation. To be successful with money, you should look to invest two hours per week on learning about the economy and managing your money. Please read the Spend2 tab of the FinancialVerse website for ideas on where to devote time improving your money knowledge.
Developing Better Money Habits
Over 70% of people do not have a cash budget. Most Americans have little or no emergency funds or savings for their later years. You need to develop better money habits by putting in place a budget, a savings plan and better spending habits. The lack of basic money habits has sunk many families as the pandemic has shown. You can’t lose weight if you don’t know what you are eating that is making you overweight. The same goes with money. If you don’t know where the money comes from and where it goes, you will not be able to save and invest more.
I hope that as we emerge from this national nightmare, you take the time to improve your financial health. If you do, the next time an unexpected event takes place you will be much better able to weather the storm.
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