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Generating Financial Peace of Mind in Your Life

For me, inspiration is often sparked from the most unlikely of places and while it isn’t always easy I’ve trained myself to translate unexpected inspiration into action, for myself and for my clients.

Last Thursday was no different as I prepared myself to attend the “Peace of Mind Speaker Series” in Providence, RI. I had been gifted a ticket to the event by a friend, and while the topic of the speaker series (mental health awareness) may seem a bit outside what I normally focus on in my work, I found that the conversation that was generated by the speakers that day sparked a new way of thinking about financial health and the importance of designing a financial plan customized for each and every person to support them in their lives.

The event inspired me to begin thinking about the concept of financial peace of mind, and how I’m creating that in my own life and the lives of my clients. There’s a certain centeredness and clarity that comes from the work that I do, and there’s freedom and peace on the other side of knowing how to use money as a tool through a solidly aligned financial plan.

And of course, as I began to think about financial peace of mind, my clients and potential new clients showed up this week needing to understand what financial peace of mind looked like and that it was possible for them. I got to share what I’d been thinking about, and the 3 key steps that take place on the journey to creating financial peace:

  1. Get clear on your goals and what you want — In order to design a financial plan that works powerfully to support your life, it’s critical to first and foremost get clear on what you want. Each financial plan that I design for my clients is customized to support their wants and desires, and so if those wants and desires are unclear, the plan that is designed won’t truly represent what matters to them and as a result the level of commitment isn’t as high to the plan. Our lives move so quickly these days, that creating space to think about what we want often feels like a luxury when in reality it’s one of the most important things we can ever do to get clear on the results we’re looking to generate.
  2. Revisit your financial plan as an expression of your goals — In working with my clients, we’ve come to define “financially authentic” as the ability to use money in a way that is aligned with what matters to them in their lives. The concept of alignment, while perhaps new, is critical in creating financial peace. When a financial plan is an expression of your goals and what matters to you, there is little, if any, resistance to sticking with a plan. It’s as if the clarity of the aligned financial plan allows you to know what you’re up to and generates purposeful action for you to take in your life. Money then truly become a tool to support your goals and what you want to create.
  3. Test the new plan in the real world — How we use money in our lives is rarely, if ever, static and unchanging. What we’re up to and how we want money to support us is always evolving, and therefore our financial plans must evolve and adapt with us. Once the clarity has been achieved on our goals and we’ve revisited our financial plan as an expression of those goals, it’s time to use the plan and see how well reality matches with the plan that we designed. As I’m known for saying, “life happens” and at every turn our priorities can adjust and our plans then ideally will adapt with us. It’s important during this time of “testing” the financial plan in our lives that we pay attention to the details of the plan we’ve designed, however at the same time allowing for the possibility that something different may show up. I say this because many times I have clients who are committed to the plan as designed and aren’t present to the fact that new opportunities and goals may arise in the future that alter even the best-designed plan! How we use our money does not always need to be a perfect expression of the plan we designed – sometimes new and exciting things pop up that we get to factor into our lives!

Designing a financial plan and using money as a tool to support our lives is an ongoing process, one that is constantly evolving. And through that evolution and our individual growth, aligning how we use our money to support our lives is what generates and creates financial peace.

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Building Your Financial Confidence

After meeting with one of my clients earlier this week, I followed up via email to send along her final financial plan (a.k.a. savings and spending plan) after we made some edits during our final session.

Her response back to my email was to thank me for the information and for our time together and to proclaim that she truly “felt like a grown up” after taking control of this area of her life.

Because I do this for a living and on a regular basis, sometimes I forget how empowering it can be for people to step into an area of their life and confidently gain the knowledge that they need to intentionally direct and design their lives. This was an amazing reminder from this client of what life can look like when your level of financial confidence is raised and you’re ready to move forward to begin reaching for your dreams.

It was also a reminder of the things that stand in the way of people being as financially confident as they could be, and what they can do to step into their financial power:

1) Know your numbers – This is the beginning point of building financial confidence. Many people are feeling financially stressed because they know something isn’t working, and yet they’re not sure what it is exactly. The stress is unlikely going to get any better without looking at the numbers to figure things out, and in most cases it’s not as bad as one might think it is. Confidence begins with determining where you are financially speaking right now, in this moment.

2) Be intentional – Once you’re clear on where you are in this moment, you can become clear on where you want to go. My experience is that without an intentional road map for where you want your money to go and how you would like it to be used, money will end up being used randomly and not as purposefully and powerfully as it could be to support your life. So take the time to think about your goals and to also think about what you’d like to have in your life. Once you’re clear on the things that you want in your life, you can design a financial plan to support what you’re up to. Without an intentional financial plan, money often gets used in an unaligned way that doesn’t serve what you want in your life and this often times impairs financial confidence. With a clear intention and a clear understanding of how money is working as a tool in your life, your financial confidence will grow significantly.

3) Always be in the financial flow – Once a financial plan is in place, it’s important to always be measuring and monitoring how you’re doing against the plan. Many people will design a plan, and then “set it and forget it,” forgetting that life often changes and that our plans need to adapt and/or adjust. Also, new financial opportunities or challenges may arise that need to be accounted for in a plan so it’s important to always be considering whether a plan needs to shift to incorporate those items. Also, being in a regular conversation about your money (i.e. the weekly “money date” I suggest to my clients) is also important. Without a regular and mindful review of what’s going on financially, financial confidence can be impaired and you may be left with an unnecessary experience of feeling scarce and worried instead of abundant and powerful when it comes to your money.

These 3 simple (and yet not always easy, especially at first!) steps, when used in tandem with each other, can support you to bolster your financial confidence and keep it at a high level. And with a higher level of financial confidence, you’ll be able to make confident decisions in your life as you use money as the divine tool that it is truly meant to be to support the life of your dreams!

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