MtM Financial Advisor, Alyssa Young, wrote this column for publication in the February 2022 Holy Cross Lutheran Church newsletter.
Improving your health is a common theme for New Year’s resolutions. One month into 2022, are you making progress on your personal goals for this year? To stay healthy—physically, mentally and spiritually—you need to adopt practical habits, routines and discipline. The same principles apply to accomplishing and maintaining good financial health.
Develop healthy habits.
Maintaining a healthy weight and physical fitness requires sticking to a balanced diet and consistent exercise routine. Similarly, good spiritual health may mean attending worship every week and spending time in prayer daily. When it comes to your financial wellbeing, developing healthy habits is equally important. For example, you can control your spending by limiting the number of times you eat out each week or month, or restricting your monthly entertainment budget. Clip coupons before you go to the grocery store, or purchase less expensive generic brands of your household staples. Make these habits part of your normal, consistent routine, and you won’t even need to think about them.
Make a plan—and stick to it.
Track your income and spending for a couple of months to understand your cash flow, and then you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement. Prioritize the items of greatest importance or those that are inflexible. For the rest, create a budget to earmark how much money you have available for discretionary spending, saving, investing and giving. Once you are comfortable with those amounts, consider putting some of your goals on autopilot. For example, you can set up recurring, automatic gifts to your church so you don’t need to remember to prepare your offering. You can schedule recurring contributions to your retirement account. Take advantage of automation tools to help you stay committed to your plan.
Share your blessings.
Being generous to help others in need will reward you handsomely. Using your financial gifts to support a charity, a struggling family or a special cause will give you more positive feelings than any other way you could use your money. We are blessed to be a blessing to others.
Just like being aware of your thoughts and feelings helps you control your emotions and reactions, awareness of your financial situation and goals helps relieve your stress and anxiety about money. Consulting a professional can provide the extra support you need to feel confident and prepared.
Also remember: All is good in moderation. Don’t be too strict. Allow yourself flexibility so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. With prayer and patience, you can achieve personal financial stewardship.
Alyssa Young, a Holy Cross member for more than 30 years, is a financial advisor at MtM Financial Group in Lower Nazareth Township. You can reach her at 610-746-7007 or by email at [email protected].
Securities offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA), Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory and tax services offered through MtM Financial Group, LLC which is otherwise unaffiliated with SFA. 4505 Hanoverville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020. SFA does not provide tax or legal advice. Supervising office 888-447-2444.