Fall is a time of reflection and introspection for many people. The warmer days are ending, the holiday season is nearing, and the end of the calendar year is in sight. You may be thinking back to the resolutions you made at the start of the year, assessing your progress, and making plans to move forward. If you’re pleased with your financial progress this year, congratulations! However, if you feel you’ve faltered on your financial goals since January, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are still several months left in 2023 and you can finish the year strong if you focus on overcoming common mental roadblocks to financial success.
Mental Roadblocks to Financial Success #1: Financial Detachment
We live in a world with increasing digital reliance. We auto-pay most of our bills, use convenient apps to make purchases, and swipe debit and credit cards far more often than we handle cash, write checks, or visit banks. While none of these are negative habits, they can lead to a feeling of disconnectedness from our money, making it all too easy to lose track of our finances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American only spends two minutes per day managing their finances.
How can you overcome financial detachment? Start by checking your accounts on a weekly basis so that your financial goals will remain top of mind. It’s easier to feel connected to and motivated by your savings goals, for instance, when you’re logging in to see your account balance frequently. You can take this a step further by naming your accounts in ways that reference your goals – think “first house” or “dream retirement” rather than “savings.”
SEE ALSO: The Wheel of Life and Achieving Balance
Mental Roadblocks to Financial Success #2: Bad Influences
Your spouse, family members, and close friends can heavily influence your financial decisions. This sometimes happens without conscious thought – you spend a lot of time with someone, and you naturally begin to align your habits and values with theirs. If you have a spouse who doesn’t share your financial goals or friends who engage in overspending every time you’re together, it can be difficult to maintain your resolve to reach your goals.
If you find this happening, you don’t need to cut all ties with those closest to you. Instead, be vocal about your goals and ask for their support and encouragement.
Mental Roadblocks to Financial Success #3: Fear
Financial goal setting often requires you to make changes in your habits or lifestyle in order to achieve your objectives. While this type of change is usually for the better, it can still be scary and uncomfortable. Changing one aspect of your life will sometimes produce a snowball effect in other areas, meaning that pursuing your financial goals could change your relationships, your career trajectory, or how you spend your free time. In addition to the fear of change, some people also struggle with fearing financial success. It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s a legitimate problem for people who grew up believing that money was bad or that they don’t deserve to be well-off.
Having fears and insecurities about money doesn’t have to stop you from succeeding, though. Set your sites on your goals, take small and intentional steps toward them, celebrate each win, and continue pushing forward little by little.
Mental Roadblocks to Financial Success #4: Misplaced Focus
Do you find yourself getting caught up in goals that society (and social media) tell us are typical of the American Dream? It’s often things like a big house, shiny car, or fancy vacations. You need to ask yourself, though, if these things are truly in line with your values and priorities. Maybe you want to maintain a modest home and retire early or travel often instead of owning property and settling down somewhere. Whatever goals you set your sights on, make sure they’re your own. If you don’t focus on your unique needs and wants, it’s difficult to remain motivated to accomplish your goals.
Are You Feeling Stalled in Your Financial Success?
There are some seasons of life in which it’s simply more difficult to remain focused on your financial goals. If you feel like this year has been one of roadblocks or setbacks, know that it’s not too late to get back on track. Understanding the barriers that stand in the way of your money dreams – and actively working to overcome them – is a great way to reinvigorate stale financial goals and make forward progress toward the future you desire.
If you’d like a professional partner on your financial journey, we can help. At Flourish Wealth Management, we help our clients focus on the personal side of money. If you want to clarify your values, set meaningful goals, and develop savvy strategies to achieve your financial goals and your personal aspirations, contact us today to learn more about our process and services. We look forward to hearing from you!