Have you ever considered what financial vibrancy might mean to you . . . ?
Does it mean practical things like having money to buy good quality food, having a roof over head, or a good pair of shoes?
Maybe it means money to buy that mountain bike to enjoy the freedom of riding up in the hills. It could mean going on vacation to your favorite seaside resort to feel like you’re making the most of life.
For me, financial vibrancy starts with having the basics covered—resources for food, shelter, and clothing. It also means having money for hobbies and activities that engender feelings of value and enjoyment.
Financial vibrancy means not holding on too tight to money or being scared that there isn’t enough to support needs and desires. The ideal is a heartfelt perspective of abundance.
I’m sure you’ve heard the word abundance before. It’s timeless; it handles your current habits and desires, as well as your future hopes and dreams.
You may read that definition and say, “Sounds good; that’s how things are playing out.”
Others might say, “Interesting but that’s not how things are playing out.”
You might even say, “That’s a pipe dream and I should come back down to earth.”
Financial vibrancy is more of an aspired state than I’d like. I’m not nurturing financial vibrancy in present moments the way I want. I want to feel like my financial house is in better order. I want less debt, to save more for retirement each month, and have more disposable income for the things that engender feelings of value and enjoyment. In short, I want to increase my financial vibrancy.
Keys to Nurturing Financial Vibrancy
I’ve been taking a course since February, called The Money Course; it all about mastering your money and transforming your life. I’m learning a bunch of strategies to nurture greater financial vibrancy.
The highlights are listed.
I’ve created a budget and am tracking my spending on a monthly basis. You might say this is a no-brainer, but I wasn’t doing it. I used to chafe at the idea of having to track my spending at a detailed level. I thought of it as forced oppression.
That has changed. I’m practicing actions and habits that allow me to effectively manage my money. I’ve stopped using credit cards, have developed a plan to reduce debt, and save more. I’ve set goals and am tracking progress to make sure my actions and habits lead to the desired outcome.
I’m realizing that getting into the detail actually leads to increased freedom and not oppression as I had wrongly assumed.
Mindset Around Sufficiency
I’d fallen victim to the flood of marketing messages saying I needed more whether the latest iPhone, a new car, or a bigger home. Marketing messages are meant to trigger an innate fear of scarcity, the need to fit in, and the desire for more.
Through the course, I’m learning that I have what I want and need. I’m starting to identify when my triggers are being pushed and how not react to them, so I don’t fall victim to knee-jerk social triggers, It starts with a clear sense of my values and beliefs. It’s a work in progress, but the shift is happening.
Being Intentional about Spending
As the result of tracking my spending in detail and being clear on my goals, I’m being more intentional about my spending. I know want I want to save and bounce my spending decisions in the moment off whether they will support my beliefs, value, and goals or not. This means I go home and make myself lunch rather than buy lunch at the cafe.
I’m not just thinking about how I spend in the moment, I’m also being aware of how I drive. Do I hit the gas petal at the green light or do I more slowly accelerate. When driving, I also look for times to coast to a stop rather than accelerating until the last moment and then more aggressively braking at a stop sign or light. Its the routine habit changes that will have the biggest payoff.
In addition to looking at the habits and actions related to how I spend money already coming in, I have brainstormed ways to generate more income. I set goals for what I want and organized them according to the 7 VIBRANTs, so they are intrinsically aligned with my values and beliefs.
Then I aligned each goal with how I act, what I do, and the result I want. In the course, this meant aligning my goals with being, doing, and having. The philosophy of aligning things this way is to make sure there is alignment between the three states. This is important because if I want to save more, but unconsciously go to Star Bucks every day for a double late, I am inadvertently working against myself.
Are you nurturing the habits you want around financial vibrancy? Are there things you want to change?