I am a firm believer that you can speak good into your life and existence. I've downloaded free apps that send me affirmations every hour. I tell myself I love you more often when looking into a mirror, and I also say the same thing to my money. For the longest time, I wasn't honest with my finances or myself. I let negativity run rampant. But when I started speaking the truth, my truth, my whole being changed. And that can happen for you too.
Why speaking the truth will help you achieve financial wellness
Being honest with yourself regarding your finances is the first step you can take in achieving financial wellness. When you stop being in denial about your overall financial picture, you know what steps to take to get you where you need to be.
How to be truthful with yourself for financial wellness
- Sit down with yourself, a pen, and a piece of paper.
- Close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to be financially well.
- After you've meditated on that, put pen to paper and start writing.
The first step to achieving any goal in life is to set the intention to recognize opportunities as they arise.
Speaking the truth will help you get out of debt
If you're someone who hides credit card bills from yourself, you're not alone. According to CNBC, the average American is $90,460 in debt. Gen-X seems to be the most debt, making sense as many more people in their forties have a mortgage and kids versus someone just graduating college.
Debt can help you do beautiful things, like go to college or put a roof over your head. Debt can also have you feeling shame and leave you wondering how you're ever going to get out of it. It's essential, to be honest with yourself about the amount of debt you're in because it's you who will tackle it. When you are real, shame can no longer bind you. It's okay to say no to those happy hours with friends and yes to financial progress.
How to speak the truth to become debt-free
Make a spreadsheet of all the accounts you currently have open that are debt. I'm talking about everything, including but not limited to:
- Credit cards
- Student loans
- Medical debt
- Personal loans
- Lines of credit like furniture
Once you have all of your debt in one place, you can see what you owe, which is the most challenging part and causes the most pain. But now that you know better, you can do better. Come up with a payment plan to start making extra payments and get it knocked out. I like the snowball method when paying down debt since I have ADHD and the quick wins keep me on track.
Speaking the truth to save more money
I am a firm believer in not being able to save what you don't earn. I also know that it's hard to save money when you have a lot going on. As I type this, I have several savings goals written down on a chalkboard wall next to my desk. I look over and smile at the progress I've made on some, then quickly frown at the ones I haven't.
I've shared before, but when I was younger, I had a shopping addiction. I work hard to keep it at bay, but it's still hard to balance my goals with not buying excess crap or stuff. And that's why it's about to speak your truth when it comes to saving money. When you buy crap you don't need, it limits what you can do later in life, explicitly saving.
How to speak the truth to save more
Set aside one weekend to declutter your house. Make three piles for each of the following actions: donate, throw away, or sell. You can also put items you aren't quite sure what to do with aside and then stick them in a box to look at later. Now, look at all the things in your life that used to be money in your checking account.
We keep items that no longer serve us because they had monetary value at some point, but they no longer do. By looking at what you spend your money on, you'll now be in a better place to put up boundaries when it comes to your spending.
Speaking the truth will help you invest
Raise your hand if you have no idea what you're doing when it comes to investing? Many of us, both women AND men, are unsure of what investing is outside our 401K. Some of us don't even have a retirement account!
If this is you, it's okay. Speaking the truth will help you admit that you need help accessing resources to help you get ahead financially.
How to speak your truth to invest more
Make an appointment with your company's HR department to determine what benefits are available to you for your retirement. Many employers offer either a 401K or Roth IRA as a retirement plan, but there are more out there. Make sure you are an active participant in where your money is being invested (such as deciding between mutual funds or savings bonds) and save as much as you can.
If you aren't saving anything, start with just 1% of your income, and then in six months, up the amount by one percent to save 2%. You'll be impressed with how compound interest works and will want to keep it going.
Speaking the truth will help you curb emotional spending
I wrote earlier about being a shopaholic, but I didn't share how I ended up being one in the first place. Long story short, I experienced a lot of trauma when I was younger, and I had many emotions I didn't know how to deal with. After working with a therapist and finding the proper medication, I realized that a lot of my shopping was emotional. Emotional spending is real, and it sucks, but speaking your truth can help you curb it.
How to speak your truth to curb emotional spending
Start journaling. Buy a notebook or use up a random one you have laying around (not that I'm talking about myself) and set aside 10 minutes a day to start journaling. You can find a set of writing prompts online or even do it Dear Diary style. It's up to you, but this is a way to start getting your thoughts and emotions flowing onto paper and not your wallet.
Speaking the truth will help you stop competing with the Jones
How many times have you bought crap you didn't want or go on a trip just because everyone else wanted to? The same goes for eating at trendy restaurants or going on excursions. Sure, you give and take in relationships, but a good relationship always respects your boundaries, especially financial ones. And guess what? Friends don't care what you buy OR wear.
How to stop competing with the Jones by speaking your truth
Don't be afraid to start telling people no when you don't want to do something, and give another suggestion of something else to do instead. Maybe instead of going to a club, you can suggest a movie night at your apartment. Perhaps you do stop by that birthday party but only grab a drink and get out of there. Once you start speaking your truth and being realistic about things you want to do, keeping up with the Joneses will not be worth your financial peace.
Speaking the truth will help you keep out of financial trouble
I don't believe in speaking negatively about someone's financial situation. I also don't believe in burying your head in the sand about it. When you speak the truth about your finances, you're able to allocate for debt and savings, work on your goals and have the life you want for yourself.
I know hiding from any of those things may make you feel better about yourself in the short term, but none of that does any good in the long run.
How to speak your truth to stay out of financial trouble
Instead of telling yourself no, try to remind yourself of your why. So instead of saying "No, I can't afford it," say "I'm saving for x, so I want to focus on that instead." When you aren't focusing on the nos', you can focus on the whys, and that's way more important.
Speaking the truth will help you feel empowered
Speaking your truth in any area of your life is going to leave you feeling empowered. I feel empowered when I speak my truth. It's hard at first because being honest with yourself is more complicated than being honest with others sometimes. But by keeping at it, you will feel so confident with yourself and your finances. You won't want to live any other way. We promise you.