1) Get current.  It’s impossible to make changes for a better future without knowing where you stand financially.  Set aside consistent time to sort through the mail, check on your accounts, catch up on your personal finance housekeeping, and clean out your wallet.

2) Clean-up past financial mistakes.  Whether it’s back taxes, an unacknowledged loan from a friend or family member, or finally canceling monthly charges for something you never use, just do it.  Leaks, denial, and avoiding money related confrontation can cause anxiety, acting out, negative self-esteem and perpetuate financial problems.

3) Live within your means.  If you’re in debt or at risk for falling behind or back into the hole, make it a priority to take action now.  Your life depends on it.  Follow these simple steps to get back on top.  Pay your bills on time, stop unconscious credit card use, be creative about less expensive solutions to your needs, and brainstorm ways to increase your income.  Not so simple?  Email me to set up a complimentary consultation.

4) Try something new.  The best antidote to financial fog and insecurity is tracking your spending. You can also try increasing how much you’re saving each month, paying credit cards in full on the last day of every month to contain the month’s spending, weekly money dates with yourself or your partner at your favorite café, subscribing to an inspirational financial blog, or reading a book about personal finance.

5) Plan for the future.  Don’t fall into the trap of letting your money rule your life.  Without clear intentions, goals and boundaries for your funds, overspending is practically guaranteed and regret and remorse with grow exponentially.  First believe it, then visualize it, listen for guidance and follow-up.

6) Practice self-care.   If you’re prone to fantasizing about your next vacation or becoming distracted by the things that are not quite up to par in your life while paying bills, pause and write it down.  Deprivation is defined by overdoing, making do or doing without.  Unmet needs and wants are the roadblocks to financial integrity and realizing your dreams.  Keep a vision board or at the very least a list of goals on your phone or in your desk drawer at work.  And, don’t forget the basics: drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and eight hours of sleep every night, and eat food that makes you feel happy and energized.

Carrie’s Favorite Financial Tools

Tracking Apps – Checkbook on the iPhone and Loot on the Droid

Financial Blogs – moneyzen.com, gogirlfinance.com, dailyworth.com

Books About Money – Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Overcoming Underearning, and Emotional Currency

Financial Wellness Bank Account – moven.com

Total Personal Finance Planning Tool – moneyminderonline.com

Money Autobiography – financialrecovery.com/free-stuff

Needs and Wants Assessment – financialrecovery.com/free-stuff

Work History Inventory – financialrecovery.com/free-stuff

Earning Ceiling Meditation – financialrecovery.com/free-stuff

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  There are limitless possibilities for upping your financial game, so what’s next?