In this episode I’m going through your financial fall reset checklist. As the CEOs of our families, we want to make good financial decisions that align with our values and allow us to live the lives we want. And sometimes it takes a little reset to get us back on track with our spending to make sure we’re taking care of our financial health.
This is a great time of year to do a reset and financial inventory. Summer is winding down. We are heading into the holiday season and a new year – no need to feel financial overwhelm during those times, so a check-in now will keep you on track.
Take a listen to my latest podcast to learn why a financial checklist and reset can help you get in front of your expenses rather than stuck behind them, and be prepared for other things that could (and often do) come up.
Hey there. Welcome back. This is episode number 36. Let’s talk about a Fall reset with your money. When my daughters were growing up, summertime was spent traveling west to the mountains and to the coast. We spent time and money on the things that were important to us – and holidays cost money.
Even the simple ones like camping, the cost has really gone up. So we have to be mindful of spending and these expenses, I made sure they matched our family values of freedom. We had been looking forward to these trips over the years and financially planned for them together. Hence what I do for a living – I love to plan.
We were always on board earlier in the year, and that’s when we had an estimate of how much we had to put away for holidays. But I will share my family’s relationship with money has not always been peachy keen. I have shared in my book about my journey, how it started with a marriage breakdown and having to recover from being left financially naked.
So I know this path isn’t easy. It started when I started to come back stronger and I wrote down the steps that I took and how I created this value-based spending that aligned with my family. Trust me, I didn’t recreate the wheel here, but I really honed in on how this was important for us. It built that confidence and empowerment.
So value-based spending – all it does is it refers to spending your money on the things that are truly important. Once you’ve set aside money for the crucial items first, the emergency savings, the basic needs, like our food and shelter, the bills, and also throw in your retirement planning bucket there, then you can direct your financial resources so that your spending matches your values.
This is where the Fall reset comes in. It is the perfect time of the year to hit reset and get your family ready for the next season of bills, expenses, and anything else that comes up like the kids’ activities. It feels so good to be in front of it rather than behind it.
That’s that confidence piece. Right now, the weather is perfect. The leaves are just starting to turn and you might be ready to settle in after a summer of fun. In fact, this summer spending might leave you feeling just a little bit overwhelmed with the upcoming expenses. So this is where I’m going to step in.
Here are a few things you can do to get your family on board and take control for the Fall. Number one, call a family meeting and list what is important and the highest priority right now. For example, this might be Christmas spending, right? We’re not thinking long-term here. We’re not thinking, three years, four years, five years, we’re talking about the next three months, six months, maybe 12 at the most. Like we said, Christmas is coming up.
It might be the extra spending that we usually do, then it might be the upcoming sports team expenses, or maybe it’s paying off that extra debt that has just been haunting you. We often talk about priorities in life, but how many of us have actually taken a moment to stop and write down our priorities on paper?
Have you spent more time making a grocery list than you have spent writing down what is important to you and why? Put this priority on paper and post it on the fridge. So this is what you’re going to do in your family meeting. You’re going to talk about what expenses are coming up. What do we need to do? Then put it on the fridge as a reminder.
I cannot believe the power of this. I don’t understand it. It’s like magic. I have done this in my family and for myself personally. I’ve had lists on the fridge and I swear, they were all crossed off after a year. It was incredible. So whatever magic power that is, it works.
The second thing that you’re going to do is review your online banking or credit card statement. I know some of us don’t even like to pull it up and look at it, but this is where you’re going to actually pull it up and ask yourself if your spending and savings habits match your family’s priorities.
So let me share some personal TMI. I do this all the time and I look at my statements and Skip the Dishes has snuck up especially during a time of getting things back to normal. It’s September, we’re back from holiday, things are crazy, feeling a little bit behind on chores. All of a sudden I’m ordering a few extra things more than I should.
That did not feel good. When I look at it, it is almost like that sucker punch in the gut feeling when you actually start to take a look and visualize and see where your money has been going. So ask yourself, did it match where you actually want to spend your money and where it feels good? Is there a disconnect? Do you need to reassess and realign so that what you’re going to do isn’t going to make you cringe and look away?
Cringing and looking away means it’s probably not matching your family’s priority.
So now you’re going to make your money work to match your values. This is the third step. Adjust your cash flow system to include that savings bucket during that family meeting, when you get ahead, you take a look at what’s coming up and where you need to actually start putting some money. Now you’re going to direct it as your main priority.
So you’re going to create a savings bucket, and you’re going to adjust your cash flow, which is your budget. I like the term cash flow better. Budget to me sounds like a diet. It’s something that you can’t have. So I really use cash flow instead as a word. So look at your cash flow and adjust what you need to adjust to fill that.
Okay. If you’re needing a little bit of help and you want to learn about a cash flow system that works and leaves you feeling empowered with that abundant mindset, read chapter five of my book, “The Heart of Your Money”. I’ve got a chapter in there and it’s really easy to understand.
So that third step now is just to make your money work and put it in the bucket that you’ve identified. And then this is the fun part. Now the last step to this is just scheduling the family check-ins to track and stay focused on your progress. This is where you have those meetings and we get support.
So this is whereas a team with your family, you’re going to actually be able to celebrate that you’re on track or are you going to have the support to say, “Oh, let’s get this back on track.”
This can be the perfect place to bring that collective and collaborative approach to our lives.
When our values are shared within a family, we build a positive, healthy and thriving unit with the benefit of being able to prioritize effectively. Your spending should be a reflection of what you truly value. However, it’s common to fall out of step. I know this and we always need that reset.
This is what today’s conversation is about. It can happen slowly and over time and it just starts to derail slowly if there’s not a conscious effort to pay attention to where our money is going and talk about cash flow planning.
It can happen for a number of reasons. It’s stress, getting busy and not being mindful. That’s my Skip the Dishes part, Or sometimes there’s a feeling of scarcity and fear and just not feeling confident enough to get back on track. So no matter the reason, we all need a reset.
Take this as your cue today after listening, take action. Just plan that family meeting and a check-in. That in itself is going to do wonders for you. That’s it. Send me a note and let me know how you’re doing. Take care.