Working towards financial independence and stability is a priority for me. I strongly believe that to live and thrive in our lives, we need to be in control of our finances. I acknowledge that finances are a very personal topic, as everyone's experiences and status vary. It is crucial that you are taking steps towards being financially healthy no matter what your current financial situation is.
In this blog post, I will share the five things I am doing differently with my money this year. Check out my other "Her Finances" posts for amazing financial tips.
Starting Point: Reflecting on my financial journey
I have had a sometimes good and bad relationship with money all my life. Growing up, we faced some financial challenges. A lot of my memories were centered around things that we lacked. Interestingly, my sister and I had a happy childhood, but there was always an underlying concern for how we will get things we needed. Living through those experiences made me resolute about having more positive experiences with my finances.
Fast forward to 2001 when I moved to Germany. I was still struggling financially. As a student, I had to work multiple jobs at a library, café, babysitting, and other small jobs to survive. As you can imagine, that is not the quickest path to accumulating wealth. However, in those difficult times, I learned the most valuable lesson about financial health. The lesson that I learned was that I had to start taking small actions to achieve financial wellbeing. I started building my savings with small amounts that I could afford and have continued this practice until today.
Over the past 20 years, I have added more tools to my toolkit that have helped me grow my finances. I am still learning and unlearning so many lessons about money.
What am I doing differently this year?
As I set my financial goals in 2021, I asked myself what financial decisions have helped me accomplish my goals so far and what new things I was willing to explore. Some of the things that I will be doing differently include the following:
#1: Enjoying my money a little and paying for services that simplify my life
Especially when you have been poor at some point in your life, it can be hard to enjoy your money. This year, I want to permit myself to do things for myself. In this phase of my life, as I am working a full-time job with a baby, this point is even more important. There are some "luxuries" that I would like to spend money on to save my time and improve the quality of my life.
#2: Creating forums to share and learning bold things people are doing financially
There is a lot of power in sharing your knowledge and learning from others. I want to normalize conversations about money with other amazing women in my community. I am incredibly interested in learning how others who have built sustainable wealth, explored new avenues to grow their finances, overcome generational financial challenges, and how they are continuously working towards financial independence. I also want to offer myself as an accountability partner to anyone who wants to accomplish big things financially.
#3: Getting professional financial help
One of the things that I have been planning to do is talking to professionals about some steps that I can take to build wealth. I have a lot to learn about investing, optimizing my taxes, planning for my son, and putting long-term plans in place for retirement. Learning from financial experts will help me make the bold moves that I plan to with my money in 2021.
#4: Restarting my investing
With everything that happened in 2020, I stopped investing. This decision was counterintuitive as it was a good time to invest. I was so scared of being financially unstable that I wanted to hold on to my money. This year, I want to start investing again, explore new avenues such as buying property and building long-term wealth. Although I know that Investing is the right thing for me to be doing at this stage of my financial journey, I am overly cautious.
#5: Facing my fears around finances
Interestingly, one of my biggest fears is being broke. It is one thought that guides a lot of the decisions that I make around money. While I want to stay financially responsible, I do not want to be driven by fear. I want to be free to do new things with my money and not be constantly concerned about being financially unstable.
There is so much we can learn and explore when it comes to our finances. To start your own journey to financial independence, evaluate what you are doing now, identify what you want to be doing differently, and start doing those things.
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