The last quarter of the year has arrived, and it will likely pass in a flash as we enjoy the cooler weather and celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. despite the hurried pace of life in the final months of the year (or perhaps because of it), I find it helpful to slow down for a little bit and make time for self-reflection.
I like to take stock of my financial life and goals by considering a series of questions. Perhaps this is because of my profession. Still, the questions I ask myself apply to all of us. Making time for self-reflection helps me feel more grounded and in control of my finances. It also tends to recharge my motivation to work and save and achieve my goals.
If you’d like to give it a shot, here are a few questions and ideas to get you started.
- How much did I save this year? Could I have done more? How much do I want to save next year? One way to make saving easier is to make it automatic, through direct deposit from your paycheck to your savings or investment accounts.
- Did the money I spent in 2016 reflect my values and priorities? Make a list of five uses of your money that made a significant, positive difference in your life this year. If you have trouble thinking of five, consider outlining a plan for more purposeful spending in 2017.
- What are my top three long-term financial goals? Reviewing your goals every now and then can help boost your motivation and drive.
- How much debt am I taking into the New Year? Take an honest look at the number. If the size of your debt is holding you back from saving for your goals, develop an action plan for reducing your debt next year.
- What are some poor money habits I can squash? We all have at least one or two. Consider the areas in your life where you can make changes, no matter how big or small.