• Melissa Walton-Jones

Finer Finance Fridays #13


GET MONEY MOTIVATED - CAST YOUR VISION

For the last several months, I've provided financial planning, budgeting, and common-sense money management tips. I have heard from many of you via email and Facebook. Thank you so much for reaching out! It's good to know you find the Finer Finance Fridays messages helpful! I am especially delighted to meet many of you in person as you share your success stories with me! Some of you have also shared that you are moving in the right direction, you could use some motivation to keep you going with your new money habits! Hopefully this edition will help!!

OK, so you need motivation to keep your new financial management habits going! I am an accountant, a for real accountant, and an internal auditor. I've managed my money, and others' money for a living for the last fifteen years. Even though this has been my life, all of us can use positive inspiration and motivation!

So, one of the things I have done that has worked for me is crafting a vision board. In Habakkuk 2:2, the Word tells us..."write the vision, make it plain..." A vision board can help you stay on track with your financial goals, like it helped me. A Financial Vision Board is a fun, inexpensive, creative project that could help you reach your financial goals faster. Now is the perfect time! The holidays are around the corner and there is no shortage of catalogs showing up unannounced in the mail. It's the perfect time to whip out the scissors and glue, and kick off the new year right by creating a financial vision board. What is a vision board? Basically, it’s a poster or bulletin board you fill with images and words that illustrate your ideal life. You can tear photos from magazines, put up cards or print Google images, or draw whatever it is you need.The goal is to choose five to ten goals you want to focus on. Maybe your board will include a new job and a perfect house, a dream wedding and a healthy baby, or you, smiling because you've finally gotten out of debt or saved up an emergency fund. Then again, maybe it will be filled with all of the above.

The benefits of this exercise are twofold: Not only can mapping out your priorities help you determine where your money should go, tapping into your deepest desires can set you on a path to achieving what may seem out of reach today.After all, just the simple act of writing down your goals helps you focus your energy on making them a reality.

What You’ll Need:

  • Poster board or cork-board

  • A glue stick or rubber cement (plain glue tends to cause magazine pages to ripple) or, if using cork board, thumbtacks

  • Catalogs and magazines. The more variety, the better!

  • Quiet time

How to Create a Successful Financial Vision Board:

1. Daydream

We’ve been conditioned to want the things we see around us. Designer clothes, a bigger house, a shinier car. Those things are all well and good, but now is the time to think about what would truly make you happy, even if it’s not the tried and true. Before you begin combing through magazines, takes some time to daydream and picture yourself living the life you want. Remember, you don't need to choose "things" only: A financial vision board should reflect your ideal reality, whether that's a strong marriage, a mortgage paid off, or, okay, a new car.

2. Collect

Start flipping through your stack of magazines and indiscriminately tear out anything that speaks to you. Words, phrases, images, whatever catches your eye. You’ll sort through them later, but for now, anything goes. Maybe you'll spy your perfect summer cottage in a Home and Gardens catalog, or tear out a woman enjoying an vineyard retreat during her comfortable retirement (my dreams!!!!!)

3. Edit

Once you have a size-able collection of images and words, it’s time to edit down to the five to ten goals that are most important to you. Start by arranging the scraps of paper on your board, but don’t use glue yet. Think of this as putting the pieces of the puzzle together. How does it all fit? You might get rid of a few images as you go, and that’s okay. Keep the placement of items free form if you want, or organize them by time frames (1-year goals, 5-year goals., etc.), or by theme (health, finances, fun).

4. Commit

The next step is to cement your visions by gluing them down. Use this time to mentally commit to the goals you've chosen. If climbing Mount Everest is something you really, really want to do, then start telling yourself you will. It may feel weird at first, but this is the first step toward making your dreams a reality.

5. Revisit

The most powerful part of creating a vision board is identifying your goals, both big and small, but keeping them front of mind is helpful, too. If you can, hang the board somewhere you’ll see it every day. Or consider taking a photo of your board and making it your background on your laptop or smart phone.

6. Plan

Now it's time to make your finances reflect your goals. To start, you might choose one goal to focus on this year. Then find creative ways to fit it into your budget: Maybe you make a jar labeled with one of your goals and drop all of your loose change in it, or decide not to spend $5 bills, but save them here instead. Even if you only allocate $10 from each paycheck, the important part is that you've created the goal, and you'll be directing energy toward it on a regular basis.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it's that nothing big happens without first dreaming the dream. And that's especially true when it comes to money. Financial Vision Boards help you to create financial goals that work towards your financial success. It is a useful and powerful tool that displays images to represent how prosperous you want to be financially in your life to accomplish, fulfill and live the life of your dreams. Successful people establish a vision or final destination, which determines what their goals will be and how they will accomplish those goals. It also helps them stay focused and motivated in achieving their goals.

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Soror Melissa Walton-Jones, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

2020 Candidate for Re-Election: International Tamias