The Catalyst

Last Saturday I jumped on the bandwagon and tried celery juice for the first time.  I do not own a juicer so after reading a few blog posts I decided I could make it using a few other items I had in my kitchen.  As usual, my 4 year old woke me up before 6:00am, so I put him in bed with my husband and an episode of Scooby Doo and headed down to the kitchen.  5 stalks of celery, 1 mini cucumber and some lemon juice (to lessen the celery punch) into the food processor and then into a mesh strainer.  In a few short minutes I had the coveted celery juice in my glass.  I have been a vegetarian for the past 20 years + and love each and every vegetable, including celery, but that first sip was revolting.  I vowed to drink it all though, and after a few minutes I was able to face my day as one of those celery-juice converts.   

Confession, I have not drank celery juice again.  What I have done is commit 30 minutes to exercising every day this week and have made healthier food choices each day.  The celery juice was the catalyst for me to have a heathier week.  I have goals for a healthier me in 2019, but it is such a lofty goal I had not made much progress towards it until the celery juice.  Taking the first step and committing to that one thing helped me make other steps towards my health.

As part of your overall wellness in 2019 Financial Wellness should be at the top of your list.  What can you do to jump start this goal?  It can be an overwhelming goal to achieve and where do you even start?  If you are ready to commit to working with a financial planner it is their first order of business to get your finances organized.  As financial planners we are armed with checklists and timelines and information to get you started.  If you want to take the first steps towards getting organized start by making a list of your financial accounts and the balance in each account.  Know where all of your accounts are and what they are all worth. 

Once you have a clear picture of your accounts start to track your monthly income and expenses.  It is so important to know where each dollar is going so when there is money left over it is put to its best use.  One of the first questions clients have when discussing their cash flow is how much should they be budgeting for each expense category.  Every situation is different but the best place to start is to itemize your fixed monthly expenses (mortgage, insurance, loan payments, etc.) then list out the categories for your variable expenses (the expenses that change every month) which include groceries, dining out, entertainment.  Track your expenses on a monthly basis and categorize them appropriately.  Three months is the average time it takes most clients to establish and start to stick to a budget.  Remember, like your financial plan your budget will not be static so allow yourself some breathing room and flexibility.   

Commit to creating good financial habits in 2019 and make you and your finances a priority. 

Contributed By Katie Burke, President of Method Financial Planning and Co-Founder of Equita Financial Network.