I think it would be extremely useful to have one number that you would associate with the current state of your financial health. A blood pressure reading of sorts that lets you know, on some level, that you are doing the right things. Your appointments in the office would start with us taking your financial blood pressure (overall health), checking your temperature (how stressed you are about money), then your height (your income – we all want it to be higher but at some point it stops growing 🙂 ) and weight (your spending – we all want to keep it lower, but after Valentine’s Day..who cares!)
Then we ask, what brings you in? Kids college, looming retirement, stock market on the fritz…Some of the answers you know already but it’s comforting to hear it from a professional. Some of the answers you forgot, and it’s nice to be re-educated on them. And in some cases, the answer has changed and a new decision needs to be made.
In some respects, your financial blood pressure may even be hereditary. You inherited the genes that predispose you to some of your questionable spending habits. You have to work harder than others to keep that blood pressure in check. Much like medicine, there isn’t always a magic pill to get you the results you want. It often comes down to discipline, the right habits, and moderation in the areas that it’s not any fun to abstain from. Every time I go on a “road trip”, which qualifies as anything beyond 15 miles from home, I crave McDonalds. And I get it. And then I inhale it. And then I immediately regret it. Thankfully, your finances, much like your health, are flexible and a slip up here and there can be remedied with a better choice next time.
The next time your finances are raising your literal blood pressure, call me so we can review your current financial blood pressure. Hopefully one will help lower the other.