When 2022 rolls into 2023, I suggest you pick one financial item you wish to accomplish and make a proclamation rather than a resolution. You don’t need to shout from the rooftops that you are going to use online budgeting software, get a will done or hire a financial planner. You only need to let the people who are impacted by this decision know. Pick one thing — only one thing — and let them know your intent.
Resolutions usually fail because we overcomplicate them and don’t hold ourselves accountable. If you would like to start getting your financial house in order, you don’t need to remodel every room at once. Start with one area and announce it. When you make the announcement, include why it is important to you.
Let’s practice some proclamations.
Online Budgeting Software Proclamation
Here’s what a budgeting-related proclamation could sound like:
“I will keep a record of what we make and spend by using online budgeting software. I am doing this because I want to align our spending and our values. We will become aware of where our money is going but will not judge ourselves for it. Armed with this information, we can review our finances and make informed decisions about what we would like to change. When we feel misaligned, we will have a healthy conversation to restate what we want and come to an agreement on it. If we want different things, we will work together to find a reasonable compromise.”
If you have not drafted a will, try this proclamation:
“Because we want to be sure, should something happen to either of us, that our family will not have to guess during their grief as to what we want for them, we will work with an attorney to draft a will, including advanced health care directives. Separately, we will write letters to our family outlining what our values around money are. These letters will not be prescriptive but rather will communicate clearly how we came to the decisions we have made over the years. We will have our accounts updated to reflect the provisions in the will through trust and beneficiary designations. If we have personal items that relatives may want, we will go through them together, decide on a recipient, and write them down. And if some of this causes discomfort, we will have a family meeting to discuss.”
Financial Planner Proclamation
If you would like to find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, then proclaim this:
“We spend much of our time working. As we trade days for dollars, we want to be comfortable that the many components of our financial lives are in order. We will use a professional who not only is experienced and educated, but who also wants to understand our unique situation. By investing time and money in this relationship, we have a better chance of meeting our objectives, including having the money we would like to spend when we want to spend it; ensuring that our estate matches our wealth-transfer wishes; making sound investment decisions; using debt appropriately; and being covered should something unexpected happen. We understand that any financial plan is merely a start and that the value of an ongoing relationship is that our plans can change as our lives change.”
A financial proclamation is an inclusive resolution that lets the people who are important to you know that you wish to involve them in a better future together. We can all celebrate that.
To help you get started on your financial proclamation, find a CFP® professional near you today.