Thursday, June 6, 2019

“Success Boosts” to Improve Your Finances

According to online dictionaries, the word “boost” can be defined as “a source of help or encouragement leading to an increase or improvement” or “to lift, elevate, enhance, or raise.” It is often noted in reference to the economy, minimum wages, tourism, organizational morale, production, sales, and television ratings.


I started thinking about the word “boost” this week in a new way after a recent personal experience. Last week, for two days, I was a sick puppy. Vomiting and diarrhea and I’m not really sure why. Business travel, perhaps, a Memorial Day party, or maybe some food poisoning?  I don’t know. Regardless, there was one silver lining. I lost four pounds after all the unpleasantness…. weight that I had been half-heartedly trying to lose for months.


Then, an interesting thing happened. I became much more conscientious about my food intake again because I wanted to keep those hard-won four pounds off. So far, so good. I realized that I had experienced a “success boost” and it was very empowering. I leap-frogged weeks of loosing a half-pound here and there and had real results to be proud of… and to want to fight to protect. My success boost changed my mindset and behavior.


Since I speak and conduct research about health and wealth relationships, I started thinking about comparable financial “success boosts” where people can make big, empowering progress leaps. Here are a few examples:


Snowball Repayment Method- Pay off debts starting with smallest balances first while making minimum payments on larger debts. The psychological benefit of owing fewer creditors provides positive feedback.


Income Increases- Save more when you earn more through raises, promotions, side hustles, or a change of employment. Your cash flow will essentially remain the same and you can save without feeling deprived.


Windfalls- Treat “found” money (whether expected or not) as a precious resource. Set some aside for emergency savings, repayment of outstanding debt, long-term goal savings, and other high-priority items.


Matched Savings- Two common examples are employer matching for 401(k) plan deposits and matched savings for individual development account (IDA) program savings.


Become aware of opportunities for “success boosts” in your financial life. If your work involves financial education or counseling, help others to do the same. Everyone can benefit from a boost from time to time.

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