4 beautiful holistic money habits to practice every day

Leanne Jacobs, MBA, explains how your family can grow financially in a healthy and values-based way.

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Author Leanne Jacobs, MBA, and her holistic approach to money is smart and truly refreshing in a world of get-rich-quick schemes. Her attitude toward saving for your family and growing your wealth is one that promotes spiritual well-being and practicality, so you can be less stressed about money, and still pay the mortgage and give your children all the things they need.

In this excerpt from her new book, Beautiful Money, Jacobs teaches four key phrases that will help you create and maintain a holistic, healthy approach to your daily finances:

Photo Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Create beautiful wealth habits

Developing good wealth habits are important for creating harmonious wealth and wellness. Some of the habits I’ve listed below sound so simple. But when we’re busy, these practices can suddenly seem less important. We should incorporate these wealth habits into our lives one at a time, to reduce the chance of overwhelm and stress. It’s totally fine—even the best—to begin with baby steps.

I’d like to point out a few wealth habits that I think are important enough to be a part of everyone’s daily routine.

1. I spend less than I earn

Small purchases, like digital subscriptions, add up quickly. Are you spending money on items that you don’t need? Examining your bank statements monthly, or even weekly, can help you see where you are spending money unnecessarily. I have also found that reviewing your automatic payments on a regular basis is important, to make sure these are still aligned with your goals.

For entrepreneurs, tools for contact management, webinars, online bookkeeping, email management (and on and on) can add up and we can forget to cancel ones we rarely use or no longer need. Make a list of all your automatic monthly payments and review them often.

2. I automate investing and savings activities

Seriously, this is the easiest habit to begin—you just set it and forget it. We’ll talk more about how much money you should automatically save or invest in the next step but this is an easy habit to incorporate that will make your life so much easier. I have an automatic withdrawal every week from my checking account that goes into a no-fee savings account. When that savings account reaches a certain figure, I give it to my financial professional to invest it. Last year, a client realized that she never put money into her IRA fund because she manually had to transfer the funds. She set up an automatic transfer each month from her savings account and told me, “Leanne, it was like magic. I never even noticed that the money was gone.” I also automate my savings to go towards taxes and for my investments with my financial advisor. Everything is automated in my world. If it were left up to me, my old habit of spending everything I earn would likely take over and leave nothing left to save.

3. I review my spending weekly

This is so simple, but not that many of us do it. At the beginning of your Beautiful Money journey, I recommend that you try to live entirely on cash for a week. The results will blow your mind, and put the calculations you’re about to do in the next step in perspective.

A great way to track your spending on a regular basis is to ask for, and keep, all receipts for every transaction you make. At the end of the day or the week, organize the receipts into two categories: one for personal use and one for business. (You can also divide receipts into needs and wants.) To track how you are spending over time, create a simple ledger where you input the totals every night or every week. This is an easy way to see how much you spend, where you can make cuts, and how to allocate money overall. I also like to keep an hour or two on Fridays to get organized, review my finances, file my receipts and pay any outstanding bills. It makes me feel clean, clear and ready with open arms for the next task.

4. I don’t spend to release emotional energy

Shopping can be an emotional release and a way to avoid your own feelings. For me, Dairy Queen Blizzards and shopping were two of my emotional outlets. Like being dependent on alcohol or eating junk food, addictions can show us where we need to change, and where we’re not dealing with something emotionally. When I realized that the highlight of my day was a Dairy Queen Blizzard and a trip to my favorite boutique, I knew something was seriously wrong. It took time and patience but I finally committed to a life detox and a spending freeze. For a year, I bought almost nothing: (no clothes, shoes, furniture, nic-nacs, pretty much nothing). It was challenging at first (especially when I was in a funk because this is when I would typically go shopping) but became exhilarating. The only things I would spend money on really were my life expenses and wellness activities (exercise, workshops and massages). This year was one of the most freeing and healthy years of my life. This year helped me realize how much I had been stuffing down my feelings—and put me on the road to Beautiful Money.

These are just a few of the habits that can help you build wealth. I started by focusing on the habits that were meaningful to me. By incorporating these into your daily life one at a time, you will slowly start to change your patterns around money and build a more healthy relationship with your own finances, thereby opening the door to holistic wealth.

More beautiful mindsets for your money:

I spend less than I earn

I save more than I need to (I am a happy and healthy saver)

I recognize that cash flow (and a reserve fund) is queen

I review my spending weekly

I don’t spend to release emotional energy

I have weekly, quarterly, and annual income goals

I am a money and wealth student always

I give myself permission to learn from my mistakes

I prioritize my spending based on core values

I automate investing and saving activities

I focus on money results and not excuses

I review my finances and statements regularly

I automate investing and saving activities

I save throughout the year for taxes

I pay bills as soon as they come in

I limit the number of credit cards I have (Personally, I used to only have a single credit card, when I became a mom and began to travel internationally, I decided to get a second).

I stay free and clear from bad debt

I spend on my needs before my wants

I focus on creating wealth

Excerpted with permission from BEAUTIFUL MONEY: The 4-Week Total Wealth Makeover by Leanne Jacobs, MBA. © 2017 by Leanne Jacobs. TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Natalie van der Meer
Natalie van der Meer
Senior Editor Natalie van der Meer is a former editor for Redbook, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest and Allure, covering fashion, beauty, travel, family, book reviews, and much more. She lives in New York City.

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