Refresh your financial mindset

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When it comes to saving money and keeping a balanced budget, how you think about money can change everything. Your money mindset affects your financial decisions and how you set your goals and priorities. By taking time each year to revisit your savings strategies and update your financial mindset, you’re able to view your existing plans with a fresh perspective and find opportunities to better align your financial goals and actions.

Use this checklist to get started.

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Tips and strategies to keep yourself on track:

  • Reevaluate strategies
    As your life changes, your financial  strategies will likely need to be updated too. Take a look at your current spending and saving habits, are they aligned with the goals you’ve set for the year? How about with your plans for the years ahead? Reviewing your financial plan through a different lens can help you see what’s working and what could be improved and how to reprioritize goals if necessary. Share any life events with your financial professional to make sure your financial strategy reflects your current money values and goals. 
  • Plan for the long- and short-term
    How focused are you on building up your retirement funds versus saving for your next year's vacation? Start by pinpointing your most important goals and then build your monthly and yearly budgets around your needs now and in the future.

If you have been maxing out your 401(k) for the last decade, reallocating some of your salary toward a medium-term goal, such as saving for a down payment on a house, may become an objective for this year. Consider keeping any bonus or extra funds you receive this year, such as tax refunds, and put them toward your goals instead of using them on an expensive impulse purchase. Even small shifts in your saving habits can help build up funds quickly and create more financial freedom for the future.

  • Break the status quo on monthly bills
    Bills roll in each month and can add up quickly. A good habit is regularly reviewing your expenses, including monthly subscriptions and automatic payments. Do you use every streaming service you pay for? How about your monthly audiobook subscription? If you have any monthly expenses that could be eliminated, take a moment to cancel those subscriptions.  

You can also help lower monthly costs by comparing prices on Internet services, cable providers, gym memberships and cell phone plans  and seeing whether other providers are offering better or promotional rates. In addition to comparison shopping, review your current monthly statements and double-check that there are no sneaky expenses that are cutting into your budget.

  • Splurge strategically
    Treats like takeout and specialty coffee drinks often make headlines as examples of ways people waste money, yet they may not be a waste for you. If you want to stop by your local coffee shop for that double espresso because it makes your morning more pleasant, that may be money well spent — as long as you remain mindful of how much you are spending over time. Find other ways to cut your monthly budget that will allow you to indulge in the treats or activities that bring you joy.

When your relationship with money is in sync with your financial habits, you put yourself on the path to turning your dreams into reality. If you feel your money mindset could use a shift in a more positive direction, try expanding your financial literacy. As you grow your skills and understand your personal finances with more clarity, you’ll feel empowered to make the financial decisions necessary to successfully achieve your goals. Revisit your financial strategies with your financial professional annually or following any major life event to track your progress and make adjustments that will keep you headed in the right direction

Want the most from your retirement? Get smarter with Smart Strategies from Athene. Your source for tips, tools and financial solutions that can help you live your best life.