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Financial Planning is the Therapy We Need During This Holiday Spending Season

By Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP® and Lazetta Rainey Braxton, MBA, CFP®

Financial planners are not therapists, but you must admit there is something oddly soothing about working through your feelings with money. Similar to the methods we use to tackle our most intimate personal issues, strong financial planning is about understanding oneself, celebrating the good habits, and acknowledging and learning from bad ones.

The ability to tackle these thorny issues is where the growth lies.

And so, when we reference the idea of holistic financial planning as being therapeutic, we’re really talking about the self- and guided-benefits of financial coaching.

And as we enter into this stressful (albeit joyous) holiday season filled with many financial triggers… let’s assess our tools at our fingertips.

Tackle the tough issues first

What is keeping you up at night? Is it an at-the-limit credit card? The stress of buying for a never-ending list of family and friends? Or, is it the very real concern about keeping the lights on in your home and food at your table?

Our days have been long and weary this year.

But writing down our fears is a powerful step in overcoming them. And better yet, it’s free! Grab a piece of paper and make two columns. In one, write down your worst case scenarios. In the other, the solutions. Advise yourself like you would someone you love. Oftentimes, getting these pervasive thoughts out of our head can help us see reality a bit clearer.

Keep an eye on the long-term goals

And once we have found our clarity, let’s think about our long-term goals. Although this pandemic has likely placed many hopes and plans on hold, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

So, how do we want to approach the next few years and beyond? Has this year shifted perspective on what’s important, or highlighted what is lacking in your life? Now is the time to start dreaming again, we give you full on permission!

Use financial planning as an empowerment tool to take control

Lastly, know that you are in control! With a solid understanding of your own tendencies to overspend, oversave or underestimate your assets… consider how money fuels your life, and how to allocate those resources so they serve you better.

If you’re already working with a financial planner, continue on! If you’re looking for a trusted fiduciary dedicated to your best interests, please consider joining our priority list!

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