Part of running a successful business is being wise with your finances. While I love fitness and empowering female entrepreneurs, I am equally passionate about helping women reach a point of financial peace. While there is a ton to learn about finances, there are a few guiding principles that can contribute to experiencing financial peace. We’ve got some practical things that have really helped us, but first, there are a few heart issues we need to deal with.
You’ve got cultivate a life of contentment
At the heart of most financial issues you’ll find a heart of discontentment. This can absolutely carry over into your business, especially when social media makes it seem like everyone is living the high life, making millions. If you see that your heart has grown discontent, then it’s time to start dealing with that before you make any big financial decisions: personally or professionally. Start a gratitude journal and reassess what you really value, so that you are in clear head and heart space when making decisions about your finances.
What You Have Does Not Define You
To really grow a business and move into financial peace, you need to stop equating your identity with what you have. When you allow things like your home, car and material possessions to become indicators of your self worth and success, you lose focus and make rash decisions. Those types of decisions lead to overwhelm, anxiety and a total lack of financial peace.
Tips to Achieving Financial Peace
Invest, save, then spend.
There is a biblical principle of living lean for the first few years of your business. Once you’ve invested back into your business, saved a significant amount of money and given generously over the course of a few years, you can then begin to use profits to increase your standard of living. This is something we’ve practiced since beginning our business, almost three years ago. We have lived lean and downsized, so we can invest in our business and save well. Recirculating wealth into family, church and community is a core value of mine, so we have used what we’ve made to expand our team and give generously. This has truly contributed in a great way to our financial peace.
You don’t need to scale your life to match what you are making.
Just because you are making more money, doesn’t mean you have to immediately up your standard of living. Learning to delay gratification, allows you to build savings, so that you can invest in the things that truly matter to you, long term. You don’t need to go out and buy a bigger home, just because you can. You don’t need to get a fancy car, just because you can afford a bigger payment. Bigger means more responsibility, which ultimately undermines financial peace.
Find a great financial planner and stay in close contact with them.
A big reason we have a significant amount of financial peace is that we have a fantastic financial planner: one we truly trust and respect. When choosing a planner, be sure to find someone whose lifestyle in line with your values. You also want to make sure that you are working with someone who actually follows their own advice, and lives in a way that is comparable to how you want to live. Once you’ve found someone, make sure you are in regular contact with them, and that you are updating your portfolio and plans to fit your long-term goals.
Create a budget, and make a plan for your finances.
A budget might seem limiting, but it is actually quite freeing. A budget is like a fence for your money. You can go anywhere you want within the limits of the fence, you have total freedom there. But, the fence keeps you safe, and in the right place. There is peace within the boundaries. In addition to having a budget, you want to make sure that you have some plans for the money you are earning. Without plans, you will likely blow money on unnecessary things. Having a plan makes saving, investing and giving a whole lot easier.
Build significant savings, personally and for your business.
We have worked hard to save for several months of our living expenses, and for several months of our operational business expenses. This requires a great deal of self-discipline, and goes hand in hand with not upping your standard of living when you start making more money. However, it is truly necessary for living in financial peace.
Make sure your assets are higher than your liabilities.
If you are currently living in debt, then it is time to make a plan to get out of debt. Having a bottom line that is in the black is so important for maintaining your financial peace. If you aren’t there yet, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s materials to help you down the road to a positive balance.
Live within your means.
This seems like a no brainer, but it is truly a challenge in today’s world. When you are trying to keep up with the Jones’ it is so easy to creep up above your means. This is where discontentment comes into play, and we begin to crave more things, better things, to give us our identity. Living beneath your means requires delayed gratification and hard work, but it will truly lead to lasting financial peace.
Financial peace is totally possible and worth pursuing, but it does require some hard work and intentionality. Operating out of financial peace allows you to make sound decisions as your business grows, and enables you to give more to family, church and community.