4 Cash Flow Habits to Help You Meet Your Goals

Jessica Nelson, PhD, LMFT

Jul 29, 2022

At TCI, we know that achieving your financial goals is a game of inches. It’s the small, (hopefully) consistent increases in our portfolios that add up over time that help get us to where we want to be. As your trusted partner along your financial journey, it’s our mission to share our strategies to help you achieve financial freedom.

While it’s important to have money management tactics, these strategies can fall flat if you can’t stick with them over time. That’s why this week, we’re sharing four healthy cash flow habits that can help you reach your financial goals. By building these habits into your life and making them as automatic as brushing your teeth or flossing (we’re all still flossing, right?), we believe that you’ll be empowered to meet your goals.

Four Healthy Habits for Managing Cash Flow

1. Understand Cash Flow

While it may seem obvious, we should be sure and define our terms first. Cash flow is the money that comes in and goes out of our accounts. The money coming in could come from money being drawn out of your investment accounts, rental properties or social security. Money coming out generally refers to expenses and bills. Ideally, we want to be sure that you have more money coming in than going out. If you’re not monitoring your cash flow on a somewhat regular basis, it can be challenging to reach your financial goals—especially if any unexpected expenses arise or your goals shift.

Healthy cash flow habits may seem easy but in many cases they can be hard to maintain. Your TCI Team will help you start building healthy money habits from our earliest meetings. We’ll set you up for success with tracking spending, monitoring income, setting goals, allocating resources, adjusting current habits, and more. Your trusted TCI Advisor will also encourage you to review your income and expenses regularly, and help you make any necessary adjustments.

2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The first step to successful goal accomplishment is to plan. It’s difficult to get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going. So, spend time thinking about your goals and how cash flow will play a role in accomplishing them. It’s also important to remember that these goals are not set in stone. This is why understanding your cash flow habits plays such a vital role in your brainstorming process and our planning process.

At TCI we believe that the best way to achieve any goal is by making progress over time. Like any other lifestyle adjustment (learning a new language or training for a half marathon), accomplishing goals takes time and consistency. It may seem like nothing at first but over time these small changes will add up into big results! We know that this approach may seem arduous, but we are here with you every step along the way to help you and support your goals so can you lead a purpose-filled life–however you define it.

3. Plan Future Cash Flow Needs

Generally speaking, our day-to-day expenses don’t vary too much. However, that doesn’t mean that we can get complacent when it comes to monitoring our cash flow and bank accounts. We must be prepared for the unknown because at some point cash flow situations are going to change due to factors in and out of our control. In the past few years alone we’ve seen big market dips, above average returns, rising inflation and interest rate increases, to name a few. While we all hope that the last few years prove to be outliers for many reasons, no one could have predicted what we’ve gone through. By planning our cash flow needs ahead (as best we can) we’re able to be better protected against the unknown disruptors and avoid the stress that unexpected changes to our finances brings.

4. Focus On Your Goals

When it comes to money, we all have different priorities. Yet, in order to see these priorities come to fruition you must analyze your cash flow and find potential gaps. Once you understand your finances today, you’ll be better equipped to start working towards your accomplishing your goals.

Having a front row seat to seeing clients fulfill their goals is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Some people dream of a retreat to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and others might focus on funding their kids’ or grandkids’ college educations. No matter what your goals are, we want to help make them happen and make sure you’re confident in your financial situation along the way, so you’re empowered to achieve them.

Use Healthy Habits to Meet Your Goals

Maintaining and attending your regularly scheduled check-ins with your TCI team is a great way to keep your cash flow top of mind. We keep an eye on these from a zoomed-out perspective, so it’s important for you to keep an eye on this between meetings. When we do meet, we want to know about what changes are going on in your life that could impact your cash flow or larger financial goals. As I mentioned above, cash flow habits will change and that’s ok because we’re here to help incorporate any adjustments that need to be made.

It’s important to note: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to meeting your goals. Each person has a unique financial situation, and we will help you develop strategies that work for you. We have the tools and expertise necessary to make this process as simple and straightforward as possible. We know that clarity on your cash flow is incredibly empowering. When you know what comes in, what goes out, and how much is left, you can make more sound financial decisions and find more opportunities to accomplish your goals.

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