Small steps toward reaching your financial goals
Nicole Iacovoni

Nicole Iacovoni

Nicole Iacovoni is a financial therapist, licensed psychotherapist, and writer for women entrepreneurs who are tired of struggling financially and feel overwhelmed by the emotional up’s and down’s of growing a business.

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Press play and I’ll read this juicy article to you!

Now that Christmas is right around the corner, I’m imagining what the holiday season will be like. I do this every year.

I envision snow gently falling outside, my daughters and I joyfully baking sugar cookies while listening to Michael Buble’ sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

The tree is perfectly adorned with ornaments. The fire gives off a warm glow. I’m curled up in cozy blankets watching “Christmas Vacation” and “Miracle on 34th Street”.

My holiday fantasy looks like a Norman Rockwell picture.

Reality looks a lot different.

There’s no snow – only bone-chilling rain and mud bogs. My kids are fighting over who gets to stir the cookie dough and flour is flung all over the kitchen for me to clean up.

Alexa is “having trouble connecting to the internet”. No music.

The cat is scaling the tree, knocking off all the ornaments, and we don’t even have a fireplace in our house.

I’m too busy shopping for gifts, wrapping presents, and testing lights that I don’t have the time to lay around watching Christmas movies.

I wish reality looked more like the fantasy.

I used to feel the same way about my financial life. Maybe you do, too.

Maybe your financial fantasy looks something like this…

You’re making so much money doing work you love that you don’t know what to do with it all.

The mortgage is paid off (10 years early).

You’re on track to retire at age 55 with $2 million.

There’s a fully-funded emergency fund and enough college savings to put all the kids through school.

Because you’re kind and generous, you donate to charitable organizations every month and get heartfelt thank you notes from animal foster parents and kids battling cancer.

Every weekend includes a luxurious facial at the spa and brunch with your besties- your treat, of course!

The reality of your financial life probably looks a lot different from the fantasy.

Stacks of bills stuffed in the back of the desk drawer- out of sight, out of mind.

Paychecks that barely get you from one payday to the next.

What emergency fund???

Trying to find a way to contribute more than the bare minimum to your retirement account before even thinking about saving for the kids to go to college.

A 30-year mortgage.

Here’s what I know about both of these scenarios…

We have the power to change our reality and live out the fantasy – or at least something close to it.

Ok, maybe I can’t turn rain to snow, and maybe you can’t magically increase your income overnight, but we can change our attitude about these things and enjoy our experiences more.

And we can change our behaviors and our choices so they align better with what we want to experience in life.

    • Instead of letting my kids duke it out over the wooden spoon, I can assign special jobs to each of them.

    • I can pull out the old boom box from the garage, dust off my CD case, and play my “2003 Christmas Mix”.

    • I can ask my husband to help me with the wrapping so we have time to watch “A Christmas Story” before bed.

    • You can ask for a raise or raise your rates and put that extra income in an emergency fund that will keep you from going further into debt when an unexpected expense pops up.
It’s totally possible to use a spending plan (aka. budget) to figure out which monthly expenses can be eliminated - freeing up extra money for retirement or an early mortgage payoff.
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Instead of burying your head in the sand and sweeping bills under the rug, you can open and pay them as soon as they arrive.

Little by little, step by step, reality starts to look a lot more like the fantasy we imagine.

Will it ever be picture-perfect?

Doubtful.

But there’s beauty in the messy.

We’ll always remember the time when the tree came crashing down on top of the ornery cat and cooking at home seven nights a week for the sake of our finances.
This holiday season, and every day ahead, I encourage you to take one small step toward living out your fantasies – whatever those may be.

Money Love & Hugs

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