Financial review – qualitative appreciation or quantitative evaluation?

by Sep 1, 2018Living Money, Resource planning, Resources

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Use your life and financial review to focus on what you have.
Give thanks for what you have and appreciate its ability to help you grow.

September is a time of mist and mellow fruitfulness. The harvest is safely gathered in. You might be back from holiday and getting ready to return to school and work. Alternatively, you might be setting off on your travels now that the youngsters are back at school.

It is my favourite time of the year. It is also a good time to carry out a life and financial review. In the agricultural, academic and business arenas it is a key turning point of the year. The previous cycle has ended. The new cycle begins with the start of the new school year, the planting of crops for next year and, for many businesses, a review of plans and goals.

So what is the purpose of this reassessment? On the surface, to reassess your life’s purpose and ensure your resources are well positioned to achieve it. However, I believe it goes deeper than that.

A qualitative appreciation as well as a quantitative evaluation

You will probably start your life and financial review with the figures. In particular, you will quantify your assets and cashflow to see how much you have got. You will calculate how much you are spending, and on what. In the same way, you may even try to quantify non-financial elements of your life. For instance, you may look at your health in terms of your weight, BMI, blood pressure etc. Again, you may try to quantify your network in terms of numbers of close connections or social media followers.

But don’t stop there! Look deeper than the numbers to really appreciate what you have and how it can work for you. Reviewing your resources is an opportunity for ‘conscious appreciation, an intention to develop mastery over your assets, transform your relationships, especially those around money, into space for growth and freedom’ in the words of Lynn Twist.

This also means reviewing your mistakes and appreciating the lessons and the growth they given you.

As you carry out your life and financial review, use the techniques of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to help you. Ask yourself (and your partner or colleagues) questions that help them appreciate what they have and do. Don’t concentrate on the problems you have and how to solve them. Instead, build your life by appreciating and building on what you have and how to use it for growth.

A financial review process

At Living money we advocate a seven step life and financial review process:

  1. Foundation – discover where you stand today
  2. Utopia – work out what you want your life too look like
  3. Transformation – identify obstacles and work out how to overcome them
  4. Utilisation of resources – take steps to fully appreciate your resources and to build on them for personal growth and dealing with obstacles
  5. Roadmap – write it down
  6. Enlightenment – put it into action, and grow

So don’t use your financial review to focus on what you lack or desire. That is the route to an inward looking, anxious, fearful and constrained life. It leads to the life of a victim in which you are unable to fully utilise the resources you do have.

Instead, use your review to focus on what you do have. Give thanks for what you have and appreciate its ability to help you be creative, appreciative, outward-looking and growing.

What you appreciate grows; what you desire turns to dust.

Bonus video presentation

How to build an investment portfolio
that meets your values and aspirations
whilst minimising common investment risks

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