Forget Perfection – Are Your Financial Habits Healthy?


In preparation for this article, I asked Sharon about the most common characteristic among her readers, most of whom are her clients. Her answer was immediate and clear. “They’re stuck, and they’re looking for direction; they’re seeking someone who really knows about nutrition, who will understand them as a person, and will show them exactly what they need to do to improve their health. They want results.

The parallels to my professional world were instantly obvious, and the metaphors flowed freely onto my brainstorming page. It was overwhelming – an embarrassing buffet of thematic riches, so to speak. Even this excess of options parallels the possible paths faced by someone who accepts the necessity of and is ready to take action to improve their nutrition.

Snowflake Warning: Stop reading here if you’re easily offended and prefer elegance over substance. The balance of this article is a “No B.S. Zone.”

Habits are the chosen path for this story, and you’re the main character. Daily, weekly and even seasonal nutritional habits drive the actions which create our long-term outcomes. Change your habits and you change your outcomes. You don’t need to be nutritionally perfect every day to get healthy, and the same principle applies to financial health.

So, are your financial habits healthy? Are the cumulative effects of your money habits bringing you closer to your ideal outcomes, or further away? Are you close to an irreversible tipping point in your financial health? Are you being too hard on yourself and simply need to clean up a few things, or do you really need to make wholesale behavioral changes? What’s your desire level re: changing your habits?

Readers of this publication are obviously interested in positive health outcomes. Are you also interested in positive financial outcomes? Are you drifting along financially, or do you have clarity and direction and confidence that you’re doing the most important things to create your own financial independence?

Having a nutritional plan for optimizing your lifestyle habits is essential. Do you have a realistic wealth management plan based on your values, beliefs and priorities? Is there something important missing? Are you saving enough, are you investing your savings intelligently, and paying down debt aggressively? Are you doing these things deliberately or accidentally?

Perhaps you’re one of those people with a “strained relationship with money.” The technical lingo makes your eyes glaze over and you mentally drift away (to anywhere!) to escape the pain of powerlessness triggered by a subject you’re not familiar with or interested in? Or are you going to ignore this aspect of your life until it “jumps up and bites you in the assets?” Avoidance is a habit, too, and a dangerous one at that.

Since I began my professional practice in 1994, I’ve only ever encountered two outcomes when I help folks create a personalized wealth management plan: 1) the plan confirms that they’re doing everything correctly on the path to their Life Goals, or 2) the plan shows exactly what they need to do differently in order to achieve their Life Goals. Both are overwhelmingly positive because they are empowering. Facing challenges and fears to create positive change within and for ourselves is one of the very best habits – always found within those who succeed in their chosen field.

And just in case you’re wondering if I make a habit of asking direct questions about potentially sensitive subjects, the answer is yes. In my world, it’s better to “drive over the bush” rather than to “beat around it.” It creates high trust, meaningful and honest professional relationships centered on core issues. Most importantly, it creates the clarity and focused action that generates the results that people are seeking. Honesty works, especially when we’re honest with ourselves.

Patience and discipline are accretive to your wealth, health and happiness – so focus on these.

Andrew H. Ruhland CFP CIM


Andrew H. Ruhland, CFP, CIM
Integrated Wealth Management

About the Author:

Hello! I'm Sharon Wright... Nutrition & Wellness Expert in Calgary, Canada. My passion is helping you feel better. With great foods and healthy habits I can help you find the energy and happiness for work, life and play.