Have you ever thought about the accuracy of the phrase “it’s the thought that counts”? Let’s dig into the phrase, change it up a bit, and improve your financial life.
How many times have you heard or uttered the phrase, “it’s the thought that counts”?
Did you say it to your husband when he mentioned he thought about getting you flowers? (but didn’t actually get you flowers)
Did you say it to your kids when they told you they thought about cleaning the kitchen for you? (but didn’t actually clean it)
These thoughts, brimming with good intentions, are nice. The phrase “it’s the thought that counts” is a typically nice response. But is the phrase accurate? Does the thought actually count? Or is the thought just….nice…?
Why the thought is nice, but doesn’t ‘count’
The thought is just nice. It’s sweet that your husband was thinking about you during the day. It’s heartwarming that your kids wanted to help you. But these thoughts don’t ‘count’. Your table is still flower-less and your kitchen is still dirty. The thoughts didn’t accomplish anything. The thoughts didn’t bring you any closer to your goals.
So if the thought doesn’t count, what does?
It’s the action that counts.
When you follow through with the thought by taking action, then you do something that matters. You do something that makes a difference.
What are some of your thoughts that have remained just thoughts?
What have you thought about doing over the last few days, weeks, or even years, but never got around to actually doing?
I bet you have a laundry list of thoughts and a pile of unfinished to-do lists. Since this is a personal finance blog, I want to encourage you to remember those thoughts you had about improving your finances.
Have you thought about starting a budget? Have you thought about paying off debt? Have you thought about organizing your messy pile of bills?
So many times we think about improving our finances, but we do nothing about it. The endless cycle of thinking, and rethinking, and overthinking has postponed and excused our actions for far too long. Thinking can be the ultimate procrastination. We spend 40+ hours a week making money; we NEED to spend some time and take action to manage that hard-earned money.
A challenge for you
So let’s start a revolution. Let’s stop saying “it’s the thought the counts” and start saying “it’s the action that counts”. And then, of course, let’s take action!Let’s stop saying “it’s the thought the counts” and start saying “it’s the action that counts”Click To Tweet
As part of the #WomenRockMoney movement, I want to encourage all women (men are also welcome!), to turn one thought into an action. Today.
I don’t care how menial or monumental this action is. It doesn’t matter if it takes you 3 minutes or 5 hours. Pick one thing. Do one thing. It means you are one step closer to your goals.
Here are some suggestions on simple actions you can take to dramatically improve your finances:
- Start a budget
- Create a plan to pay off debt
- Prioritize, track, and start paying off your debt with these free debt snowball worksheets (over 9,000 people are destroying their debt with these printables!) or debt avalanche worksheets
- Organize your bills and/or receipts
- Hold a budget meeting or have a money conversation with your spouse
- Start saving money (just focus on one area first, like saving money at the grocery store)
- Start a retirement account or increase retirement contributions
Turning thoughts into action
Your finances matter. Stop thinking about managing your money; take action to actually manage it. Your thoughts don’t have the power to invest your money, to start contributing to retirement accounts, or to make your debt disappear. Only your actions have that power.
I’m not asking you to make a big change. I’m just challenging you to change one long-time thought into one quick action.
What thought are you going to act on? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
This post is part of the #WomenRockMoney Movement, a large group of female personal finance bloggers who have come together to inspire more women to learn about money. I’m thrilled to be in the company of such incredible ladies. If you want to join the party, head over to the movement homepage. See you there!