Money Strategies for Creative Thinkers
If you're a visual person, standard financial strategies probably don't work for you
When financial adviser
"Right-brain people need to see the whole before you start explaining the details," says Monroe. That's why she relies heavily on charts to explain financial concepts such as compound interest. Instead of advocating for traditional budgeting, Monroe suggests thinking more generally about how much money is coming in and going out.
In the decade since Monroe's book came out, more books, websites, and programs have been offering additional ways for right-brained people to manage their money. Here are nine ideas for creatively-oriented people:
1. Create a video.
2. Draw your progress.
"Numbers do not get us going. We need to know what that number means," says Silber. That's why he recommends creating a visual representation of progress, such as income earned. "Color it in as you go. It's a visual way to see the benchmarks you reach," he says. He does just that, using the image of a rocket ship.
3. Make a "moola map"
That's what Jennifer Lee, author of The Right-Brain Business Plan, calls her idea for how creative entrepreneurs can best track their finances. She suggests taping a large, blank piece of paper to the wall, drawing a line down the middle, and using sticky notes to describe "money flowing out" on one side and "money flowing in" on the other. That way, you can capture income and expenses in a visual way. (Then, she adds, if you eventually transfer the information to a spreadsheet for easier tracking, you've already done most of the hard work.)
4. Use a vision board.
Lee also urges entrepreneurs to create vision boards to help hone business ideas, but the same concept can apply to money management as well. "What is your big vision for your life, and how does money support that? ... It's not about the money, but about what the money will give me," she says. To create a vision board, Lee suggests simply collecting appealing images from magazines or catalogues and pasting them onto a piece of paper or cardboard.
5. Think of money like a relationship.
In her book 20-Something, 20-Everything,
6. Sign up for online assistance.
Mint.com uses visual graphs, colors, and pie charts to help users meet their money goals; Learnvest also offers free, interactive boot camps on its website. Taking a close look at finances can be hard for people who don't enjoy perusing financial statements, says Lee, which is why she uses Mint.com. "You can set up budgets and have it be visual," she says.
7. Make spreadsheets pretty.
Creativity and career coach
8. Focus on possibilities instead of limits.
Right-brainers tend to resist restrictions. That's one reason
9. Find your team.
Since financial planners can tend to be more left-brained, it can be hard for right-brainers to find the right fit when searching for an adviser. That's why Lee recommends getting referrals and browsing the websites of planners and other financial professionals. "Think about, 'What are the qualities of the person I want? Who do I want to support me? I want a financial planner who understands my creative mind and who doesn't mind if I draw pictures,'" she says.
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Personal Finance - Money Strategies for Creative Thinkers
(c) 2011 U.S. News & World Report