Life in KC

Money challenge: Boost your bank account with better habits

Derek and Carrie Olsen are Ink’s resident money experts.
Derek and Carrie Olsen are Ink’s resident money experts.

We just moved into a new-to-us house in Kansas City. Shout-out to our new Coleman Highlands neighbors!

We used this new beginning to make some changes in our life. For example, we now have a no-laptops-in-bed rule. It was getting ridiculous. We also started a new morning routine that includes exercise and a healthy breakfast. Getting up earlier is a lot easier without the midnight Facebook marathon. (As if we need more political memes in our life).

It’s easy to fall into poor habits and just sit there, for years. But one of the best parts about life is the ever-present opportunity to drop old habits and pick up better ones. There’s always a way to shake things up and take your life in a new direction. Especially in the area of money.

You can pick up a new money habit right now if you want. Seriously, what are you doing the rest of the day? Well, not anymore. Tonight you are picking up a new money habit. Perhaps it’s a new budget. Maybe you need to create a plan for paying off your debt. How about finally enrolling in your company retirement plan? Or maybe you need to start the search for a better paying job that you enjoy more, too.

Maybe you don’t even know what you want for your life. That’s OK — many people don’t. Maybe what you need to do first is find out. How do you want to feel about your money? How much money would you like to earn? By what age do you plan to retire? What new financial opportunities would you like to explore? It only takes one piece of paper to draw up a plan for your money and your career. Then you can start developing habits that will support your new goals. Hooray!

Life is overflowing with new opportunities. All you have to do is open the door and let them in. Some changes will be easy, some will take work. The good news is, you don’t need “easy,” you just need “worth it.”

You don’t have to wait for a major life event (like moving) to set new goals and create new habits. Tuesday afternoon works just fine.

Got get ’em, Tiger!

Derek and Carrie Olsen are monthly money columnists for Ink challenging you to take a closer look at your finances. Visit for resources to help pay off debt, grow your net worth, and have fun doing it.