This week I have acne. I don’t know what is going on with my skin, but it is like I am a teenager going through puberty again — with the mood swings to match. After trying to “fix” my skin, (also known as massacring my face with the uncontrollable desire to squeeze every single pimple), I admitted defeat and made an appointment to see aesthetician, Douglas Pereira, at his Park Street Clinic.
Douglas has been my central destination for all skincare concerns and treatments. He is my glow-getting saviour and the reason my skin has remained clear over the years. So when he opened the door and saw my pepperoni pizza face, I expected Douglas to gasp in horror (kindly, he didn’t). Nonetheless, after analysing my skin and calmly asking all the important ‘how, where & when’ type of questions, Douglas explained to me that my acne was the result of hormonal imbalance, which exacerbated inflammation, bacteria and dead skin cell build-up on my skin. By squeezing my pimples, I increased the irritation and exacerbated my spotty situation.
This is why Douglas emphasised the importance of addressing the root cause of an issue, instead of rushing towards a Band-Aid solution. By eating clean, investing in quality skincare and taking direction from skincare professionals, we can maintain clear skin, without the need for drastic intervention.
Which got me thinking: maintaining clear skin is similar to remaining debt-free and achieving financial independence. It takes consistency and discipline to stay on top of your financial game. If you follow your budget, live within your means and regularly side hustle/build a regular investment plan to earn passive income, your progressing into a healthier, glowing financial space.
On the other hand, if you keep trying to squeeze more expenses into your budget and disregard financial maintenance, you will only create a vicious cycle of excessive spending, borrowing and living pack check to pay check. The bigger the problem, the more difficult to solve. We’re all humans and occasionally slip up – but if you find yourself drowning in financial challenges it’s okay to seek professional financial help. They can help you proactively identify key problems and set structured strategies, before you drown deeper in financial challenges.
Prevention is always better than cure! So how do you stay in control of you finances, so your situation remains stable and secure?
- Set financial goals and create a mind map of how you are going to reach your desired outcome. Break larger goals into smaller tasks and develop key habits that will help you reach the final destination. Remember: a beautiful portrait can seem intricate and complex, but it’s the result of individual, small strokes that came together to create the stunning image.
- Track your progress regularly. Look at how far you have come, what strategies have worked and which techniques need to be tweaked. Everything is a work in progress, so monitor your strengths and weaknesses and adjust things depending on your circumstances.
- Reward yourself. Align financial goals with an award – this provides incentive to keep working hard and persevere through challenging times.
- Address the core problem. What is the underlying issue that’s causing your financial problems or leading you astray? For example, if you find yourself constantly in debt, ask yourself what you’re purchasing, why you’re purchasing it and what emotional problems you may be compensating for with material goods.
Ultimately it’s about choosing long term goals over short term pleasure. It’s easy and more comfortable to go to sleep without removing your makeup (#lazygirlproblems), after a long day at work — but we know that pimples may erupt the morning after, just like how our financial problems can come back to bite us later on in life.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is Channel 9’s exclusive ‘money expert’, founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV and best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.