I have never thought too much about money. In fact I have probably given too little attention to money in the past. But as I am trying to move forward towards the calmer, simpler, and happier life, I have come to the conclusion that money is an issue that needs to be dealt with. Gaining control over my financial issues will give me peace and space to focus on other more exciting aspects of life. As it is, the stress that money gives me is contaminating other parts of my life.
Money seems to be a “blind spot” in my brain. I spend money without thinking. I buy without looking at the price tag. I think everything will somehow work out fine. Except when I get panick attacks where I think there is no way I can work out this mess. Over time my increasing overdraft and credit card debt have increasingly been causing me to feel helpless and out of control.
So it is time to tackle the problem: get out of debt, accumulate savings, and hopefully one day become financially independent. To help me “face my finances”, I am reading Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence. The book outlines a program to become “financially healthy” in 9 steps:
1) Find out how much you have earned in your life, how much you presently own, and how much you presently owe
2) Calculate your real hourly wage, and keep track of every cent that comes in or goes out of your life
3) Create a montly tablulation of all income and all expenses, convert dollars to "hours of life energy"
4) Look at your expenditures in terms of life energy, are they in alignment with your values and goals?
5) Plot your total monthly income and total monthly expenses
6) Minimize spening
7) Maximize income
8) Calculate your "cross-over point" (if you have savings and investments, when will the returns be enough to cover your monthly expenses)
9) Manage your finances
I am going to tackle these steps and will keep you posted on the progress.
Have a great weekend! /D