Sunday, June 5, 2016
Health and Budget - The Holistic Approach to Daily Finances
Most everyone has experienced a situation which has left you financially bereft; a divorce, major illness or loss of employment. This will not address crisis situations, at least not directly. Rather this is about daily budgeting and how failing to do it robs a lot of positive energy/good Karma from you life.
Making Time to Pay Bills - Late Paying/Always Behind? - It begins by loving and respecting yourself enough to budget and take the necessary steps to take care of you. Not only does paying things on time lower the cost of doing business and therefore the cost of living, when you come from a position of strength, when your house is in order, then you have more opportunity to be of help to others, to pay all that goodness forward!
Debt Stress - Owing money can be quite stressful, particularly if a deadline is looming and you didn't plan ahead and budget for the expense. Opportunities, from getting a fantastic job, an apartment, the very best interest rates or simply being able to buy something you really want, are all significantly affected by whether you pay bills on time. Paying bills late actually has a big impact on health. Our minds never truly stop turning over what we have left to finish. Completing tasks, clearing your to do list, getting your financial house in order and reducing clutter in your life, increase ease in the mind and provide fresh positive energy. Setting and adhering to a healthy budget, allows you to be in control. Let this clean slate free you up mentally.
Getting Your Head Into It - While sitting down to pay bills may feel more like bending over and begging other people and organizations to please take all your money, there is a spiritual component to consciously engaging and putting positive energy into paying what is owed. With debts no longer hanging over your head you can move forward with new energy that can be devoted to other things.
Budget? What Budget? - Most of us make enough to cover our needs and some of our wants. Then once we have them met, suddenly our needs and wants expand farther, stretching our budget to the max. Ads to buy this or that are all over the place. You cannot create inner peace or fill a lack of joy inside you with something you shop for. I think a lot of times when we feel the need to shop, it is because we have lost our way, need to stop, breath, get out in nature and ask our heart what it is we truly want. Sometimes we must simply say no to the advertisements and honor ourselves and the spirit of money. You never have to keep up with the Jones's, you only ever need to keep up with yourself.
Debt - Whether you are current on your bills or way behind, most of us have some debt. For long term debts, such as credit cards, and personal loans, many folks like to pay the highest interest rate debt off first. For creating cash flow and realizing faster results, I suggest paying off your smallest debt first, followed by your next smallest, etc. Meet the minimums on everything else, but pay as much extra each month toward the debt you are wanting to pay off, as you can, until it is done. It is surprising how fast the goals can be accomplished and the feeling is just amazing. All of us owe rent or a mortgage or taxes on property. Debts never stop until we do. And having a few debts, especially what is considered 'smart debt' such as a home, a rental property or perhaps a degree, is not exactly a bad thing.
The goal here is to create the most cash flow, and as quickly as possible, for your health, peace of mind, and feeling of abundance. When we feel stuck, we don't feel abundant. We can feel stuck when we have so much debt that we are afraid to scale back or pursue a dream. Having a nest egg saved, all bills current and cash left over at the end of every month, generates a feeling of potential and opportunities. Rather than bemoan fate, understand that firstly, by predominately your own choices, you are where you are right now. Take a healthier view and look at it like housekeeping, as something that is a part of life, something we all must do. Doing this will leave you feeling lighter, accomplished, clean and happier! The end resulting cash flow will empower you.
Live Abundantly! - True abundance isn't about wealth, but about how well, how balanced and how peacefully you live. Honestly, I love it when people say Time is Money because it sure is! I feel richest when I have the most spare time. No matter how much I am earning, if I am putting in 16 hour days, a part of me feels decidedly poor. When you live below your means, saving regularly, you will find there is less you really want to fill your life up with. You will become more selective in what you spend your time on and what you purchase. You will gain significant confidence as your savings grow and your cash flow improves. Living abundantly is also about maintaining a true work and life balance where you have some life left at the end of the work day. Since scaling back my long work hours, I have vastly more time to engage in other more calm pursuits, such as yoga, walks, cooking, baking, spending more time with my family and not feeling so rushed in everything I do. That, my friends, is abundance!
Create Your Savings - Owing money is a psychological drain. Again, having some debt is ok. And most of us will always have monthly bills (gas, food, heat). Just keep in mind that when you take on significant debt, what you owe also holds you in place. I have been so in debt I could not leave a job where hours were insane and ruining my health. I have watched retirement aged folks keep working because they have too much debt to stop. Debt can equal fear and when we act out of fear based feelings, no good really comes of it. The best approach is to create monthly cash flow, by slowly taking control of debt. Catch yourself up, regularly save for both long term/retirement and emergency/short term concerns, which you place in a separate account. Separate accounts are great because you can mentally designate what is put away and what can be used now to pay bills etc.
At my house, we have several accounts; a Monthly Expenses Account, a Fun/Vacation Account, a Long Term Savings Account, and a Short Term Savings Account for emergencies or higher than expected monthly bills. I try hard to pretend the savings accounts don't exist unless its time to use them. We have direct deposit and that really is the absolute best way to do this if you can. Otherwise, you are physically making deposits manually every month and it can get tempting to change the amounts or just not do it. IF you must do this manually, take heart and just make it happen, regularly because again, you are paying yourself first. All greatness flows from first respecting and taking care of yourself.