I HATE budgets! I do. I hate them. Something inside of me just sees budgets and regresses into being a child who shuts his mouth tightly, refusing to take his medicine. I have watched talk shows where hopeful couples are told, “well, you will have to be on a strict budget and it will be 3-5 years before you turn this thing around.” The color goes from their faces and they look stunned for the rest of the show.
If you’re like me, budgets just don’t work. It’s like dieting. Diets don’t work. One has to make lifestyle changes in order to get results. Otherwise, finances go up and down just as weight does. I suggest the following more self-honoring approach:
(1) Take financial inventory. See where your money is going then decide if you’d like to make changes. You have the power! Stop merely working to pay bills. You decide where it goes. Bills are not in control. Bills are simply to be paid, but money’s purpose is to bring to you what you command it to bring to you.
Let me give you an example from my life experience. I received a tax refund check one year. My plan was to take it and pay off my bills. My ex, who was my husband at the time, shared a great idea for a business. As I struggled with whether to pay my bills or support his business idea, my inner wisdom spoke to me. It said simply, “pay your bills but invest in your dreams.” In an instant I became aware of the depth of that wisdom. If you pay your bills first, then the money is gone. It’s eaten up. But if you invest in your dreams first, the power of multiplication is activated. In short, the dream is big enough to not only pay your bills but to bring abundance into your life. This decision jump-started a business that took our salaries to six figures!
(2) Put yourself first. Most people read this and think, “buy those shoes you’ve been drooling over” or “buy that racy new sports car.” Not! I am suggesting that you do a complete check up. See where you are spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Adjust your financial practices to support your well-being in all these areas. By doing this, you are investing in your highest self.
(3) Redistribute finances to what ADDS VALUE to your life. Stop putting your money in things that don’t last. Place your money in purchases that are meaningful. Invest in what fills you up inside. Allow your inner wisdom to guide you.
Take the self-knowledge gained from your check up and identify what energizes these areas and what drains them. For me, I discovered that I’m more inclined to spend if I feel deprived in some way or I want to reward myself. I started looking at what would fill me and fuel me and directed my money toward that. A massage fulfills both. As a result, I am more creative, vibrant, engaging and productive.
(4) Cultivate a spirit of giving. Flip the script from the focus of consuming. Find ways to give. Give of your time, your talents, your possessions and your money. Make giving a consistent part of your life. Don’t give something that you don’t care about. Give something that is valuable to you. Give a helping hand. This opens your heart and your hand. When you get that expanded feeling it means that room is being made for abundance in your life.
(5) Solicit help. There is no shame in getting help from someone who has expertise in handling finances. By hiring a financial coach or financial planner, you can find ways to create more cash flow in your life. A word of caution: find someone who offers solutions that you can get excited about. Someone hopeful and optimistic. Someone who’ll take the time to embrace your way of Being and help you come up with some financial solutions that are honoring.
Put your money to work for you. Give your money an assignment. Instead of giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan, stuffing money in your mattress, making vain purchases with it or depositing it into a bank savings account, look at investment opportunities that will multiply your money.