One of the most important tools for consistently creating new and desirable financial results is to practice keeping a daily budget and choosing to interact with that budget daily. By proactively managing the dollars that are coming in the door each day and closely monitoring how you choose to spend, grow, invest and give your dollars with intent and awareness, you will begin to attract a multitude of powerful opportunities to create prosperity and financial freedom.
For most of us, what we think we spend and what we actually spend are two different things. This discrepency is one of the most common symptoms of an dysfunctional relationship with money leading to undesirable financial results. One simple way to determine if this discrepency exists is whether you know the answer to some simple questions.
1. Do you know what it costs for you to live each month?
2. Do you know what your weekly discretionary spending amounts to? (food, clothes,entertainment.)
3. Do you budget federal, state and local taxes into your cost of living per month?
For most of us, we believe or deceive ourselves into believing that we spend less than we actually do in order to maintain the quality of life we currently have. In fact, we might even believe we are budget savvy, when in fact we have fallen into one of the most common financial traps: living beyond our means. By estimating or keeping loose track in our heads of what we are spending each month, we will undoubtedly neglect to include many miscellaneous expenses.
1. Do you pay your car insurance premium monthly or is this a bi-monthly expense?
2. Did you go to a friend”™s wedding last year?
3. Did you include this travel expense in your budget?
4. Do you have a pet? Do you take them to be groomed once in a while?
5. How about a visit to the vet every six months?
6. Let”™s not forget birthday, wedding and holiday gifts for friends and family, plus housewarmings?
All those little expenses add up to a much bigger chunk out of our monthly nut than we imagine. The examples listed above are opportunities to recognize that small, infrequent expenses can add up to big differences in financial net worth down the road if we are not conscious and aware of how much we spend and where we spend it. The simple solution is keeping a budget. What is not so simple is committing to the practice of maintaining and adhering to that budget.
It can be uncomfortable to place parameters on our finances for many reasons, ranging from a fear of perceiving ourselves as poor to resentment of the constraints we imagine a budget will inflict and the loss of the luxuries we have become accustomed to. But in reality, once we take the courageous step of identifying what our true costs are each day, week and month, we become equipped to face our financial truth, make informed decisions based on conscious awareness and ultimately, gain a deep respect and appreciation for what the hard-earned money we are blessed with can provide for us. Armed with the truth, we have an economically empowered space to move forward from on our path to financial freedom.
The universe is constantly conspiring to give us our hearts”™ desire. However, it is up to us to practice daily action steps that prepare us to receive it. When we begin practicing consciousness and awareness regarding how we manage each dollar we currently have, we automatically begin to upgrade our ability to receive more. Over time, our deservedness to receive more increases and compounds with these new action steps. We are able to make wiser choices with how we manage our income, enabling us to appreciate more fully how powerful and prosperous we each have the potential to be.
For most people, once they begin mastering their budget, they also begin to see that their current income does not support their current lifestyle, and more importantly, achieving any new significant financial results toward creating financial freedom. As discussed earlier, this realization, far from being a reason to beat ourselves up, is the first step on a bold and empowered economic path that leads to new and positive financial results. When we invoke our prosperity-building consciousness, we are invoking our own expanded evolution on every level.
Creativity, openness, possibility and unlimited supply are the natural states of being in our higher selves. These are the qualities we cultivate when we stop hiding from truths we are afraid of and take control, creating the lives we want for ourselves. I believe we are not just here to be who we are; we are here to be more of who we are. When we practice asking questions and exploring new action steps to receive more fully, we are preparing ourselves to be more of who we truly are. More income and more financial awareness means more opportunities to have a positive influence on our society through our power to give.
I always love to say, we live in trillion-dollar economy; another 10 million in your bank account and I promise, no one will miss it! Imagine all the extraordinary ways you could add value in the world and how much more you would have to give by creating a new financial reality for yourself. Making a budget is the first step.
Vanessa Summers teaches a holistic approach to money, she is a registered investment advisor and author of Get In The Game ”“ The Girl”™s Guide to Money & Investing and Buying Solo ”“ The Single Woman”™s Guide to Buying Her Own Home. CNBC refers to her as the ”˜Financial Guru”™. – vanessasummers.com