Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Count Your Money

I did my taxes today. It was an interesting experience in staying present, in accepting the situation without negativity or fear. I'd been expecting a sizable refund since I didn't work in the fourth quarter last year, but it turned out we owe money because not enough was being withheld from my husband's checks. I turned to my book The Wealthy Spirit for a little inspiration and was reminded of a great budgeting method Chellie Campbell includes. I put together my own versions of the Low, Medium, and High budgets she describes and I already feel better about my finances. I'd like to share her wisdom with you here today--maybe you'll find it as useful as I did!

Count Your Money
Day 18 of The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell

"A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments."
~Samuel Johnson

To achieve success, you must think positive and send out ships. But if you want to achieve financial success, you have to add the third step: count your money. Keeping track of how much you're making, how much you're spending, and how much you're saving will tell you how effectively you're doing the first two steps. In other words, budget.

I suggest that everyone should have not just one, but three budgets, all with complicated names: Low, Medium, and High. You start with Medium Budget, which is the average income and expenses that you have right now. Then you create Low Budget--this is your bare-bones plan to reduce expenses if you have an unexpected financial problem such as a bill or reduction in income. Then create a High Budget--this is your goal budget, how you're going to spend the money you plan to make in the future. If you don't have a plan for how you are going to spend and save it, you won't have a reason to make it, or if you do, you might fritter it away on low priority items. These flex-budgets will give you a written plan to follow, no matter what happens with your money. And each budget is only for one month.

People hate budgeting because they're afraid of Low Budget. They think that's the only budget there is and that they'll be stuck with it forever. Who'd want that? No wonder people don't do budgets. But Low Budget is never forever, it's just for now. Anyone can go on Low Budget for a month! And when you're on it, stay light-hearted about it and double up on your prosperity affirmations. Make it a game! See how much money you can avoid spending each day. Look for opportunities to trade or barter services. Clean out your home and have a garage sale. What work can you do part-time that would also bring in extra cash? What can you fix instead of buying new? Create new outfits to wear by mixing and matching separates in new ways. And each day you succeed in conserving your cash with creative ideas, congratulate yourself on your wisdom and money mastery.

The real fun is creating High Budget. This is your Prosperity Plan. Spend some time each day looking at it and feeling rich. What do you want to have and do when you're on High Budget? Go shopping and price-compare for the best values. (Just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you have to spend it foolishly.) Get pictures and brochures of the things you really want and put them on your wall. Start a special savings plan for major purchases. Be specific: if you want a new car, what make, model, and color is it? What features and options does it have? Smile and feel the pleasure now as if you already owned it. Affirm your ability to create this abundance in your life. It won't be long before it shows up!

Today's Affirmation: "I spend money wisely and happily, blessing myself and others."

Photo: "money roll," originally uploaded by zack Mccarthy

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