Do you think finding joy in your financial picture is impossible? First, it seems boring. Second, it might seem bleak. Rather, curiosity about joy and financial thoughts in the same picture can urge you toward new discoveries about your own finances.
Traditionally, we are told to make money through work, save it and that will make you happy. What if we turn that upside down?
- Be happy about money
- Do some incremental task to increase that joy
- Continue the small steps
- Arrive at a financial situation of making more than you spend
The Three Steps
- Start with the emotion of joy.
- Create your own definition of a rich life.
- Have a clear, honest understanding of your cash flow that is based on what brings you joy.
Examples of the 3 Steps
Real Life Scenario: I’d accomplished very little tallying up my deductions for the previous year. What small step can I do to make this easier for next year? And how can I have a clearer picture of what I am spending?
- Since I like beautiful things, I invested in Cavallini file folders. Just looking at these folders makes me smile. My folder “Current Tax Year” is front and center. I place all receipts that could be tax deductible along with tax forms for income as they come in.
- If you were given $10 million and told you had 10 years left to live, what would you stop doing and what would you start doing? This is your rich life!
- Now to the nuts and bolts… For at least one day, write down everything you spend, cash transactions, notices of bills paid, etc. Think of it as a financial diary, similar to a food diary. If you can do a week or a month, even better. Take a highlighter in a color you love, and highlight everything that doesn’t make you smile.
- Cell phone – can I negotiate a better price for this?
- The automatic monthly payment to Classmates.com that you forgot about and don’t use
- House mortgage – the kids are out of the house. Is it time to downsize?
Dig a Little Deeper
How do you define joy around financial tracking? Perhaps it involves one of these ideas.
- Writing in a cheerful journal
- Using bright colors for cell shading in Excel
- Using a beautiful pen
- Selecting a colorful ink like purple
Exploring how you approach record keeping is one small step toward bringing joy into your financial situation.
We all know finances are important. They can bring you joy or pain, if you let them. It’s our choice how we approach our finances. And learning more about our relationship with money may be key for you. Here are some books you might find helpful.
Emotional Currency – by Kate Levinson explores our history with money and how to change how we think about it.
I will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Fachi Is all about using automation to keep on top of bills.
On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor is a must read for everyone who wants to understand how to take care of their money while they are young.
What do YOU Want?
This blog is a brief overview of how you can start to change your relationship with money by taking one step at a time finding joy in your financial picture. Are you interested in knowing more? I’d love to hear from you, either with a comment below or send me an email.