I’ve never been very good with money. Somehow, it has never felt super important.
I roughly moderate my spending to correspond with what I have, not through any serious budgeting process, but just by listening to the little voices in my head that warn me when the balance between spending and earning is off.
Becoming More Aware of Money in My Life
But this year, I’ve decided to consider money differently — to consciously become more aware of dollars and cents and balances. I’ve decided to have some fun watching my balances go up. Yes, really my new money decision is no more complicated than that.
The beginning of the month, I made a note on my dry-erase board showing the balances in my accounts. I’ll do the same thing the beginning of next month and the month after that. And I’ll watch what happens. I’ll see them go up (or down).
Obviously, this is not budgeting or serious money management. It’s simply an easy way to increase my awareness of money.
What’s the Big Deal about Awareness?
Turns out that while increasing awareness isn’t everything, it can make a huge difference!
When you actually look at something and track it, you are likely to make decisions differently. And, of course, the way you make decisions about how you spend and earn money has broad and sometimes interesting consequences.
What’s changed so far?
- We’re eating out less and enjoying eating at home more.
- I’m not as likely to go on Amazon and order things I might not need.
- I’m not so inclined to discount services with my new coaching contracts.
- I have more courage when I develop proposals for new or renewed clients.
- I’m more strategic in thinking through what investments of time, energy or equipment will increase my productivity.
- Tyko and I are having more conversations about values and how we want to spend or not spend our money.
And, perhaps most surprising, just this little shift in awareness has given me more zest than I’ve ever had before for the thorny topic of money.
Practice Awareness of Money in Your Life
This week, pay close attention to how money enters your consciousness.
Do you studiously avoid thinking about it? Do you pinch every penny? Do you spend without much thought? Do you track what you have? Do you make a plan for money in the future? Are you comfortable with the way you deal with money?
If not, try this — Write down on a piece of paper something little you’d like to do differently about money this year. And make up your mind to do it. It might be a simple as tracking it or you might set a modest goal for saving every week or month. Or, if you hold too tightly to your money, you might set a giving away goal. Then watch and see what happens.
People deal with money in all sorts of ways. What’s your preference? Please do share your comments below or leave a comment on my Facebook page.
This is a big topic for me this year and I need all of the help and advice I can get on the subject!