Sunday, March 28, 2010

Date night with your finances?

Have you ever noticed that most people follow the statement “I have to pay bills tonight” with the word “ugh” or “yuck” or, something that rhymes with “yuck”? Those are often the same people that will sheepishly tell you they haven’t reconciled their checkbook any time in the past decade. And those same people probably couldn’t tell you how much they spend on groceries every month, or eating out, or healthcare.

When you look at the order in which our personal or business finances are done, it’s really no surprise most people consider it drudgery or despise it all. First, hunt and peck and gather everything we need to pay our bills. Second, pay the bills (i.e. give some or most of our money to others). Third, well, there is no third, because by then, we are physically and/or emotionally done with the monthly finances. Many aspire to continue on to: third, update their account balances, fourth, reconcile, and fifth, look at the totals of spending categories. But there’s no time or energy left to do the third, fourth or fifth steps.
My advice: try, just try, to make it fun.

Make it a date night; schedule time every month to just focus on your spending plan and financial goals. Light a candle, open a special bottle of wine, or go to your favorite cafĂ©. Divorce the bill paying monotony from the important work: providing yourself clarity about your finances by keeping your numbers, looking at your numbers, and planning for the next month. It doesn’t have to be drudgery! Numbers can be fun, when you allow your mind to open to the possibility.

1 comment:

  1. It took me several years to feel happy working on my finances. My relationship with my finances was a direct result of a relationship with a person who was very critical about my spending and and held me accountable for and judged every penny I spent. Well, my actions to be the opposite (casual, laissez-faire, sloppy) really put me in an uncomfortable fiscal and emotional space.

    After understanding "why" I treated my finances the way I did, I was able to change my pattern. What a relief it is now to know exactly where I stand and have the clarity and visibility of my finances. I get to spend my money the way I want to knowing full well how much goes where and how to meet my goals and obligations!

    p.s. the bottle of wine helps too!