Do you know where your money goes each month? If your answer is simply “away” you are like 22% of adults per a recent study by The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). A ‘credit culture’ can encourage absent minded spending. Whether viewing your home or business accounting, it can be a real eye opener to see how much you are spending on shopping, coffees, or tech gadgets.
The NFCC study also noted that 43% of Americans have a budget and track expenses. Are you in the 56% that do not have a budget?
I just finished the book Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald. In the book, Sarah explains that the people of India feel sorry for Americans because we are always looking up the wealth ladder while Indians are looking down. Envy of what others have and ‘keeping up with the Jones” instead of thankfulness for what we have and ‘doing better than the Millers’ (no offense Millers.) Can happiness come from comparing ourselves to the “better” neighbors?
Many Americans live the life of the Jones’ neighbors as depicted in The Joneses movie see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Joneses. They are willing to put themselves in extreme debt to look like the “rich” neighbors. This richness is in material goods that others will see.
Much like Dr. Seuss’s Star-Bell Sneetches, it becomes impossible to tell the “rich” from the folks that are playing “rich” with huge credit card debt.
Are your life goals to appear the most rich? To hope others envy you? If not, please read on.
“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people.” —Nido Qubein
While researching for this blog, I located Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity by Garrett B. Gunderson. After viewing the Table of Contents I am hooked: Myth 1- The Finite Pie – Scarcity thinking brings out the worst in us – fear, pride, jealousy, selfishness. Replacing scarcity with abundance increases our creativity, productivity, health and happiness.
Scarcity – What do others have that we do not?
Abundance – We are so lucky to have all the things we do.
Enter the budget. I help clients brainstorm personal and business goals, their own goals not the goals of the neighbors, and create a plan to get there. Being worried about your financial situation can cause stress, panic attacks, anxiety, and sleepless nights. None of which is good for your health. Knowing where your money goes, how much “the basics” cost each month, and creating goals to work toward creates safety, comfort, and empowerment.
Here are links to videos of a client and me talking through the budgeting plan:
Start making a road map to your future goals today. Let’s GO!
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Thanks to Mike waters for creating these videos.