In December we started you on the process of Mastering Your Time with your Finances. Over today and the next 4 Tuesdays in January, I will be taking you step by step in the entire process.
This is the most important step to do and for that, make yourself comfortable in a quiet place where nobody can disturb you for a while. The selection process should be carried out quietly and consciously, and it might take longer than initially expected.
Out of the list you just have finished, where all your income and expenses are listed, go one by one, through all the costs you have recorded. This is the time you take for yourself to see how much money you use for things you have believed were vital.
If you want to manage your finances instead of letting your financial situation control you, look at them truthfully. You will be surprised that many times we buy things or are paying for things which are not really necessary but just because they make us feel better or they fill a gap within ourselves, turning the purchase into something emotional, rather than practical or necessary.
Credit cards cost you money, and if you pay in installments, you end up paying a higher price for everything you buy. How many "contracts and subscriptions" (handy, phone, TV-Internet, music, insurances, newspapers, etc.) are you signed up for that automatically charge your card each month? I think you agree with me that many times “we buy things we do not need, with money we do not have, to impress people you don’t like”.
Take some time to reflect on your real needs and preferences answering some of the following questions:
. Do I need all my bank accounts?
. Do I need all these credit and customer cards?
. From all these expenses, which ones are really essential or indispensable?
In making these selections, you will start experiencing a sense of capacity and reassurance. You will feel stronger as you decide which expenditures you can get rid of and start taking control over money, making you feel much more relaxed and secure.
Now find a moment to answer these questions:
. How do I feel keeping only those costs that are indispensable?
. Does this tell me something about myself, my way of thinking, my way of being?
. How do I feel about keeping control of my expenses?
Over the next week review your answers looking at all your expenses and the questions above. We will move to Step Two on January 8.