Finding Financial Freedom

I feel like I finally have! And it’s for a surprising reason. I always sort of figured that having more money so I wouldn’t have to worry about it, was what would create financial freedom. I was wrong. It seems the real key is paying attention to what you have and using it (i.e. spending, saving, investing, etc.) mindfully.

Recently, I’ve devised a financial plan for myself that combines concepts from the book Your Money or Your Life, T. Harv Eker’s book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, Michael Neill and Crazy Aunt Purl. Now that’s an eclectic group!

The basics are that I’ve figured out what my monthly expenses are (including extras and emergencies), established a “reservoir” account with at least three months of expenses and now pay myself out of that account on the first of every month a set amount based on my expenses. Every time money comes in, I divide it into several different accounts – a percentage for taxes, investing, play and charitable giving, with the bulk going into the reservoir.

This planning is all good, but the real key for me has been keeping track of my spending, so that any given time I know how much I have “left” in any given month. I’m almost shocked at how freeing this is! Even though having enough money isn’t an issue, I didn’t realize how guilty I felt when I would spend on anything. It must have been because I didn’t know exactly where I was financially, so I tended to want to hoard my money. I don’t think that philosophy helped me save any more or spend less, I just felt bad.

In just the few weeks that I’ve been doing this, I’ve noticed a tremendous shift in my attitude about money. Especially nearing the end of this first month. I feel lighter, more free, richer even. All this for simply paying attention.

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