Does it seem that there is more month at the end of your money, than money at the end of your month?
Or are you a committed saver?
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Personally, I am an in-betweener. I do both. I save and I spend. I love money, and I love what it represents.
I've been exploring money consciousness and how we choose to relate to the money we have. And what we can feel like when we don't have it.
I have learned that I have a money thermostat that rings inner alarm bells when I have come too close to the poverty line, and have thus overspent.
My money thermostat is silent and works on automatic pilot. I've noticed that there have been times in my life when I have saved my bottom off and built up a nest-egg, only to flit it away on frivolous items - as deep down I was not comfortable having that much money.
Strange. You would think that having lots of money and keeping it would be high up there, but for some unconscious reason I have had to get rid of it.
Now, I am aware of this behaviour pattern, I consciously consider my money choices and choose to keep funds in the bank rather than spending like some little devil.
In my exploration, I have been listening to Sounds True podcast between Tami Simon and Vicki Robin who co-wrote the book Your Money or Your Life with the late Joe Dominguez. It is one of the very interesting philosophies and money management systems that incorporates a spiritual lifestyle that I have come across.
Vicki Robin said something that was a light bulb moment for me during this podcast. It was that, "money is how we spend our life energy."
I had never thought about it this way before, but what a revelation. There is an undercurrent message here about considering the way we approach making and spending our money has a direct impact the level of life/time we want to trade for the items that money can buy us.
This kind of money consciousness makes you stop when you're about to mindlessly consume and consider..."do I really want to spend my life energy on this?"
There have been countless times when I have spent money while out shopping, only to come home and wonder what I was thinking at the time I bought the item!
That's unconscious consumerism.
I'd like to become even more conscious of my consuming, and so I have taken on some of Vicki's tips to help create financial freedom.
Here's what I have learned so far, also, noting that I have not yet taken a online course in Your Money or Your Life.
Financial Independence is about unhooking ourselves from the consumerism mentality in the world, and learning to consciously consume in a way that is of benefit to our highest good.
There are layers of understanding that we can gain from exploring our money habits, and tracking the patterns we unconsciously create over and over again.
The first step to becoming a conscious consumer is to knowing where we are at financially. That means tracking things and knowing where our money is going.
Getting out of debt is a number one priority (for me) because being in debt to the bank/others, means that we are indentured servants who must work and find ways to create money. We have traded our future life energy for something in the now.
Being debt free and money aware means that we have personal power to chose what we want to do with our lives on a daily basis. It's then a case of "I don't have to work, and as a result I chose to work at xyz."
Having savings in our bank accounts that are at least equal to three (3) months of living expenses provides peace of mind in an unstable economy. We are less adversely effected if the worst happens because we have a nest egg. I am still working on this one though.
The more self-sufficient we are, the more empowered we are individually. There is a lot of self-confidence and self-esteem to be gained from being able to do certain things for ourselves. And we can save money too.
This is such a fascinating topic to me, as it makes me stop and think about what money means to me, and dig a little deeper to understand what my own money patterns are.