Keeping Numbers

by anne on July 6, 2006

If, like me, you tend to be vague about your money, if you tend to not open bills when they arrive or to ‘forget’ to pay them on time, or if you discover you’re unable to pay the minimum on your credit card…

A good first step toward getting clarity on your finances is Keeping Your Numbers. What this means is writing down every single cent you spend each day for at least 30 days. Although it sounds like a real chore, here’s why it’s a good idea.

Those of us with money problems rarely really know how much we have or how much we spend. Tracking all expenses begins to shed the light of clarity on our whole relationship with money. This clarity shows up in surprising ways.

For example, you’re at a coffee shop and about to plunk down $5.00 on an espresso and a piece of cake. The mere knowledge you’re going to write down this expense makes you more conscious of what you’re doing. You’re in a better position to decide if that’s really the way you want to spend your five bucks or not. Note, this is not about if buying coffee and cake is a good idea or not – it’s about putting you in a position where you actually make a conscious decision.

Try keeping your numbers. I suspect you’ll be delightfully surprised.

Anne

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