I had a money makeover some years back and, while that got me on the right track, I still stress about finances. So while the concept of money management is not new to me, I still continuously strive to learn more on the topic. Most of the books I’ve read about finance had some great tips that I’ve incorporated into my budget, but I’ve always felt like something was missing.
As it turned out, The 30-Day Money Cleanse provided more insight into what I needed to do. The ideas were simple and easy to implement. My first task was glaringly obvious, but something I had never done: calculate my annual expenses. While I knew what I spent each month, I never took the time to find out how much that equaled in a year. I was completely floored. Did I really spend that much money on eating out? Was all the money I spent on clothes worth what I didn’t spend on finally creating my home library? And what in the world did I do with all those tech gadgets I purchased?
I’ll admit that my first response to all of this was guilt and shame; I wanted to just give up right there. But I didn’t – I kept reading. And that was when I finally understood why knowing where all my money was going was so important – because now, I could choose where I actually wanted it to go. I wasn’t powerless after all.
It was exciting to think about how I really wanted to live my life. Once I understood what mattered, it didn’t feel like I was getting rid of anything. Instead, I saw money that I once wasted was now being funneled into things that are truly important to me. I want to spend time with friends and family, but there are much more interesting and “fabulously frugal” ways to do so than just eating out. And taking stock of all the things I bought but didn’t use made it easy to put that money into my library instead.
This is what I learned – don’t let the fear of guilt or shame get in the way of taking a closer look at your relationship with money. You may be shocked at first by what you find; but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that this awareness brings with it so much power to truly transform your life.
Morgan Vogt, Sourcebooks Employee