Finding Peace with Money

Sometimes cash flow can seem like an ugly, greedy little monster that sucks the very life out of you. I mean, you might feel like you never have enough to get by. You could live paycheck to paycheck, every month waiting for the new deposit simply so that you can feed your family. Or perhaps you live comfortably but feel there's never enough to enjoy life. Whatever your case, feeling like money is evil is actually quite common. But it doesn't have to be money versus life; there are ways to feel more at peace with the money that exists within your life. Let's look at some ways.

Acknowledge Your Cash

To begin on the track toward being at peace with your money, it's necessary to first give that cash a little nod of the head. Acknowledge its existence, and then spend a little time getting to know it. By this, I simply mean take some time to truly assess your influx of cash each month.

By doing this easy step, you can begin to assess the cash that's exiting your pockets as well. Ideally, the balance should lean more in favor of the inflow of cash; you should be spending less than you make each month. If this ideal balance is achieved, you can feel less stressed about finances and more at peace with the green in your life.

Cut Some Spending

However, most people who feel strapped for cash actually are. In these cases, it's necessary to cut spending to find a more peaceful balance. To accomplish this, sit down with your books again and really assess where your money goes. Then cut anything that is not a necessity.

For example, if you notice that you spend a lot on entertainment without realizing it, vow to cut back in that spending area. On the other hand, if groceries are the bane to your existence, see if cutting those last-minute runs after work for "a few small things" (which we all know can become a full basket of groceries) could free up some cash. The important thing to remember in this assessment is that small purchases can really add up; focusing on cutting those items could get you out ahead.

Tackle the Big Things

Once you have a good feel for the normal cash flow and how you can shave some spending, it's time to look at the bigger ticket items. Bills such as your insurance, phone bills, cable and other semi-fixed bills could potentially be a gold-mine of overpayment, so call around to see if any of these could be reduced. Many times, customer service agents at these companies can get you a better deal.

If you're still strapped for cash, it may be time to tackle the two biggest ticket items: your home and your vehicle. Housing and cars are often the two most expensive items in any budget, so finding ways to cut back on these can free up some major cash and leave you much more at peace. However, cutting back on these often means selling or refinancing, so it can be a very personal choice. But that personal sacrifice could leave you much more Zen, so look into your options on both.

Money doesn't have to be the evil monster sitting in your closet, waiting to eat you alive. It can be cute and cuddly, the perfect creature to snuggle with in peaceful existence. So assess, cut back on spending, and tackle the big ticket items; your sanity may thank you.

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John | Married (with Debt) wrote:

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:57 Comment #: 1

I remember years ago how it felt to always be waiting for the next paycheck just to feel like you aren't drowning. Though I've moved beyond that, it's those flashbacks that keep me on track.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:51 Comment #: 2

John, I remember living paycheck to paycheck in college and the early years of our marriage. It was really rough! Ah, memories...

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Sharing Thursday #1 | Daily Money Shot | Daily Money Shot wrote:

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:26 Comment #: 3

[...] Finding Peace with Money on MomVesting [...]

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AverageJoe wrote:

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 18:11 Comment #: 4

I was going to write a post on this topic and you beat me to it...and did a better job than I would have. Sigh.

Spending time with it (your first point) is a huge part of the game for many people starting out. Although analytics will call this "touchy feelie b.s.", what they don't realize is that the non-analytical person generally won't even want to look at things they don't understand. AND if it seems like they might be in trouble...if I don't look it can't hurt me.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 22:06 Comment #: 5

Average Joe, very true that if you don't look at your cash, it CAN hurt you. Getting to know how much is coming in and going out is key...even if it is a little touchy feelie (those darned analytics!) ;-)