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Money Master or Money Mess? Are you saving receipts?

In the last newsletter, I put out a challenge to save every receipt. That is, only save them if you’d like to be financially free some day. If you want to just be able to pay the bills and stay where you are at, don’t save your receipts.

If you aren’t saving your receipts, why? What’s your excuse? The common core reason people don’t save their receipts is this one truth: they don’t really want to know how much money they are spending. Excuses like "it’s not important" are great here. Out of site, out of mind. Why think about how much one is spending if it is painful?

Zen Buddhists have a saying, "How you do anything is how you do everything." This means that everything we do, every tiny thing, is how we live the rest of our life. If $2.85 for a latte just isn’t important, then you are saying money just isn’t important. One author calls this the "latte factor." I know some people that drive to Starbucks every day to pick up a latte. At $2.85 for a medium latter, every work day, that’s $741! Now tell me little habits don’t make a big difference. What would you buy with a $700 bonus at the end of the year?

Some of my clients have stepped up to the challenge and are finding money they didn’t know they had. It’s all about delayed gratification. One can say, "But I get so much pleasure from my latte. It’s the only fun I have." Say, skip your addiction and fly to Hawaii. How much more fun would that be than drinking coffee? Who needs hot coffee where you’re walking on a sandy beach, warm sun on your body, sound of the ocean, and the clearest blue skies you’ve ever seen.

When you get that addiction craving for your drug of choice, you can just imagine how nice it feels to be on the beach. Or better yet, to move into a new home when you really step into Financial Mastery and manage all you money. Remember, the difference between a Miser and a Master is who’s talking, the broke guy or the rich guy. Some broke people think rich people are misers. Rich people just know they have mastered a tiny step. No different than mastering a basic move in martial arts. Which do you want to be, broke or rich? Keep telling yourself $3 doesn’t matter and anyone can tell you where that road leads.

You may notice how these days’ cashiers look at us funny when we ask for a receipt. Americans are throwing money away so quickly no one seems to notice. Since September 2003, our government is increasing the national debt (that’s our loans) by $1.7 BILLION dollars every DAY! No one seems to care. If you are reading this, I imagine you aren’t one of the sheep just following a blind herd. Be bold, be unique and ask for your receipts. Or, continue to be like every other person asleep in the matrix and toss your money away.

An Exercise

It’s simple, just save EVERY receipt. Bridge toll, coffee, gas, movies, EVERYTHING! Even if you don’t add it all up, just save them in one place. Be a master. "Wax-on-wax-off Daniel-son." (from "Karate Kid")

Using your Inherent Excellence

We have a terrific ability to learn about big concepts from little practices. The human mind is great at making things bigger. Look at a phobia. One small event can lead to a lifetime of habits. I was stung many times near a bee hive when I was little. I learned to stay away from bees really quickly. It only took seconds to learn. On the positive side, as trivial as saving a receipt seems, this simple practice can teach your brain more about money quicker than reading several books. It’s how we learn fast, by doing and overcoming being uncomfortable.

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