A challenge for the month of July… read below.
Ah, the 4th of July. It’s not just a day to party and drink beer. It’s the anniversary of a clear decision, a "Declaration" of Independence. We celebrate freedom from the shackles of a foreign government. As we remember from our history books, one of the main freedoms was from unfair financial burdens, especially taxes. We also wanted the freedom to own our own property and freedom in financial commerce.
My question is, "How free are you REALLY?" Bill after bill, more month at the end of your money? Seems most American’s keep wanting more stuff and hoping the money catches up with that want. Now you may remember that Independence didn’t just happen over night. There was a clear vision of freedom and a plan for achieving it. Do you have a vision for your financial freedom? Do you have a plan?
The first step to any achievement is a compelling vision for the future. So Financially Free is a more compelling vision than "Debt Free", "paying the bills". Daily habits are also an important part of success. You wouldn’t just hope for nice teeth when you are retired! You brush your teeth everyday because the pain of bad teeth and the joy of a nice smile keep you naturally brushing your teeth.
So what’s a simple habit you can practice towards the vision of Financial Freedom? Save every receipt for everything you buy! My challenge to you, for the entire month of July, save every receipt! Yes, that latte, gas, gum, EVERYTHING! Save every expense and put them in an envelop to add up at the end of the month. This suggestion comes from a fellow coach and it is simple and brilliant.
You see, if you don’t respect something, what happens? Exactly! It leaves, goes away, we take it for granted. How much are you really spending each month? Though saving a receipt sounds simple, it’s a massive challenge for many people. They don’t really want to know where there money is going. This isn’t about being a "miser". If that thought comes up for you, you might want to evaluate what other negative beliefs you have about money that are keeping you just above your bills. Instead of miser, think "Master"! Mastering your money. It’s the wax-on-wax-off in "Karate Kid", if you remember the movie. He wanted to be a Karate Master, but complained about doing simple habits. Look like anyone you’ve seen in the mirror lately?
If you find it painful to do this simple exercise this month, that’s great. You’re probably ready for a breakthrough. Power through the pain. Notice you’re internal complaints. Notice other people’s complaints. Notice how those complaints have kept you where you are currently in with your finances. Are you complaining about freedom? The freedom to toss money around. Then think about the bigger freedom of going on a vacation anywhere you desire. How would that feel? And your ego might say, but they’re only pennies. In that case, your ego is just afraid of the real number at the end of the money, which might just shock you.
From experience, I started this exercise on July 1st and it’s an eye opener already! I had to pay registration on 2 cars in one day! So I challenge you, save every single receipt in the month of July. Take one small step towards your Financial Independence Day. If you think it’s small and trivial, then you have no excuse for avoiding it. As Nike says, Just do it!
Save every receipt in the month of July. That means EVERY receipt. Yes, that 7 Eleven stop, gas, Starbucks, EVERYTHING! If they don’t offer a receipt, ask. It’s the practice of respecting money.
I’m not saying to save every receipt and watch them every day of your life. If your mind went there, just be aware that you may make things larger in your mind than they really are. It’s a great way to procrastinate or justify not doing something. Making things large is a common pattern for being stuck. Keep simple things small. Feel free to make fun things larger. Like your vision of Financial Freedom.
Make simple tasks small in you mind. It’s just a receipt.
Using your Inherent Excellence
Our mind has such wonderful ways of learning. Doing a very small task, like saving a receipt, can be transformed into a life changing event that empowers us for a lifetime.
Many of us are more motivated by pain than pleasure. If it is painful in any way to simply save a receipt, that’s useful. Pain is anything like frustration, complaining, justification, all the emotions that take you out. The pain is useful when you build it up at the end of the month and say, "I don’t want this pain anymore." Instead, I want to have the income to have real Financial Independence.
Pain, discomfort is a great motivator. Use it. Break through the simple pain to avoid the later bigger pain of being broke. Don’t be a financial ostrich. With our head in the sand and butt in the air, we’re a little exposed to financial disaster.