My dad always said “it takes money to make money” and I think that we can take that on its face as being true. But something else is also true: Growing our money takes knowing our money. When we pay attention to our money a natural shift in our behavior occurs. We spend less, we require quality services and products, we negotiate for better deals and we become truly energized and excited about going out for new business or clients and making money. Once we know exactly where we are and where we want to be financially, we will accept nothing less for ourselves.
We are confronted daily with a long list of things to do and are inundated with tools, strategies and offers on how to do it smarter, better, faster. There are lots of “help” resources out there proffering their magic wand. But really what has to occur is a change in our own behavior. Unless we alter our actions, we will never keep our resolve. We can buy the latest and greatest in exercise equipment but if we don’t use it, we won’t lose it. The same is true for taking care of our financial affairs.
While each of us will need certain tools and structures in order to keep track of our financial information, none need to be particularly complicated. Here is where it gets easy. (Okay, maybe not so easy, but once we get that knowing our money is going to grow our money, it does tend to put things into perspective.) It only takes a simple repeating calendar reminder that tells us it is time to take a look at our money. It is really not about resolve – it is about doing. Like brushing our teeth each morning, at first we had to be reminded. Now it is a regular habit and is missed when we don’t do it. If we see that we’re running out of toothpaste, we put it on our list to get more. Learning to pay attention to our money takes the same kind of practice and structure until it becomes a part of who we are. It will become such a routine we will miss it when we don’t do it. We will find we want to know and will actually look forward to knowing. The very act of paying attention to our money will change the way we behave and conversely will bring more of it into our lives. While it may be true that the best things in life may be free, I find that the things money can buy aren’t bad either.