by Janine Bolon
Now that you have a purpose for becoming wealthy that isn't just a murky "to be rich," you can move on to making the necessary behaviorial changes that will stimulate more cash flow as well as help sharpen your focus on what you really want out of life!
It is time to start Tracking Your Expenses and Income.
Go ahead, roll your eyes and groan! All my clients and students do when I hit this stage of the lifestyle. Everyone thinks that it is SUCH a pain to track their money. Guess what? I'll let you in on a secret. I have yet to meet a millionaire that DOESN'T track their money. Seriously. Since my family became wealthy I've met a lot of other wealthy folks and I've asked them point blank,
"Hey do you track your expenses?"
"Of course!" is their response and they look at me like I have three heads.
Why? Because it is a basic principle. If you want to become wealthy so you can do what you want to do, then you have to know where your cash is going and where it is coming from. True, many millionaires have other people track their cash for them. They pay them for this service so they can get on with doing their particular missions in life.
I have first hand experience with this because in the early 90s I worked for a retired CEO of the Johnson & Johnson corporation. He was a man worth over 40 million dollars and I had the good fortune of learning from him how the rich view and handle money. It was a life lesson I never forgot because his habits were so drastically different from anyone I had ever met.
Every morning when he would walk into his office and take all the receipts of the previous day's expenditures out of his wallet and put them in a basket on my desk. At that point I would enter them into a spreadsheet under various categories. Once a week I would print off a summary sheet and he would look it over on Friday as he was in his planning meeting for the next week.
Once a month I would print a larger summary and he would look it over and discuss it with his spouse. She, too, had her own report and the questions I would hear them ask one another were like these:
- So, how did we do this month, honey?
- What unexpected expenses did we have this month? (You will learn as you do this activity that there is NEVER a normal month and there is ALWAYS an unexpected expense!
- Are we happy with the way we spent our money?
- Is there anything we need to change or save up for?
- Do we want to do anything different?
In these meetings there was no judgement of one another as each read through their list and studied the money flow. Why? Because they both wanted to spend their money in ways that moved their purposes forward. They were heavy into philanthropy. Any money they spent on themselves meant less money for their favorite charities (they had 3 they started and funded).
They enjoyed their money. They had nice cars and they went on vacations, but the focus of their money was funding their charities. They made sure what money they did spend on themselves was in self-education/improvement. This millionaire once told me, "Yeah, I finally bought myself a Cadillac. I've wanted a Cadillac since I was 15, here I am 62 years old and I got it yesterday! Do you want to see it?" I laughed. How could I resist? This guy could have purchased any car he wanted for years, but he waited until he had all of his other priorities taken care of before he handed over the cash for a luxury. It still makes me smile when I think of that afternoon.
The point to tracking expenses is simply this...know where your money is going. Right now the reason you are so fustrated with your life and you feel so out-of-control is due to the fact that you have NO idea where your money goes. You work and work and work and at the end of the month you have NOTHING for all your hard efforts. No wonder your discouraged! I don't blame you!
So, come up with a very EASY system for tracking your expenses. Remember why you want to become rich, remember that you have a purpose for your life that is more than just being comfortable. The Universe wants to use you for making this world a better place. You may not know EXACTLY what it is you are going to be doing, but you know that the money that is coming to you is for a greater good. So, track those coins, track the money that is coming into your life and you will watch as your expenses decrease and your savings increase. You will gain control of your money and at the same time you're life will start to make sense in a whole new way.
Keep up the great work and do stay in touch. Let me know how you're doing after 2 weeks, 1 month and then 3 months. Those are the biggest changes that happen for folks. After 3 months you'll be so sold on the system you'll continue tracking coins for life!