|By: Ouida Vincent|
Rule number 3 was "You must spend consciously". I explained what conscious spending is but I left out strategies for conscious spending.
Spending consciously is essential for successful free agency. A free agent who does not spend consciously will never be free.
Conscious spending is spending money in accordance with your values and principles. It is in essence choosing to spend rather than finding yourself saying with some degree of regularity "I just don't know where the money went." It is the word "choice" that brings consciousness to your spending.
Most people tell me that they have no choice but to pay their bills...I always ask, "are you choosing your bills?" What I mean is most people choose the bills they have. Here is an example...When I was dating the person who became my spouse I got a calling card, I got a cell phone, I had a regular credit card and my usual land line. My phone bill was over 500 dollars per month. Treating these services as necessities, here I was drowning in bills I chose to have. Just as I chose to have them I could choose not to have them. With all those ways to make calls throughout the day what was I really trying to communicate? I was simply trying to communicate to the person I was in love with that I was in love with them. Yes the phone was convenient but what other ways could I communicate that love? Cards, letters...phone calls at night when the rates were lowest. The moment I made that realization, I moved into consciousness around one area of my spending.
I then began looking at all of my bills and asked myself if I needed a particular service. If I could not answer "yes" right away I canceled that service. I then asked myself ...do I have to pay the same amount for the same service from the same vendor or can I negotiate? I found that I could negotiate. I found that I could get a cheaper plan from my cell provider without a compromise in service. I cut my cable bill in half from the same provider without a change in my plan.
By looking at my bills and negotiating with vendors I found that I could free up capital that I didn't even know I had to apply toward my higher purpose.
I then asked myself another question every time money was about to leave my hand: Do I have to have this now? If my honest answer was no, I did not buy the item. Instead I put the item on a list. If I still wanted it after a month, I bought it. This strategy virtually eliminated my impulse buying. If I determine that I have to have the item now, then I bless the money as it leaves my hand saying: "All money that leaves my hand returns to me multiplied."
So we have 3 strategies so far:
1) Choose your bills
2) Negotiate with your vendors
3) Determine your immediate need for everything that you buy
Strategy number 4 is the one that few people ever do. It is the one my sister used when she and her family started out and it is the one that I laughed at as she did it. Here it is: record every penny that leaves your hand. Every penny. I have a note book. I categorize the expenditures at the end of 30 days.
Do it for 30 days and your life will never be the same. Do it and you will never spend unconsciously again. Do it and you won't need the first three strategies.
Do this and you will always know what your values are. Do this and you will be in absolute integrity with yourself around money, always. This will happen because you will ask yourself as you spend an record your expenditures what is this expenditure really supporting? Is it supporting my business, my family, my freedom?
Do this one step and you will always know why you spend.
Do it and the life of the successful free agent will be yours.