Have you ever started your day with plenty of cash in your wallet, only to find by night that you can’t remember where it all went… or made a trip to the ATM, only to be disheartened by your low account balance? You’re not alone.
Most people cannot account for how they spend their money. We live in a financial fog, disconnected from the real numbers and unable to understand our own actions.
What’s needed is a way to stay conscious and connected to our money. And one of the easiest ways to do this is with tracking.
Tracking is one of my favorite, widely successful tools for clearing the financial fog.
All you need is a pen and paper and a touch of curiosity. And all you have to do is this: Every time you spend or receive money, you write it down.
On one level, you may think, “Tracking is too time consuming, too tedious—and besides, only people with ‘money problems’ have to track their expenses.”Indeed, it is a change of habit, and it’s common to have some reluctance.
But on a deeper level, tracking your numbers tells a real story about you. It will reveal, on paper, truths about yourself, your habits, and your behaviors that are… uncomfortable.
My suggestion to you is to see tracking as a wise teacher. Remember, no one is punishing you for “bad” spending. This is about you, taking the first step to becoming informed about where your money goes.
One of my past clients Rebecca, had assets in the millions, and I still recall her saying, “People are stunned when I tell them I track my spending. But I love the immediate feedback I get with tracking—it is a barometer for my relationship with money.”
Tracking brings you back to consciousness. It helps you become aware of how you use money. And with this awareness, you become capable of making strong choices in the future.
You (always) get to decide.
This week, I urge you to track your spending. Just give it a try and see what story uncovers for you.
(And if you own a business, tracking can be a powerful tool for your long-term success. Remember, your personal money habits will play out in your business, so it’s a good idea to be aware of your blind spots. More on that in the coming weeks!)
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