Ok, we’re going down the home stretch with our Top Ten List for simplifying life with points #8-10:
8. Simplifying your finances is often one of the most strategic steps to take for people who have identified that much of their life energy has been devoted more to lifestyle building than value building. A very powerful and effective process for financial transformation is outlined in the bestseller, YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE (YMORL), by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. I highly recommend this book for a more thorough look at this area of life.
In the meantime, here are a few steps to get your started:
a. Find out where your money goes. Most people don’t have a good handle on where all their money goes. The simplest way to determine this is to keep track for a few weeks or months where every cent is spent. This one step can be very revealing because once you realize that you’re spending, say $5 a day on Cappuccino which equates to $150a month or $1800 a year, you’re not so sure that it might not be possible to streamline your budget.
b. Start to measure your spending against how much fulfillment and satisfaction you’re receiving. If you think of money as something that you exchange your life energy for you’re spending naturally becomes more conscious.
c. Determine how much money you’re exchanging your life energy for in your job or career. Again, most people don’t realize or take into account how much it cost them to work, so they often have an inflated view of how much money they make. To figure this out, take your base amount of pay and subtract all the expenditures that are directly related to work. In other words, if you weren’t working would you be eating your lunches out each day, how about the cost of that 30 minute commute (also factor in the commute time as hours worked), and how much do you spend on business attire? Factor all of this in to determine how much you’re really taking home. Often times people realize from this exercise that instead of making $20/hr at work,their actual income is only $8-10. Suddenly, the $5 Cappuccino is costing them 30 minutes of their life energy. It can be a revealing experience going through this process.
9. Many people realize from step 8 that one big area of their life that could be simplified and that would have an accumulative effect elsewhere is to eliminate their debt. Debt free living is a great way to live life. I call it living a life paid in full. Much of the lifestyle we’ve come to expect and take for granted in this country comes with an incredibly high price tag, especially when we’re “buying now and paying later.”
Besides YMORL another beneficial resource ondebt elimination is the FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE NETWORK LIMITED (FINL). FINL provides simple and effective methods to eliminate all debt within 5-7 years for most people while also providing the inspiration and encouragement to keep you on track.
10. The last step is patience and persistence. Remember, it’s taken most people years, perhaps even generations to develop the complex lives they live. It’s unrealistic to think it can be all turned around at once. Besides, it’s the journey that we’re here for, not the destination. Enjoy the ride.
OK, now it’s your turn. Post your comments, questions, tips and techniques you have found effective for simplifying your life. Let’s create the next Top 10 list here.