Do you think of your money as a friend or an enemy?
You really should think of it as a friend. After all, would an enemy pay your rent or mortgage? Would an enemy buy you a car or pay your utilities?
Money is not only a friend, it has superpowers. It can take you on vacations and even give you peace of mind.
Given the fact it’s such a good friend, why not ask it out on a date?
Have a recurring date
Get out your calendar and set a recurring date. This could be as frequently as once a month or just once a quarter. The idea here is to set aside time to brainstorm things you could do with your current cash flow to have more money. If you implant an idea about money in your subconscious, it will go to work in the background analyzing opportunities. It’s likely that you’ll notice and remember articles on investing. You might spot the opportunity for a business venture. You’ll find this happens almost automatically once you have that recurring date in place.
What to do pre-date
This may sound silly but you should dress up just as you would for any date. Put on your makeup or comb your hair and put on a nice shirt. The trick is to make this feel like a special occasion. Then, set your intentions for the next couple of hours. For example, you might say, “I am putting my finances in order, and I’m going to think creatively about money.”
Next, set aside a limited amount of time. It would be a mistake to spend many hours pouring over your bills and end up feeling lost and overwhelmed. Three hours could be a good place to start.
Turn off your phone and maybe play some soft music to get in the mood.
Finally, make a list of the tasks that you want to perform that day.
The date itself
The first thing you need to do for your money date is assemble all your personal monthly and household expenses. Take a look at the previous month. What was your largest expenses? Do you foresee a big expense coming up in the future like a dental bill or car repair?
Check your transactions – credit cards, PayPal, checking account, purchases on Amazon, direct debits, etc. Mistakes can happen so look for overcharging or purchases that weren’t yours.
Think about your financial goals. You say you don’t have any yet? Then, sit down and define some. Is your goal to pay off your mortgage, save for a big trip, or a sabbatical year? It’s critical to visualize these goals and then track your progress.
Do you have stuff that doesn’t bring you any joy? If there’s something you haven’t used for 6-plus months, think about getting rid of it. You could donate, sell, or trash it.
Are there services like that health club membership you no longer use? Either cancel them or call the providers to see if you can get a better deal.
Think about side hustles or what you could do to earn extra money. We understand that Uber and Lyft can be good ways to do this, and that driving for Jimmy John’s can mean big money.
Look for things you can automate. Do you have an expense tracking app? Two of the best of these are Mint and Toshi. How about your bank? Does it offer options you have not yet used like automatic bill paying?
Finally, check out your investments to see if they need rebalancing. If you have not yet started investing, get to it.
Why hav a long-term relationship with your money
You don’t want your money date to be a one-night stand. It’s important to create a long-term relationship by doing things like reading money books. Keep in mind that you need to both enjoy and appreciate your money. Choose an activity or an item that you want to spend your money on that will give you a lot of pleasure. You’ll have more money coming so treat yourself to something like new athletic shoes or an expensive dinner with a loved one. It won’t exhaust your checking account if you do it just once a month, and it will enhance your life.
Lastly, pick a money or success goal for the upcoming month. This could be something as small as packing healthy food for your lunch instead of eating out. Or it might be something as big as a new outfit.
Having a recurring date with your money can be a very good thing. It can help you focus on your finances now and set your brain to working on them subconsciously. Your life and your money will thank you.