Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Money Fast

So, how is it going with starting a budget? and tracking what you spend?

Recently, I've had some huge breakthrough's with my budget and i think sharing them could help all of us.

Last weekend I did what i would call a "Money Fast". My goal was to keep from going over budget for February and since it was the end of the month and i was soooo close (and a little obsessive!), I decided to not spend anything from Friday-Tuesday. It was amazing!!

I cooked at home, read a book, went to a free spiritual talk, meditated, went for a walk, ate what i already had in the fridge, had potluck at a friend's house and watched a netflix.

And it worked.

As always, these excercise are fertile ground for learnings, awareness, and deepening...
  • I realized i could go a weekend without spending a dime.
  • I realized that there are times when i spend money to make myself feel better and not indulging this reflex weakens its power and actually loving this "devil", hearing it and thanking it seems to be what it needs most.
  • I further realized that spending money is not necessary for fun, intimacy or romance.
  • I realized more ways to live simply and have BIG fun.
Obviously, if you are in a relationship, this is not something you can do on your own. It does impact the other. Your lives are intertwined in magical wonderful ways and money is a part of it. If you are single I guess you could hide away easily and watch what you spend, but i recommend the opposite. Open up let people in. So what if you don't have much to spend! Guess what, there are a lot of us in that same boat. Through being honest and opening my life up to my friends we are all the more closer. I felt an empowering partnership with my girlfriend when I chose to communicate and enroll her in joining me on the Money Fast.

The biggest gift of all, I realized that being tight with money does not create what psuedo-spiritual, new agers claim "focusing on the problem creates more of the problem". Actually, the Money Fast had the opposite effect. After living on a tight budget for a month at the end of the month I felt rich, abundant or whatever you want to call it. I had money leftover to do what is most important.

I wasn't living in scarcity or feeling like the cup is half empty... afterwards I saw my bank account and it dawned on me WOW! i have all of this leftover for my life goals & dreams- paying down my school debt & saving for a trip abroad!!!

Don't get me wrong, it was challenging throughout the month and this weekend. And many deep-seeded, difficult emotions came up, but it was good to observe them and move through it and really feel what was there.

This is a bit of a paradox: Expansiveness from Contraction... and a buzz kill for people who think that they just focus on making more money to solve their overspending problems. (Under-earning and overspending are two separate issues that require totally different approaches.) Budgeting is a good dose of reality for people who are stuck in magical thinking... no judgment, i have been there too. Sometimes its hard as hell to look at this stuff, but to look at it everyday is soooo vital to moving through the muck.

May we grow and realize we are strength and beauty together...

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