Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting to the Root of my Money Problems

Ahhh, another week begins.  Another week of my back to the basics challenge.  For those of you new to the blog, this is a challenge where I attempt to get into domestic shape in the hopes that it will help me to accomplish my other professional and community-related goals.  Week three of the challenge has me contemplating my finances since money management is a BIG piece of keeping an organized home.

Now normally when it comes to good money management, the basics are the focus.  Like saving money and keeping a budget and getting out of debt.  And certainly I agree that those things are important.  It's just that after writing last week, I realized that the root of my rather loose management issues wasn't necessarily the absence of those basics, but more a problem of mindlessness.  Mindlessness as in impulsively spending on stuff I fancy, and not paying attention to my receipts, and not being intentional about saving.

The opposite of mindlessness, I suppose, would be mindfulness.  And that is really what I need to work on.  Yes, I can clip coupons and make lists and set budgets.  Yes, I can do all the right things.  But if they don't help me to be more mindful, then I'm essentially treating the symptoms and not the root problem.  

So I guess I'm changing my financial goal.  I no longer want to be a "good money manager."  I want to be a "mindful" one.  The tactics, I suppose, are relatively similar, but the end result is different.

In sum, it is interesting to me that the way we manage our money--which is essentially just a basic domestic chore--probably says more about us than anything else we do.  More than our jobs.  More than our clothes.  More than our talents.  I guess that for me what that means is that I want my money to say that I'm mindful.

That said, I think it's time for some experimenting!  

Don't go far!  Stay tuned later today for my first ever Marketplace Maven, featuring Amanda Blake Soule of Soule Mama!

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