Money is “conscious,” which is to say, I make financial choices that reflects my values and awareness. When you make financial choices that honor your values, you can gracefully navigate the new economy in good times and bad. Conscious money begins with you. Not with your wallet, savings, home, possessions, or stock portfolio. It starts with your values, and with your state of consciousness about money.[i]
Choose your top values, i.e., accountability, creativity, freedom, hard work, hope, independence, integrity, love, loyalty, respect, security, simplicity, success, truth, wisdom, to name a few. How we hold our values powerfully influences our actions. If you honor integrity over success, you won’t feel the need to lie in order to do well in life. When you know what you stand for, you possess the clarity to take steps, including financial steps, that are congruent with your values.
Personal finance covers many different topics such as financial planning, budgeting, debt elimination, real estate, investing, estate planning, savings, financing education, wealth creation, and more. “Wealth” means the money that remains when you deduct expense from income.
Some basic principles of personal finance:
- Live below your means. The old expression “live within your means” has given too many people permission to spend every peso they earn.
- Save - early and often. “Pay yourself first” is an old but excellent adage.
- Be fully conscious about your expenses. Know what they are, and be certain that they reflect your values and priorities.
- Have a clear financial goal. Find the needed discipline with a vivid picture of what you want and why you want it. Know your goals.
Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, said that wealthy people create their great fortunes primarily with “Thought” and “Definite Major Purpose.” These success elements are “goals.” First, he says, write out “your idea of success” and “major financial desire.” Your success, he emphasizes, depends on your “definiteness of purpose.” To achieve your goals, the power of your will – which is naturally activated – is when heart and head are in harmony. In goal setting, it’s important to have an end date, a “by when,” because it gives you a framework for your subsequent choices. For example, you might say, “I have no savings right now. I want to have P10,000 in the bank six months from now.” That statement covers point A and B and your timeline.
Let’s put your goal into action. Six months is about twenty-four weeks. You need to average at least P417 per week in savings. To achieve your desire, you might entertain several possibilities. Two immediately come to mind: reduce your expenses by P417 per week or grow your income by the same amount.
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