Do you make money choices consciously? Deliberately? Are you fully aware of the potential consequences for each financial decision you make or action you take? If you are like most people, your answer is “No, not exactly.”
Back in 2008, my eyes were opened again to the art of “Conscious Choice-Making”. You remember 2008, right? I’ll never forget that year…it marked the first shift in my role as a Financial Advisor. Nearly every day as the stock market and the economy continued their downward spiral, I sat with clients to determine whether they should sell their investments, or “stay the course”. With each client that posed that question, my response was “have you fully considered the consequences of each choice?” My response was most often met with a blank stare, a pause, and then they would ask “well, what do you mean?”
What do I mean? Here’s what I mean–when you are faced with making a choice, of any kind, understand that the choice does not have to be made quickly or in haste. In fact, financial and non-financial decisions made from a place of panic, haste, or fear almost always disappoint. Why? Because the potential consequences were never identified or considered. You weren’t operating in the present moment. Those clients that took a deep breath, examined each potential outcome for each choice, made better decisions. By quieting their fears, they were able to stay focused and present. The majority of my clients that made their choices “consciously”, experienced investment recovery more quickly. They felt confident and secure which also created more ease in dealing with other areas in their life.
Recently I have noticed an increased demand for money management tools such as, budgeting worksheets, software and/or cash flow programs. I’m not surprised at all! When you are fully aware of your cash flow (money-in, money-out) and you live by a budget, you are living the art of Conscious Choice-Making. Budgeting teaches you a significant lesson in mindfulness and foresight. By telling each dollar where to go, you create the opportunity to see every choice and its potential consequence. End result? Ease, confidence, trust.
If you have never created a budget or cash flow worksheet before, or it’s been a long since you last had one, no worries— just remember my mantra…
Mindfulness will keep you present. Be patient in your efforts to create a budget, take your time, there’s no rush. Stick with it! Don’t give up! Persevere! If you need to revise, that’s ok, just do it! Foresight is created by considering the consequences of each choice. Trust in the process and you will find greater ease and confidence…with money, and life!