Financial Perspectives

“The only journey is the journey within” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Week Fifteen

This week is about having an accurate picture of your finances. This knowledge of your in-comings and out-goings provides your foundation. By owning this current reality you can more clearly understand what is needed to reach your ideal level of personal wealth and prosperity. For some people, this connection with financial wealth is challenging. As you answer the following questions, come from a place of compassion. There is no right or wrong monetary situation. If you find yourself struggling to answer any of the following questions, consider how you can find out though your contacts or other sources of information. Ask yourself “What is the smallest step I could take to begin to know?” Do you know how your flow of money meets your fundamental needs? By the time you have finished this step your answer to this question will be a resounding YES!

1) Prepare a summary of your expenses over the last month. Include groceries, sports equipment, utilities, furnishings, transport costs, eating out, clothing, electrical equipment, reading materials, pursuit of interests, etc.

2) Read over the following needs:
My Physiological well-being: anything to do with the health of my body. (e.g. nutritious food)
My Security: anything that reduces risk (e.g. car maintenance)
My Belonging: anything that allows you to be part of your community and strengthens relationships (e.g. entertaining)
My Esteem: anything that leads to achievement (e.g. training)
My Self Actualization: anything that is an expression of your inner personal growth

Refer back to your summary of expenses. For each one, identify which need(s) it supports you in meeting. How do you interpret your findings? Are there any expenses that actually counteract your needs, because they are unhealthy, put you at risk, damage your relations, undermine your goals, or personal growth.

3) Needs are defined as goods or services that are required to survive and develop, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Wants are goods or services that are not necessary, but that we desire or wish for. For example, one needs clothes, but one may not need designer clothes. What have you discovered about the contrast between want and needs in your expenditure.

4) How does the acquisition and allocation of money allow you to fulfill your needs (and occasional want)?

7) When you have answered these questions, complete the following threads:
I discovered that …
I intend to …

This inquiry benefits you by revealing expenses that impair your ability to meet your needs. It also reaffirms those cost that you have that do support your needs. There may also be costs that do not appear to be directly related to your needs. These may be wants and may give you options for reducing expenditure.