You may think that boning a duck is an impossible feat. And the whole procedure can take as long as 45 minutes the first time because of fear. Don't be afraid. Take your knife, confront the duck – Julia Childs on deboning a duck
Perhaps people want money to be mysterious because if their money woes or triumphs are out of their hands then they do not need to make the effort to understand the principles of money or to make changes to their personal habits. Some people are just lucky, after all…right? Personally though, I like to research and analyze things. Sure it takes the mystery out of it, but it puts me in a position where I feel more in control. If I know how something works, then I can participate and at least attempt to stack the outcome in my favor.
Taking control of your finances is one surefire way to rip the curtain out from the great and powerful Wizard of Money and feel like you have more control in your life. Money is not everything, but many facets of our lives are touched by money, and many decisions are made based upon whether or not we have enough of it. Whether or not money has power is in the eyes of the beholder (or in the eyes of those who behold nothing), but one thing is for sure: people have power over things in their lives, even over their money.
Unblocking Mental Obstacles with Education
I have found that when something seems too complex and ‘sticky’, I develop a mental obstacle around dealing with it. Instead of diving in head first—my typical response to new and potentially scary things—I create these scenarios in my head about how things could go wrong. Then I wake up one day a few months later and lament the amount of time that has lapsed since I had wanted to get something done. Even though I love finances, I have felt this mental obstacle in several areas: refinancing our home (still working on this), putting together a will/trust (have not started), and preparing our taxes for last year with several unique situations (have successfully figured this one out by sitting down and making the necessary phone calls for information). In each case, I find that the mental obstacle I have created dissolves once I research the scenario and find the right people to answer my questions.
Be Aware of Money’s Coming and Goings
Despite what some may think (or despite what it may feel like), there is not a greedy gremlin out there taking money from you each month. Money, in fact, does not burn a hole in your pockets and escape without your notice, and it also does not grow on trees for a lucky few. Whoever has access to the paychecks in your household also holds the key to the spending and saving or lack thereof. Becoming aware of what comes into your checking account and what leaves it is very important in the process of taking the mystery out of money as two plus two still equals four, and four minus six means you are in the negative. At the end of the day, it is you and your family who is spending. This should issue you a sigh of relief as this means that it is within your power to put a cork on the drains and save more of your money.
Be Controlling in Your Relationship with Money
Being controlling in a relationship generally does not work. But being controlling in your relationship with money can work wonders. Don’t just take the fact that money tends to slip through your floorboards lying down. Whip your money into shape by giving each dollar a reason to be in your life. Allocate an amount to be spent in each category of your life, and don’t allow a penny more out the door. Own your money.
I could never, and would never, guarantee that by doing the steps above you will be prosperous and rollin’ in the Benjamins. However, by taking the time to understand the mysteries of money (I believe compound interest was dubbed the eighth wonder of the world) you put yourself back into the driver’s seat. Being in control means that you must accept responsibility for both the good and the bad. But by taking responsibility instead of blaming the problem on the unfavorable color you wore that day or on the fact that you picked up that dime in the parking lot last week tails up, you are in a position to learn from the mistake and move on to better and more prosperous things. Subsequently when good things happen with your money you can own some of that credit and be more confident in your dealings with finances moving forward than if you thought it was just a bout of luck.
You may think that understanding money is an impossible feat. And the whole procedure can take as long as 45 minutes the first time because of fear. Don't be afraid. Take out your checkbook, confront your money – what Julia Childs might have said if she had taken up banking instead of cooking