When I was first trying to get my financial act together, the hardest, MOST HUMBLING aspect was looking at the state of my financial records.
When I am in pain (and ooh boy, was I pain), whether emotional, physical, spiritual – I deny. We have our normal mode of reacting to life but we often react differently when the fight/flight/freeze response is happening. You guessed it, I freeze. I do nothing. I hide my head under the sand. A necessary first step towards financial solvency is to LOOK at your finances. Come clean on them.
It’s hard, baby, I know. But do it, you’ll feel better.
And I know, me saying that won’t necessarily motivate you to do what ya gotta do. Because right now, you may not feel WORTHY of feeling better. Trust me on this. You ARE worthy. Just take my word for it right now.
And stick with me.
Find a System That WORKS
So, it actuality, it took me many variations before I discovered what system worked for me. If you pick a system, you know, you THINK it’s going to work, then try it. But here’s the kicker … do NOT beat yourself up (ie think bad thoughts about yourself) if the system sucks FOR YOU. You don’t suck. The system might, but you don’t.
Systems fail us all the time.
I picked many systems! I’d get all excited and think, “Yeah! This is it! I’m gonna do it!” and I’d forget to use it. That’s where we think WE suck.
Just try something else.
File folders in a filing cabinet – the more colorful the better.
An accordion file (my fave because you can tape Financial Recovery Affirmations to it) (and it’s portable)
Loose leaf binder with dividers
Whatever you choose, it needs to be able to accommodate 8.5 x 11 pages.
There’s no room for shame in owning your money story, which I’ll get to on another post. Soon.
Whatever system you pick, it is a MUST that you start wading through your financial mess. Awareness is healing. Looking at your once-denied financial goodies brings LIGHT to them. The source of that light? You, dearest. And light heals.
So look at your stuff.
Simple Headings Are Enough
Don’t over-complicate. Make a list of your financial obligations.
Credit Card (1) (2) (3), etc. – or better, name them.
You get the idea. Give each item a label in your system.
Gather the Details
This can be the hard part, sweets. You know you have a credit card but don’t even know what the balance is or where the statements are stashed. Just find it all. Sort through your stuff. Clean it up.
It’s okay. It’ll be alright, I promise. Don’t over-think this. You’re just gather the goods right now. No room for shame, no room for judgement. Just gather the pieces of your financial life. If you find yourself going off on a tangent – either in thought or actions – come back to the present and keep going….Breathe…
That’s all you have to do right now. Get them in order. Don’t do anything else with them, just make up the file folders (or whatever) and put the papers in right folder. Don’t worry if they are current or in order. Just stick ’em in. We’ll take a closer look at your stuff later.
Now, do something kind for yourself as a reward. You’re awesome.