by Miata Edoga
Many of us have rules about all sorts of things. You may have rules about your diet: "Eat only one serving of red meat each week." Or "No caffeine after 6:00 PM." We remember the rules from when we were in school: "Raise your hand to ask a question." "No running in the hallways." Those of us with children probably have LOTS of rules - certainly more than we thought we'd have when we were kids ourselves: "No television until homework is finished." "No sweets until you finish your vegetables."
Rules are designed to create structure and provide a framework for making decisions. We establish and follow rules because we are confident they will make us healthier, safer, more productive and/or more successful.
Here is a critical question. Have you set rules for how you handle your money?
For most of us the idea of "money rules" is probably an entirely new concept. But, if we think about it, doesn't it make sense that we would want to consciously establish guidelines for how we deal with something as critical to our well being as our finances? Some people will no doubt answer "I have rules, because I have a budget," and they would be partially right, as budgeting could certainly be described as setting "rules" for how much money you intend to spend. But the idea of "money rules," as I define them, go far beyond just budgeting, and really establish the parameters for your entire financial world.
To get started, try answering the following financial questions:
What do you consider acceptable uses for your credit cards? Will you pay your charges in full at the end of every month? How often will you balance your checkbook? By what date each month will you pay your bills in order to ensure they are always on time? Will you put money into savings/investments accounts every single month? How much? Do you want to consistently donate to charity?
It is also important that you decide how you will handle your money in terms of the other people in your life. Are you willing to loan money to family members? How about friends? Knowing your thoughts about these questions in advance, can help keep you from feeling emotional or pressured. This is not to suggest that there will not be a particular situation where you might decide to break one of your rules. However, this will be a conscious and extremely well thought out decision.
Rather than being overly restrictive, money rules can also be hugely beneficial for people in committed relationships. They provide you with a valuable opportunity to avoid many financial conflicts, one example of which might be working together to decide in advance how much money each individual can spend without joint discussion and agreement.
Are you ready to firmly commit to reaching your financial goals? Take the time to write down a list of non-negotiable money rules you are willing to follow, and immediately take any actions needed to put these rules into place.
©2009 Abundance Bound, Inc.
Abundance Bound was created to support actors, artists and creative professionals in the development of financial stability and independence. To learn how to begin the journey towards prosperity, register for the free resources available at www.AbundanceBound.com