Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How Not to Rob Peter to Pay Paul

A friend of mine asked me the other day, "How do I NOT borrow from tomorrow to take care of today?" My mind began to come up with several techniques one could use to better handle their finances. I started to think of techniques ranging from:

1. The envelop method in which you take several envelopes and write the name of each expense on an individual envelop. Then as monies come in from your job or business you place the percentage that expense requires, from the total brought in that day/week, into that envelop.

2. The 20% method in which 20% of EVERY dollar you make goes into a Personal or Family Development Fund. That fund is broken down into sub-categories: Emergency, Investments, Entertainment, etc..., that you split that 20% amongst. Of course you may find that the other 80% is not enough to cover your current lifestyle, but it just means you'll need to make a SHIFT in your lifestyle to accomodate the new system.

3. Creating another business that brings in extra income. Though tedious and strict attention must be paid to the business systems, it can be quite lucrative. For example, something simple like a business turning old Photo Albums into digital photos. Thats a business you can start with a $300 computer and a $80 4-in-1 printer/scanner. Charge people $5.00 per photo or less if its a whole book, say $300 for the whole album. It may take some time to do and become proficient at, but thats $300 extra in a week easy with maybe 3 days work at 3 hrs. a day.

4. Cut back a little with every purchase that is not a bill and place that money into a "Do Not Rob Peter to Pay Paul" envelop. When you buy food at the grocery store just get one item less and remember to place that money into that envelop. When you are out for entertianment, just do one thing less. Instead of the $15 steak get the $11 spaghetti. Then remember to place that extra $4 in that envelop.

All of the above sound good and are good, but being a firm believer that everything BEGINS WITH YOUR THINKING, I decided to write this article from the perspective of the Mental SHIFT that's required for any of the above to happen. I'll be brief since I've already taken up enough time with the above.

To stay consistent at any of the above you have to SHIFT your thinking. You have to STOP, take sometime out and THINK in detail about the person you really desire and need to BE. Then from that moment on act, with no doubt, as though you are that person. Part of it envolves you repeating to yourself, "I DON'T ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL. THAT'S NOT ONE OF MY PROBLEMS". Say it all day (to yourself) for the next 2 days and you'll find that you won't have to say it any longer. It'll popup in your mind the minute the thought of robbing Peter comes up.

The above strikes a balance between mental discipline and techniques. The more mental discipline you have, the less techniques or systems you'll need to be successful. If you find that mental discipline is just not and will not be your cup of tea, then you'll need to implement several techniques and systems to ensure your success. Either way, there is always a solution.

Now stop being afraid of Paul and leave Peter alone.

Always be found in Joy in Yourself.

Tony Stewart
"Shift: Stop, Think and Be without doubt"

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