The habit of swiping my credit card and spending money tends to get a little out of control and mindless at the end of the year. Spending money is just another excess of the holiday season. But, the consumer haze has to clear at some point. There’s nothing quite as sobering as when the first credit card statement arrives after the holiday spending season!
To recover from this financial hangover, I choose to be conscious of my cash in January. It’s a practice I’ve employed for several years to get me reconnected with my money and reestablish a healthy relationship with it.
In January, I only spend paper money, cash or checks, with a few exceptions. (I continue to use my card for necessary expenses, limited to groceries and gas). This allows me to ground and reconnect with financial energy (or lack there of) in the new year.
While credit and debit cards are convenient and, used wisely can offer some benefit, there is a certain disconnect from the energy of the funds when they are used. There’s something about holding a finite number of bills in your pocket that helps you to refocus. When there is a limited amount to spend, a little more thought is put into purchases. Do I really want to spend $5 on a latte or should I save it, and put it towards a movie this weekend with my kids? Should I order lunch, or use up the leftovers in my fridge?
Additionally, I like to think about how hard I’ve had to work to earn the funds I’m spending. If I need more than is available on hand, I think twice before writing a check or withdrawing more. Taking the time to stop and ask these questions and really think about money in terms of an energy flow helps to reestablish a healthy respect for it.
So, if you feel a little disconnected from your dollars I encourage you take on a similar practice. If unconscious spending is not an issue, where can you create more connection? Look for anything that has become automatic, desensitized, mundane, or mindless, and establish a conscious mindful practice to help you reconnect. It’s your energy, you work hard to earn it, spend it wisely!