Getting real about your needs

Mummy is in love with daddy

These words fill my heart with joy. This is all I wanted to know, to feel, as a little girl. We want to give our children what we never had. And now I have. This is normal for my daughter. Never,ever has she, would she doubt it. How truly wonderful, that security of love.

When getting mindful about money, honesty is where it’s at.

Honesty can be hard. It can make you feel sick to your stomach. Like hyperventilating. Like running as fast as you can.

But boy does it work in clearing space for ease, growth and possibility. Because, I have found, living less than the truth eats away at our energy.

I have been practicing it this year – with mixed “results”. I find that honesty is best received by those who are willing and able to be honest themselves. The greater their disconnection from themselves, from their feelings, their truth, the harder it is to have mutual honesty.

But we can ALWAYS start, right now, with being more honest with ourselves. In a way that’s all that really matters. Because when we are honest with ourselves we know what’s what, there’s nothing filed away in a scary box labelled “denial”, which haunts our dreams with its shape shifting tendencies.

This is what we did before we shifted into our new work-balance and Mr Dreaming Aloud left the security of his old job.

We did the sums. And we figured out there were all sorts of things we would need to cut for the year. But we could cover all the biggies. And hoped that in future years we would be able to expand our earning capacity to allow a little more breathing space.

So let’s turn the lights on your money. There are whole books devoted to this. If that’s what you want, great.  But I suggest you spend 20 mins just making notes now. 

If you don’t have a clear idea already – now’s your time to get clear with yourself. Don’t put yourself off by being anal and having to find every last receipt, but make a note of all your big financial commitments:

What do you owe: in loans, mortgages, insurance, car payments?
What do you need to pay for: power, fuel, school fees, taxes, food, basic transport, to keep shoes on everyone’s feet and clothes on their backs. etc.
Now you have a baseline of what you NEED.

Now make a list of what you WANT – these are basic wants for your general happiness – say a family meal out once a month, swimming, £20 on your cell phone a month…

And finally luxuries – a foreign holiday, massages, pedicures, expensive clothes etc

Now one person’s needs are another persons luxuries. It is personal. But it’s good to know this about yourself – what do YOU consider a basic need rather than a luxury.

As I said, we did this, I shaved every single “luxury” I could off our needs – off went going to friend’s weddings and wedding presents, my book habit, paying extra off our mortgage, the chiropractor and acupuncture, and eventually health insurance, dinners out, fewer bottles of wine…

We entered this experiment, of choosing work we love and shared childcare over a better paying job that made us all miserable. We chose abundance over wealth. So each time we know we can’t afford something, I remind myself of what we have chosen instead.

On paper we would be in one of the lowest income brackets. But oh my the abundance we have. And that is why we’re not poor. We have a strong community of friends, family and acquaintances and a culture of non-monetary interactions within that. We are blessed with a vibrant life in a beautiful location.

And you know what? We do have luxuries. New jobs find us. We find other ways – I top up my reading habit with requesting all the new releases I want to read for free as a book reviewer. I got our family a festival ticket via my work. We are using supermarket points in exchange for our ferry tickets…
There is abundance, possiblity, everywhere. We have to see it. To open our eyes for other ways to meet our needs. Other luxuries to enjoy. And then open ourselves to receiving them.

PS

I am excited to see this interview series Teaching What we Need to Learn which starts on 15th May – it is all about truth telling. It is big names being real – telling the truth behind their lives -Ram Dass, Don Miguel Ruiz, Byron Katie and many more. All for free.

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