Starting in the month of June, I am going to pick a book and distill its information into digestible chunks. There are so many books and tools out there that provide great insight into a variety of topics. Many of us just don't have time to read or are overwhelmed by the content. My goal is to break down the ideas from some of these great books so that it results in small actions that become bigger ones over time.
For this month, I will be breaking down the Principles of "The Energy of Money" by Maria Nemeth. It is from 1997, but I find its content still relevant. Starting next week, I will break down 3 Principles from the book on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and post them at around 5PM ET. Each Principle will ask that you take some action in order to fully harness the "energy of money." I will summarize the Principle, add my personal thoughts to it, then provide an Action Item under each post. The Action Item will be based on the book's exercises and may be modified slightly in context of today's current events. Whether we realize it or not, money is prevalent in the 16-20 hours that we are all awake. Money is a very powerful energy that dictates how we live our lives. If we do not acknowledge its power, we are left suffering in its wake.
Why am I doing this? Financial security is a means to living the life that you want and deserve to have. Many of us,however, have not realized this. Many still live paycheck to paycheck. I was one of those people. I earned money and spent money left and right. I had a college loan, high rent, a car loan and spent money going out each weekend. It seemed like I was living the life, but honestly, I was withdrawing and borrowing money from high interest credit cards just to make ends meets.
On December 26, 2010, I totaled my car in a freak accident after I had just paid it off a few months earlier. I felt like I had an out of body experience when it happened because I can see myself watching my car slowly burn as the snow fell slowly. I was grabbing all of my Christmas presents out of the trunk of my car yelling "my car, my car". My dad, who was the first person I called when it happened came immediately. As the fire truck came and the firefighters ripped the front of my car to extinguish the fire, my dad just kept telling me, "It's ok, it's just a car. You are ok!" But I was devastated! My first large purchase gone in an instant. Thankfully, my support system: family, friends and my wonderful boyfriend (now my husband :) ) helped me deal.
Once I filed the insurance reports, I learned I was getting a significant payout as my car was still in excellent condition. I used the money I received from the insurance company to pay off credit card and student loans. Shortly, I accepted a higher paying job and used some money I earned in stock from the last job to pay off additional loans. In the process, I also started to realize that I didn't need all of the stuff I had and also began to sell items I had not used on eBay. Fast forward to now, I can confidently say I have an emergency fund setup, a travel fund, a house fund and I contribute consistently to a few retirement accounts. It took years, but the feeling of having this security is priceless right now as I pursue other things in life.
Thus started my journey and my quest to learn more about money, personal finance, investing, minimalism and eventually zero waste. There was a lot of "Aha" moments and many of it began by looking at things in a different way.
The book I have chosen for this month goes into the psychological and spiritual aspect of money because in the end, money is a force to be reckoned with. It is something that we need regardless of what kind of life we want to have. By being honest with ourselves, we can position ourselves to use the energy of money to power our dreams.
You become old before your time when you trade your dreams for illusions of security, huddling in your familiar huts and ruts, not venturing forth in your hero's path.
Maria Nemeth, Ph.D. (The Energy of Money)
Before we start this journey together, I ask that you get yourself a journal. Grab one that inspires you to pick it up everyday. It doesn't have to be fancy. Write on the very first page, in big, bold letters "Your Name" followed by "Book of Dreams, Goals, and Thoughts." Fold the next five pages so that they remain blank. It is important that we start writing down our thoughts and not let it hang in the air.
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I am expanding on the ideas from the book "The Energy of Money" by Maria Nemeth, Ph. D. I will be quoting specific areas in the book that I find valuable and meaningful. For additional references, please check out the book or check out the following sites: http://theenergyofmoney.net and http://marianemeth.com