Money Drunk Money Sober: Steps I have taken to resolve financial problems in the past

For this current time period, I am working through Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan’s book Money Drunk, Money Sober before I work through the Prosperous Heart. The following blog entries are in response to prompts and experiences from the book. I see this as an extension of my Artist’s Way work. Some of my entries are jarring and highly personal – any program of sobriety and self-improvement demands admitting dysfunction both personally and in family, and it also calls to admit some painful truths. While not everything I work on appears here, a number of realities do. I have a genuine body of work thanks to my work on the Artist’s Way program, and I can’t ignore the changes the continual commitment has brought about. Because of that, I also can’t ignore what going further into the harder aspects of the program – like facing money issues – has the potential to improve.

Things  done to resolve financial problems in the past:

  • After my divorce and following illness – credit counseling. It was hard, but it made my life a LOT better.
  • Subscribing to Money magazine and reading cover to cover every month (this was in fact very helpful. More helpful than reading Kiplinger’s.)
  • Reverse budgeting – I subtracted every bill I knew was coming in a given month and operated on my finances from there.
  • SmartyPig – I used it to deduct a small amount of money every month one year so when Christmas season came around, I wouldn’t struggle to have something to give my family. I’ve come to realize my gift-giving enhances my family’s abusive behavior cycle, and that it also prevents me from using the money to fulfill needs my family never will. So I’ve stopped that.
  • Paying myself first and last – I built savings by rolling money into a savings account at the beginning and end of a pay-and-spend cycle.
  • The smallest bill first trick. Paying off the smallest bills and working my way upwards, rolling the payments from the prior bill into the payment of the next bill, worked really, really well for me.
  • Cutting out all credit. I use it in conjunction with my partner, but for my own projects I do not take out loans or use credit cards.

At least nowadays kids with parents that care can roll college funds into Keough accounts. It’s no guarantee, but it’s something.

The new thing I’m going to do this week entirely on my own: make a notation in my iWallet program about my reason for a given purchase, and a note about my emotional state. I think accounting my emotional motivations will give me a much better handle on my financial choices.

Filed under: Money Drunk Money Sober