Ahh, it’s Monday again. And instead of getting annoyed that it’s not the weekend I have decided to use Mondays to create a new habit. (As we say, it’s easier to create a new habit then break an old one…preferably with a new habit that makes it hard (or even impossible) to do the one you’re trying to break.)
This month the big habit that I’ve committed to (hopefully for life) is a happy house rules I’m calling #lovingyourfinances or perhaps it’s #respectyourfinances (feel free to weigh in) – although it could be also called ‘stay on top of your finances’ or ‘be balanced’.
In my case this specifically translates into setting aside a very small amount of time every week to do my accounting.
I used to have a very special relationship with accounting. (I’m deliberately talking in past tense, for a new habit to come alive it helps that you disassociate with your old story).
It worked like this:
I got stressed.
A few days before the deadline I panic.
On the deadline (thankfully I have a clever accountant who gives me a deadline before the taxation deadline) I get an email from the accountant. Then my accountant calls.
Then I do my accounting. Only after procrastinating from it all day.
I realised last week I was totally and utterly over this process.
So I created a new habit. I have decided to LOVE my accounting.
Here’s the reality. It is unlikely that I will love the thrill of accounting itself.
If you read this blog regularly you know we like work outside-in – so while it may be a mental leap for me to suddenly love finance admin (I’ve tried, it didn’t seem to work ;) it most certainly is not hard to start doing something differently about it. Money is physical. So why not do something physical about it.
I DO like feeling organised. I do love NOT having my accounting hang over my head. I do love NOT being stressed about accounting or money.
I LOVE not being stressed. I LOVE making a great income because it lets me do things I LOVE like travel and eat in great restaurants (and as my grandfather used to say, paying tax means you’ve made a great income…). I LOVE the time I’m not spending on my accounting.
At the end of the day I know myself. Like exercise, accounting may itself not bring me joy. My accounting being done with ease, freeing me up for fun is what brings me joy.
So I put all these loves together. And allocated a part of my Monday to something I call “Balance Day”.
I’ve also committed to asking my accountant questions. Like, they’re here to help us. Why not just ASK?
So, Balance day for me means:
I spend 20 minutes meditating (another new habit from this year), 20 minutes on accounting (invoices, emails, receipts, email accountant etc) and then I have an activity I call FUN. This can take 1 hour. It could be coffee with a friend. Drawing. Whatever.
My new habit is balancing my accounting which has been draining to me with EASE and FUN.
I’m balancing my books with balancing me.
And who knows, maybe in the process I’ll love finance. In the meantime, I’m sure loving knowing about my financial situation rather than hiding from it.
Do you ignore your finances and accounting? How’s that working for you? Perhaps it’s time for a new habit/s?
And while you are thinking about that, here are two simple habits anyone can do to keep their accounting more easily organized.
1. 12 Envelopes:
Have 12 envelopes. Label them January 2014, Feb….
Have them next to your door / in an easy space. Every day empty your business related receipts into the envelope. Sometime every month, even in front of the tv, put the amounts into a spreadsheet.
Add a stamp and send to your accountant, or file in a safe place.
2. Digital: 12 Folders
Create an acconuting folder. Create 12 subfolders January, Feb…., drag anything into there…
When you sit in front of the tv…print and add to envelope….
That’s your accounting – DONE
Would love to know your thoughts and what new habit this inspired in you!