7 Steps to Financial Harmony Through Self-Love and Awareness

As a reformed Debt Diva, I have had my share of collection calls, notices to disconnect andplenty sleepless nights all in the name of looking good, feeling accepted and in- the- know. Being in the Fashion Industry, it has privileged me to see consuming debt is deeper thanaesthetics. It’s about filling a void that is best explained in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As Iponder what it takes to reach financial peace its more than just budgeting, bank reconciliation and the cutting of credit cards. Its self love, a strong “why”, and being aware of your true needs that put you on the path to financial peace. Financial peace has to occur before you can beginto build wealth. Here is how to get started:

1. Mind your business.

Change your perception of money and what it will do for you… Nothing will change if yourthoughts don’t. If you see debt as a mountain you will never want to repay it, but if you see it asa dream blocker your why because stronger so that action will proceed. Money is plentiful tothose who see money as a tool to fuel their dreams.

2. Love never fails.

Ask yourself if I am spending in honor of my values, dreams and goals or am I honoring mywants, other people’s perception of me, or am I filling a void? When you begin to ask honestquestions the result is your heart will cultivate honest answers, then real actions take place. Becoming aware of why we spend excessively will become the driving force in getting it right. Wisdom drives thoughts, thoughts drives emotion and honest emotions drive change.

3. From start to finish.

Analyze where you are financially. Reconcile bank accounts, check your credit, open piles ofavoided letters and return those messages that have filled your voicemail. You cannot reach the finish line until you have equipped yourself with the right tools for the journey. Your journey may only require simple adjustments such as cell phone plan, eating out less, clipping more coupons or it may require a little more maintenance like: making more money, creditcounseling to figure out the best strategy. Know what you need before you begin your quest. Being prepared always ends with a successful outcome.

4. The Journey Ahead

Develop a 3-5 year debt repayment plan. Challenge yourself to get it done within this timeframe. This step is scary as it will open the doors to being even more honest with yourself as what you will need to get to the final destination of peace. When we are faced with an ultimate challenge are creative juices begin to flow, give your mind some homework!

5. Balancing Act

Learn to balance debt and expenses. Step 4 is imperative as it sets you up for this step. Debt is to be included in your daily spending log. Debt and savings should be added as payments nottag alongs. Again this requires a little more honesty on your behalf. You may need to trim backeven further or add additional income to achieve this balancing act. Keep at it no matter if youfall short. Acrobats didn’t walk the tightrope in a day, they fall, got up, fell, got up until the balancing became effortless.

6. The power of “NO”

Use the word “no” more often. After all, it is an actual word in the dictionary. Saying “no” is a word difficult for most women to utter, but it can be the most liberating word you have ever spoken. Boundaries are the necessary evils to accomplish any goals especially as it relates tomoney. Learning to use the word comes with self love, acceptance and becoming more awareof your needs rather than your wants. Saying “no” to a few upgrades, to extra caramel on yourlatte, no to a super size drink can not only trim your expenses your waist line will thank you too.Those small changes can bring your over $500 in a three year period.

7. Embracing the Journey.

Find new ways to occupy your space in the world. Journalize your experience, chances are youhave discovered lots about yourself through this process. Maybe you have found a new passion,new career path, courage to pursue your dreams. Place one foot in front of the other and begindown the road to building wealth.

Marcia Paige is the Founder of MAP Financial Empowerment Group where they empower women to be CEOs of their finances, families and fortunes. Follow the group on Face book fan page Stilettos & Stacks to receive inspirational and action steps to take on money. Jan 2011 MAP will begin Debt Diva’s Anonymous Calls to coach women through everyday financial struggles.

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