If you’ve ever watched a cooking show, you may have noticed that the cook has his or her ingredients all measured out (usually with the seasonings in adorable mini ramekins) and within reach. Some of you will recognize this preparedness and that it is based on a French phrase “Mise en place”, which basically means “Have what you need on hand, be prepared.” It is this phrase that inspired me to write today.
Our “I HATE Budgeting Support Group” participants often grapple with money avoidance, so I can only assume more people suffer from it. In Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance, she writes about setting aside a special day or two per month to deal with your money.
Make yourself a lovely cup of something, get out nice pens (that work and write well) and pencils (with sharp points and full erasers), maybe some flowers and/or a candle, put on some pleasant music etc. Create a positive atmosphere so you can create a positive connection to managing your finances. I would also have your tools ready: checkbook (if you’re old fashioned) or computer or mobile device (charged & clean, and consider creating a special folder in your email for all of your financial notifications so they are all in one place when you’re ready). Mise en Place.
Perhaps create an affirmation such as, “I am managing my money wisely,” or, “I am able to make good decisions.”
Good management is better than good income. – Portuguese Proverb
I give you permission to make mistakes and permission to forgive yourself (and others). Fix, learn, move on.
Determine what’s working and what’s not working in your finances. This is considerably more difficult if you’re married or in a significant relationship (my friend and colleague Adrienne Rothstein Grace refers to this as “financial intimacy”) because two people naturally have two different perspectives. Try to reach a common ground and set a common goal. Unless and until you understand your financial situation and commit to improving it, you will continue to do what I call “wander and squander” and then no one’s happy.
Mise en place = financial peace.
Photos courtesy of ClipArt