Guest Guru: WeAreGoodkin – Zen of Family Finances

Zen of Family Finances

By Pamela Goodchild of as posted on

Zen to me means serenity, peace, grace and harmony. My home financial life and office were anything but that; they were a confusing, disorganized mess. When I wanted to find a bill to pay, know how much money was in my bank account, implement a savings program, find the check for deposit, etc., it was a disaster.

Anxiety, fear, procrastination and the scary monsters underneath it all were my oppressors. I wanted Zen…joy, clarity, focus and intention to drive my family finances.

My family is “Oliver” (my dog), my two mothers (Oliver’s grandmas) and myself. Some of you may have partners and kids you can put to work helping you, this was not the case for me. I had to face my financial fiasco by myself, and in doing so, I grew from it.

The old mantra of “I’ll put that away later” was no longer working for me. Realizing I had to change, I looked to find ways to trick myself into at least doing what I needed to do to get the job done, but since I wanted Zen, there would be no more trying, forcing and failing, I took a deep breath, said the serenity prayer, meditated on my heart and mind being open to guidance, and, became willing. And then, as it often happens, the inspiration and ideas came easily and gracefully.

Thoughts of joy, cheer and fun came to me. What if I actually liked it? I just might do it and stick to it. How could that be? I started with the equipment and committing to a half hour a day until it was ready.

• I bought a Lateral Filing Cabinet in a fabulous retro green at a garage sale (one that I knew I would like to look at and use), for current files. I also bought storage boxes at the office supply store, in a bright color that made me smile, for previous year’s paperwork.

• I labeled my storage boxes printing them large and boldly on white paper in my favorite text from my computer, “Office Paperwork – 2009”, etc., then I taped one on each end and the top with heavy shipping tape to protect them.

• I took out all the items that did not belong from my office.

• Next, I separated all paperwork by year. Since I prepared my storage boxes first I could put each year directly into it’s box, saving time and energy.

This beginning opened up my space in ways I did not know were possible, physically and energetically. Ever so slightly, I am living Zen, enjoying my cabinet, boxes, the process and of course, getting the project done. It was ½ hour every day for almost 2 weeks to complete this stage.

Let’s get the Zen into your Family Finances too! Make a date with yourself for at least 2 hours a week. When that is done, come back for Part 2 and I will share how my current paperwork got into that beautiful filing cabinet. I really love taking care of my office now, and my family finances are manageable!

How is the state of your finances? Are they a mess, or are you channeling Zen in your own office? Let us know your thoughts, concerns, tips and ideas when it comes to managing the family finances!

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