In Lesson 3 we gave you some action steps to complete – How did you do? Remember you can always go back and check out the action plan by clicking here. If you need to spend a few extra days on any lesson please understand there are no strict deadlines – only the ones you set for yourself. That is the beauty of getting these lessons in this format – you will have access to them 24/7.
At the end of Lesson 3 we closed with a mention of an important and unique financial strategy that will keep you organized and at peak efficiency. The strategy we are about to unveil is related to the organization of the receipts you are collecting throughout the day.
It was suggested you open a no-cost account with Evernote. If you haven’t done this as yet, now would be a great time for you to get your account at Evernote.com. This is a unique tool which you will be able to use to organize your daily receipts. In fact on your way out of a store you can create an electronic copy of your receipts within seconds, and file your receipts online in one neat spot for easy access later in the day or week.
Let’s take a minute to walk you through the process of creating an online copy of some of your receipts and then organize them with tags for quick access at a later date and/or time:
As of this lesson you should already have accumulated a few receipts to backup your expenses you recorded in your notebook. Here are some steps you need to follow to quickly get your account up and running properly:
Go to http://www.evernote.com
Register for an account [top left, click on "Register"]
Check your email and confirm
Next download the MAC or WINDOWS version of “Evernote”
Restart your browser and sign back in to Evernote
Using your cell phone take a picture of one receipt – if you don’t have a cell phone what about a scanner
Send the image of your receipt to the evernote email address created when you signed up to Evernote
Go to Evernote and you will see the images in your evernote account – here you can add tags to your images so they can be properly organized
For tags it would be a good suggestion for you to create a tag called “Receipts” and then the only other tag needs to be the retailer. IE: Costco, Walmart, K-Mart, Zellers and so on
Now that you have an electronic copy of your receipts in Evernote you need to review your notebook to make sure the entry you recorded in your notebook reconciles to your electronic copy in Evernote. It is recommended you perform this check at a minimum every 2 days. By doing this you can make sure your records are constantly in sync with each other.
In order to properly manage your spending habits you must have up-to-date and accurate records to refer to. As you continue with this practice it will be evident as to where your money is being spent. In fact as you record your expenses and review your receipts, repetitive expenditures will stick in your mind.
When our friend, (we spoke about her in Lesson 3) Melinda, started this project for herself she found it very difficult to keep focused, especially when it came to reconciling receipts to notebook. After some frustration she decided to take our advice and play the healing music composition quietly in the background while she reconciled her receipts and entries in the notebook. Not only did she see immediate improvement in her ability to focus, she also found she gained improved short term memory and was able to recall expenses and the category of these expenses without referring to any notes.
Within 2 weeks she found her spending leak and was able to fix the spending leak, putting $525 back into her own pocket! WOW! The $525 spending leak was a result of:
Buying home renovation magazines, which she rarely finished reading ($75)
Excessive eating out ($225)
Excessive purchases of shoes ($125)
Purchasing non-essential high-fat treats and excessive coffee purchases ($100)
What would you do if you could find an extra $525 every month?
Being able to identify how exactly your money is being spent, once you get over the shock or maybe disappointment, you can start giving some more consideration to the items the money is being spent on and seeing whether you can plug any of the spending leaks. Not only will you feel better emotionally once you regain control of your financial position, but it definitely provides some incredible health benefits – less stress, increases your self-confidence, peace of mind and so much more.
Some common examples of spending leaks are expenses that could be avoided or temporarily postponed like the ones listed below:
When you are thirsty, you go out for soft drinks
Instead of home cooked meals, there is an excess of fast-food meals or take-outs being purchased
You spend far more on snack foods and coffee than you should
Instead of using the library, you over-subscribe to magazines and books
You may spend too much on lottery tickets or gifts
You may not require most of the channels presently on your cable service or all the options that are presently offered with your phone service.
It is important to live within your means and by that we mean purchasing only the things you can afford and “need”. We will be talking a bit more about this in the next lesson. For now go and review the action steps you need to take for todays lesson. Have fun and we will see you in the next lesson.
1) Using the complimentary healing music composition, play this quietly in the background while reconciling your receipts in Evernote to your notebook entries.
2) Have you spotted any spending leaks so far? If so, detail your findings.
3) As you listen to the music envision yourself successfully finding a spending leak worth $100, harness the positive feelings you have as a result of this exercise. As you continue on in these lessons go back to this vision as this will help you to successfully finish all lessons and help you to successfully implement the strategies and techniques we mention throughout these lessons.
See you in Lesson 5