Financial Wellness: An Interesting Side Effect We Discovered

My husband and I recently decided to work on our financial wellness. You may be thinking that finances have nothing to do with your overall wellness, but I strongly disagree. Our finances have a profound affect on us. They allow us to pay for important healthcare; such as acupuncture, massage, or even a visit to the doctor.  Having adequate resources allows us to buy healthy and nutritious food. Money even supports some self care activities such as going on a retreat, vacations, or yoga classes. Even without all the things that having some coin in our pockets can do for us, there is the stress that not having enough cash causes. When the bills seem to out number your income or creditors all calling, the stress level can get out of control fast. High stress levels are not good for us. They can cause anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and other illnesses including unhealthy weight problems. Gaining control of your funds is an important step to your overall wellness.

As my husband and I set out on our journey to financial wellness, we first had to get on the same page. We are grateful for the book, Total Money Makeover; by Dave Ramsey. Dave doesn’t believe in manifestation or the Law of Attraction. Interestingly, I feel it was my focus on manifesting financial abundance, that caused the Universe to bring Dave and his books to my attention. I am happy to agree to disagree with Dave on this point. Total Money Makeover inspired Marty and I to get serious about our finances and we started working on the steps Dave laid out in his book.

All of this was a new to me. I have done spreadsheets for bills and payments due but never made a plan for how to spend the rest of the money. It just never seemed like there was enough of it to worry about. However, not worrying about how to spend the rest caused overspending. This just made matters worse and financial stress higher. We downloaded the app, that has been developed to support Dave’s principles. It is called Every Dollar. Dave wants you to give every dollar coming into your household a home so you know where every dollar is spent. When we initially logged our October spending, we were shocked to see some of the ways that money was escaping from our pockets. There were a lot of little things we were spending money on that, quite frankly, were a waste. Money was dribbling away from us in little insidious ways. It was not big purchases that were doing damage to our bottom line. It was the few dollar here and a couple of bucks there.

Next, we developed a November budget and set forth to follow it as close as possible. It was the first time either of us had ever really budgeted that tightly. There were things that came up that we had to adjust another spot in the budget to expense them from. Everything needed to add up to zero at the end. There were a couple places where we placed too much money and a couple others where we did not plan enough.  In the end, we made it through our first month of budgeting. When we talked about how we felt during this first month of budgeting, we both agreed that we felt more in control of our finances and less stressed. The interesting side effect was, when we got to the end of the month and the next payday, we had some money leftover. It seems crazy but true. Somehow being on a budget, giving everything a home and watching where things were going; not only gave us the feeling of having more money but actually more money.

I am very grateful that my husband is the type of man who is willing to walk this process with me. It is truly a team effort. If you decide to start on a road of finance wellness, I wish you every success. That are many money gurus out there. Maybe Dave is right for you or maybe it is someone else whose process just seems to make sense and be the right tool you need to feel financial well.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! I wish you a lifetime of finding the right financial tools for your personnel wellness, as if by magic. Just as mine came to me.

*Photo taken in Rome, Italy

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There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps.

Since I ask you to join me in 90 days of daily meditation adventure, I though I would provide you with a review of some helpful tools. On my Join Us On This Adventure, I also included a link to my blog, 9 Ways to Improve Meditation.  Today I am offering you my insight on 6 meditation Apps. There are many meditation Apps out there so I randomly selected 6 to try. Below is a brief look at what I learned about each one. 

10% happier: The Facilitator suggests that you sit in a dignified posture. I really liked how that sounded. It gave you the option to choose meditation from 3 minutes to over 25 minutes. It is also very reassuring, that it is normal for the mind to wonder but when you notice it has, bring it back to the breath. This App is free, unless you choose to upgrade to premium which is $14.99/month or $99.99/year. Provides you a daily reminder. 

Headspace: It compared your thoughts to cars in traffic. A very interesting analogy. With this App you can chose 5 or 10 minutes for meditation. There is a little lesson before each meditation. The Facilitator has a loverly accent.  After the introductory 10 sessions, it is $12.99/month or $94.99/year. Provides a daily reminder.

Breathe: This App lets you rate how you are feeling and then gives you a few meditations to choose from. You can choose a woman’s or  man’s voice to guide you through the experience. The one I tried was a “5 senses” meditation, Here they talked you through your 5 senses, one at a time and help you focus in the here and now. This App is free, unless you choose to upgrade to premium which is $9.99/month or 58.99/year. Provides a daily reminder.

Simple Habit: This one allows you to pick a topic for your meditation from a pretty impressive list. I chose weight loss. This App is free for a month and then $7.99/month. It tracks your meditations for you and lets you choose between 5,10, or 20 minute meditations. It connects you with your Facebook friends and can create a community. Provides a daily reminder.  This one was my least favorite because I felt it was too pushy about signing you up for a subscription to the App. 

Insight Timer: This one also has a wide variety of meditations to choose from. There are very short meditations (3 minutes) to longer meditations (1 hour). I chose a 5 minute meditation called Weight Loss and Your Beautiful Body. I was shocked when the Facilitator used a cuss word. Not that it offended me but just because it surprised me. Even with that it was still a very positive and uplifting meditation. I did not see any cost on this App. Provides a daily reminder. 

Meditation Studio: This one has a free starter series for beginners. I like their analogy of the mind as a puppy, because it will wonder off, just bring it back with a smile. The beginner meditation was a bit longer than 10% happier or Headspace but was very supportive and relaxing. After the starter series this App is $7.99 month or $49.99/year. I didn’t see an option to set up a daily reminder. 

These Apps are not necessary to use but they maybe a helpful tool for you. Especially if you are new to meditation, They provide some instruction and insight into the practice of meditation. I do like that most offer a reminder to help you remember to make your meditation a part of your self care priorities. Along with these Apps, there are also many YouTube videos that offer various levels of meditation, from beginning to experienced. As we start on this journey together, I think it is best to go out an experiment and find the technique and meditation type that are most helpful for you. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a transformative and effortless meditation practice. 

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