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Mindful : December 2018
From The Art of Money by Bari Tessler © 2018. Excerpted with permission of Parallax Press. Note: Your Comfortable Lifestyle will include all of the expenses from your Basic Needs tier, plus any additional expenses that come into play for you at this level; likewise, the Ultimate level will include everything from your Com- fortable Lifestyle, along with additional items. Keep referring back to the feelings, defini- tions, and included items you came up with a few moments ago. Consider what additional expenses you’ll include at each level, and do your best to esti- mate what they might be. Once you’ve listed everything out, total up your expenses for each of the three tiers, and calcu- late your average monthly expense. COMPARE INCOME AND EXPENSES Once you have expense totals for each tier, it’s time to calculate your monthly income. Some people have a set, predictable salary each month, which makes this calculation delightfully simple. However, if your income fluctuates over the course of the year (whether you freelance, own a new business, wait tables, or shift income streams peri- odically), just use your best estimates. Take a breath, take your time, and do your best with what information you have. GET HONEST: WHAT LEVEL ARE YOU LIVING? Now that you have your average monthly income, compare it to the num- bers for your map. Is your planned income enough to meet your Basic Needs level? If so, wonderful! Are you actually living at your Comfortable or even Ulti- mate level? Some people don’t like what they see when they compare their income and Three-Tier Money Map. You might find that your current income doesn’t cover your Basic Needs expenses, or that you’re light years away from living your Ultimate lifestyle. It is very easy to feel discour- aged here. Remind yourself that you’re looking at these numbers so you can start making positive changes. Honor any feelings that arise with as much compas- sion as possible. CELEBRATE! Once you have all of your numbers in front of you, do a body check-in. Hug your- self: You have just taken a huge step. It is a really big deal to look squarely at your numbers in this way. ● 4 5 6 December 2018 mindful 43