If your practice is ever interrupted by financial worries, then you need to do something about it. Yoga asana and meditation are practices that are designed to calm us down and find a sense of freedom from earthly matters, leading to peace of mind. But, if you feel anxious over your personal financial situation, then all the yoga and meditation in the world is not going to fix it.
You might say, “hey, what about The Secret or the universe will provide…” but I say, “hey, be practical”! Unless you are a sadhu living in a cave, who has given up all things worldly, you have financial obligations. In Book One of the Yoga Sutras, Master Patanjali tells us, “vritti sarupyam itaratra,” when we are not in a state of yoga, we identify with our thoughts. These thoughts of financial worries can be overcome by applying techniques from the yoga practice – presence, awareness, focus – to your financial life and things will fall into place.
When reviewing someone’s financial situation, the first thing I do is a cash flow statement. I don’t just do the math in my head; I use a pencil and paper or an Excel spreadsheet. From there I can make a plan. And so can you.
Create a Cash Flow Statement
A cash flow statement shows you what you earn and what you spend your money on. Add up all of your sources of income in one column. In the next column, list everything you spend it on. This includes rent, mortgage payments, food, entertainment, clothing, Starbucks, magazines, online shopping, charitable donations, savings, paying off credit cards, whatever, you name it. If it is a challenge to recall how you are spending your money, keep track of every dollar you spend every day for a week. It will become crystal clear.
Next, add up both columns and subtract what goes out from what comes in. Voila! Now you know; it is there for you in black and white! You either have a surplus, you are breaking even, or you are running at a deficit. Whatever the answer is, now you know and you can adjust your spending from there.
Make A Plan