Wouldn’t it be great if, in high school, there was a required course for all senior before they graduates that had to do with personal money management and personal finance? Or how about, how to establish and maintain a strong credit report?
Certainly, there’d be billions less of consumer and corporate debt. Certainly, we’d have less dings and demerits on our on our credit reports, and more in savings. Research shows that Americans save, on the average, only 2% of their income, while in other “first world” countries, there’s a double-digit average.
This a few years ago, when I was first designing the curriculum for m y 21-week course, the Mentorship & Manifestation Circle, I decided to include a unit on money management. I created a simple money management framework called the STEPI Approach. Women in the course loved its simplicity, and used it to create a structure and framework for easily managing and allocating their dollars.
Here’s how the STEPI Approach works.
Your incoming chase flow has an assignment that flows into one of five categories in the STEPI model. Each category is a different type of allocation.
Whether you are self-employed, a student, a business owner, a stay-at-home mom, a single mom, or an employee, you can apply the STEPI approach to managing your money. It really works.
Adhere to it for at least five months and watch what happens.
In the STEPI model, here’s what each of the five categories represent.
S = Savings.
(Settle on a set percentage of ALL incoming money that will be set aside, off of the TOP, for savings). The key is “off of the top,” BEFORE a single bill is paid, or cash back is received, or before a single expense is incurred. Recommended range: 5 to 10%. Write your percentage in here: ________
T = Tithes.
A tithe is a tenth. (or ten percent). It supports the spiritual law of circulation and the spiritual law of reciprocity. It is the giving back of money energy to where you receive your spiritual nourishment. This could be your church, your spiritual center, and even your mentor or spiritual teacher, if you have one. Several of my mentees have tithed to me over the years (and still do), and it is one of the most fulfilling and deeply rewarding and moving acts of appreciation I have experienced.
E = Expenses.
In order to direct a specified amount of money to your fixed expenses (set, consistent baseline expenses each month, the amount is unchanging monthly, i.e. mortgage, garbage, etc.) and variable expenses (fluctuating in amount each month), you must be aware of what your expenses are. So you’ve got to get out your calculator and start adding up the numbers. What are your monthly expenses?: _____
P = Play.
This is the fun, relaxing, recreational, light-hearted, energizing or rejuvenating activities that feed your mind, body, and spirit, holistically. Play doesn’t necessarily mirror what you consider entertainment. Play might look like going on a picnic, a massage, purchasing a bouquet of flowers for yourself, rollerskating, dancing, talking a walk by the water. While entertainment can often be passive or require passive instead of active participation. You’re not moving your body or engaging your body. i.e. watching a movie, watching a play, watching TV. If the activity starts with the verb “watching,” then most likely it’s entertainment instead of what I consider to be Play. The point is to designate dollars specifically for play.
And last by not least, the I if for
I = Investment.
And investment provides you with a return on your money. It appreciates instead of depreciates. And it doesn’t only apply, in this case, to financial products and vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, annuities, certificates of deposit, certain forms of life insurance, or real estate, but also to investments in self – self-improvement classes or courses, spiritual growth classes, courses or retreats; returning to school to further your education or take a certain class or get a certain certification; investing in training, or education that enhances your marketability.
Since I really enjoy reading, self-help books and I’m in the personal development field, I consider book purchases an investment in my knowledge and understanding.
So there you have it – the STEPI approach to personal money management. Set your start date and go to it – remember, at least for 5 months. Here’s to your success.