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The Philosophy behind Money Surgery.
Being in Control
This site is focussed on people who have a reasonable regular income. People who are unemployed, I'm sure, are already doing everything they can to increase their employability. However, EVERYONE from students to pensioners, can benefit from the ideas in Money Surgery. There are groups who can help with employment on our Contacts page.
The ideas and rules that are the backbone of moneysurgery.co.uk started life back in 1996. We HAD to become DISCIPLINED. We wrote down our bills and our income. We changed our lifestyle a little. We also had to think in terms of priority spending.
Essential purchases included things like lightbulbs, basic washing kit and simple food that was good for our health and our wallet. The rest of the stuff we generally class as essentials were put on hold. The clothes we had already would have to last a bit longer; going out for meals could be cancelled; taxi's here and there could be avoided. How long could that tenner in your pocket last?
EVERY TRANSACTION was written down at the end of the day and totalled at the end of the month to see where it went. This close watch of spending, simple as it is, became the backbone of the philosophy of Money Surgery. It allowed us to TAKE CONTROL of our spending. This process of intense scrutiny allows your own financial "sense" to develop. Your LIFESTYLE will begin to evolve into a lean, fit money-efficient machine. Every penny must be spent wisely and nothing must be wasted. If you HAVE to buy a sofa for example, and your halfway through paying off your debts, buy one that will last and last. Some purchases may be for life, like a solid wood table, and they may be more expensive but they are WISE buys. Invest your money in good products but only when you REALLY have to. And this all starts from writing down what comes in and what goes out.
From simple and written booklets, these diaries evolved into an Excel spreadsheet file. It enabled us to keep tabs on our spending and we entered our transactions into it religiously. It developed and is still kept up-to-date today. We call it the Money Controller.
A month-at-a-glance guide to balancing your budget...
Make it easy to keep tabs on your money with the Money Surgery Money Controller. The first step to coping with debt and expenditure is to take control and watch where every penny goes. A few moments each day will help you track your everyday spending, check your statement and pay bills on time. Money Controller is designed for people to print off, for themselves or others, and fill in by hand, or to fill in using Microsoft Excel. Simply download the file and change the details to suit your own. You could even remove the text, print it off and fill it in by hand.
Here are your four steps to success...good luck!
It has been said that a man lives even with the world when his expenses total HALF his income, while a man grows rich when his expenses amount to ONE-THIRD of his income.
Doctor's Health Warnings:
Consider Things from Another Point of View
(00:20 Thursday 12th May 2005 news story)
Consider things from another point of view, went a song on Radio 1, the other day. How right that is.
A Patient of ours ran into the Surgery yesterday, wailing that "Rover has gone missing".
This actual conversation, as recorded by our reception CCTV for your protection as well as ours, is typical of the way situations can be turned around, depending on your perspective. When in debt and determined to survive without debt, our perception of money has to alter. Spending money on luxury goods isn't a mark of success, even if other people are spending their own money. It's our perception of the act of spending that has to change.
To hold back that cash in your pocket is the goal. Resisting temptations to spend are the marks of achievement. Getting through the month on fifty quid is the new, personal, status symbol. Debt elimination is the only thing that matters, so blinker your view and focus on survival. Fancy cars, fancy holidays and fancy clothes are naturally, normally, aspirational objects, but think of purchasing these things as crazy, stupid, unnecessary.
It's easier than you think to will yourself to perceive the trappings of luxury, however great or small, to be foolish. The Money Surgery Philosophy can be compared with a more spiritual and less possession-orientated way of life. Materialism doesn't necessarily equal happiness, whether you're in debt-focus-mode or otherwise, but if you are going to eliminate debt, think about how things can be turned around, psychologically.
That car is gorgeous: I want one.
Ready to Beat Debt? Then take a different view, with Money Surgery.
(22:00 Monday 14th March 2005 news story)
Imagine this: You have debts, and they are getting in the way; you're working to pay debts and should there be a loss of income, the consequences could be serious. At this point you might make a list of outgoings and income, then a forecast for the remainder of the month until pay day, being honest and giving everything your most accurate estimate. You realise that if you (and your partner maybe) spend nothing, travel only when necessary, use the phone as little as possible, etc., then your spending for the month might be reduced right down to a paltry figure.
This is the basis of the MoneySurgery philosophy. It is in its most extreme sense, to merely exist for a short time, foregoing unnecessary expenses, so that debts can be paid off as quickly as possible. It could be called pure MoneySurgery or extreme MoneySurgery.
Think about the term MoneySurgery. Its name was not accidental. It implies a crisis, it implies pain and suffering, an immediate whole-hearted response to an emergency situation. Pure MoneySurgery means cutting-out comfort and luxuries, prioritising where our money goes, channelling it into paying-off those debts. Surgery also describes a review and a refocussing and a chance to regain control of our own money and our own life. To see where every penny goes and to make changes. To be brutal and to waste nothing.
The more extreme the response, the quicker the recovery.
Living like this is extreme. It is, in a way, pure. There are many aspects, of abstinence, of poverty, of discipline, of suffering, even of chastity, that we share with religious beliefs and doctrines. The difference is, all you need to believe in is yourself. Oh, and you'll get your reward on Earth, too. In cash.
Copyright 2000 - 2008 ©Kevin Anthony Jones. All rights reserved.