Bills, bills, bills! That’s all you see. And here it is tax-season, which for some lucky people might mean a refund, but for you all it means is worry.

You’re a perfect bear at home, all you do is stomp around and grumble. Or that’s what you’re doing when you’re not completely depressed staring at the pile of bills. All you can think about is “I never have enough money,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “Why is everything so expensive.” You’re tired of hearing yourself complain, heck even the family dog is tired of hearing you complain, but what are you supposed to do? It’s true!

Well, it may be true, but it’s only part of the truth. The whole truth is, money can flow into your pockets, just as it flows out. You are so focused on the “money flowing out” portion of the equation that you are virtually blind to money flowing in. Perception is a very strange thing. We tend to perceive what we are focused on, what we are interested in. Out of the endless information we are bombarded with in any given day, you only actually let in the information that is of interest to you. If you love cars, you notice where all the auto shops are in town, you spot that new sporty whatever zipping along, you pay attention to the car commercials. If shoes are “it” for you, not cars, a hundred ads for cars could be in front of your nose, and all you’d notice is the one shoe commercial buried in the midst of it.

So it is with money. Money is just as capable as flowing to you as away from you. It’s a matter of focus. Instead of gluing your attention to the dollars going out, start noticing and valuing the dollars coming in! Deliberately turn your focus to noticing all the many opportunities there are to make and or save money. You will begin to perceive a whole host of ways to increase the abundance in your life.

So you notice when the telephone companies vie for your business, and shop for a less expensive phone plan. You introduce your family to the joys of hiking or making a scrapbook together rather than spending the day at the Mall. You make yard sales and thrift shops a journey of discovery. You realize you can barter your services for some of what you need. You are open to more and more sources of abundance.

Now, notice I didn’t say “dollars,” but rather used the word “abundance.” This is because if you are strictly looking for actual money, i.e. an increase in the number of dollars in your wallet, you are likely to miss the many ways in which you become “richer” without the direct involvement of dollars. For example, if a friend invites you to lunch, you just became “richer” by one lunch. If they’re handing out free preview movie passes at the supermarket, you just became “richer” by a pair of movie tickets. When you can barter your ability to tutor the neighbor’s child into their babysitting for you, you just became “richer” by a babysitting session.

As you pay more attention to increasing the inflow of abundance rather than bemoaning the necessary outflow, your anxiety will decrease. You’ll feel more in charge of your life, less like you’re out there swinging in the wind, at the mercy of all and sundry. You recognize that you have a lot more control over your finances than you realized. Your mood improves and your general enthusiasm for life grows.

The more you start thinking in terms of increasing the flow of good things in your life, the more you’ll perceive the opportunities to make that happen. It’s all a matter of focus.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., known as "Dr. Noelle" to her clients, is a respected psychologist, consultant and author. Her most recent books is "The Power of Appreciation: The Key to a Vibrant Life" (with co-author, Jeannine LeMare Calaba, Psy.D.; Beyond Words, 2003). For more than a decade, she has helped people live happier, healthier lives with her "compassionate psychotherapy." Dr. Noelle welcomes your comments via email ( You can visit Dr. Noelle anytime at