Sometimes conflict and stress in our relationship and/or finances can be the force that wakes us up to the ways we’re not being honest.

Your wake up call might be not having enough money coming in each month and watching the credit card bills add up.

It might be getting older and knowing you don't have enough money stashed away in retirement savings, or you have an unexpected illness or injury, and no emergency savings to get you through.

It could be the frequent arguing with your partner because you’re not showing up in an honest way in your relationship. Or maybe you’re working too hard and feeling like you can’t slow down enough to enjoy your life.

Anyway, you get the picture. These are just some of the challenges my clients have shared with me.
These challenges are opportunities in disguise. Some people will wake up because of them, and others will talk a good talk, but won’t be willing to change their behavior. It's easy to say: "Yeah, I know I've got way too much debt." My wake up question to you is: What are you doing about it right now?

Take a Fearless Moral Money Inventory

Some of you might be familiar with the 12-Step program, from groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). One of the steps is to take a fearless moral inventory. Becoming financially honest requires you to take a fearless moral and money inventory.

Here's what I mean by taking a Fearless MONEY Inventory:

By taking these 7 steps you can regret-proof your life and begin living a life that not only makes you happier, but also is more in alignment with your business and who you really are.

1. Determine the exact amount of debt you have - today's numbers, not numbers that are a few months old, and not just a vague guess.

2. Record this amount on paper or on your computer, and track your debt amount at least once a month.

3. Set a goal for paying down your debt, with a specific deadline for when you’ll have it paid off, and an amount that will go towards automatic monthly payments.

4. Be honest with your financial numbers. Don’t over-inflate how much you've earned, and - this is a big one: how much you project to earn.

5. Determine how much you take home after expenses, and pay more attention to that number than your gross income amount (the amount of money you make before expenses are taken out), especially if you’re self-employed.

6. Determine your average monthly expenses.

7. Determine how much money you should be putting into retirement and emergency savings accounts.

Here's what I mean by taking a Fearless MONEY Inventory:

Be honest with your partner about how you want to handle your finances, and don’t just "go with the flow" to maintain peace.

• Talk to your partner about your financial situation; find out about theirs.

Take a good hard look at your spending habits. Find out what motivates you to buy. Notice when and if you spend money on things you value, things that support your life, and when and if you buy stuff like junk food and tobacco products and make impulse buys.

• Take a good look at anything that might be holding you back financially. Become aware of any limiting beliefs you have around money, and make a commitment to uproot them.

I hope reading this inspires you to become financially honest. There really couldn't be a better time of year to do this. Financial Honesty is a wake up call, inviting you to an entirely new playing field.

Financial Action Steps:

1. Take a fearless financial and moral inventory. Look at all the things I’ve listed under this section and acknowledge where you currently stand. Identify what you are already doing and what needs to be done.

2. Create a plan for change. Decide when and in what order you will complete this inventory.

3. Share your plan with someone you trust, preferably your spouse. Admit how you’ve handled money in the past, and commit to a new way of doing things.
Congratulations, you're on your way!

Author's Bio: 

Leslie Cunningham specializes in working with women entrepreneurs who experience fear and self-doubt in their ability to consistently make more money in their business. The end result that women achieve through following Leslie's advice and expertise is that they are able to permanently get off the emotional financial roller coaster ride and break into six-figures and beyond.