One of the bedrock tools of The Prosperous Heart, my new course on money and prosperity, is a tool called Counting. Counting is very simple: record every penny in and every penny out. To begin, purchase a small notebook that you can carry with you everywhere--- and every time you spend money-- or earn money-- record it. That means large expenses-- like paying your rent-- and small expenses, like buying a newspaper. It means large amounts of money in--like your monthly paycheck-- and small amounts of money in-- like the dime you find on the sidewalk.
Every penny counts.
Counting puts us in touch with our true spending-- and our true values. I found that I had an expensive Starbucks habit. "What? $40 a week in Chai Lattes?" But there it was, in black and white, and in being honest with myself, I was able to adjust my spending to more accurately reflect my values.
Counting is a very powerful tool. Although it may feel shocking in the beginning, it always brings us clarity-- and very often more money, as well.