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You know that you need a buffer in your bank account. So you build that buffer into your checking account. Let's go with $500 for now. But then you see something at the store that you just have to have! And you know you have an extra $500 in your account, so you have some extra money to spend right now. And you make the purchase.
And now you no longer have a buffer in your checking account.
It is really stressful to not have any money in your checking. I know because I've been there.
So I learned to experiment with a thing that I like to call a new zero. What this means is that a different number actually means zero when it comes to your checking account.
This is all a mindset related thing. So in the example above, if your mind isn't on board with the new zero, then you'll always spend your buffer.
I also learned that you have to work your way up to a bigger number. It's not an overnight thing that you can just say that your new zero is $500.
Start with maybe $100 as your new zero.
So every time your bank account gets to $100, in your mind it really means that you have zero dollars available to you.
Then next month, up your new zero to $150. And just keep raising it until you get to your desired number.
The biggest hurdle with using a new zero is actually getting your mind on board. Once your mind is on board, then it's very easy to see $100, $150, even $500 as your new zero.
This works really well for keeping money in your account.
Setting Your New Financial Zero
You want to start small and build your way up to a bigger number as your buffer.
I always suggest to start with $50 or $100 as your new zero.
You have to take the time to reprogram your brain to see this new number as a zero when you see it in your bank account.
Once you get used to having a small buffer, or your new zero, in your account, you can bump it up another $50 of $100.
It usually takes about 1-2 months to get used to the new zero in your account. Then once you are used to having it there, you can change the amount of your new zero to make it greater.
Implications of a New Zero
This is not a new concept. It has been around for years. It's normally referred to as a buffer.
This buffer is there so that if something happens, you forget about a certain transaction, you always have extra money in your bank account to cover any mishaps.
But I changed my thoughts of having a buffer to a new zero, so that way I didn't have to cover any mishaps. I didn't forget about transactions.
I'm human, so this stuff still happens. But it happens very rarely.
When I was growing up, my parents were never able to keep a buffer in their account. And this was one of the money stories that I also picked up.
So for me, I had to reframe the buffer to a new zero because when it was a buffer, it always got spent.
When I changed the name of my buffer to a new zero, it was so much easier for my brain to comprehend that I couldn't spend any money because I was actually at zero.
The brain can be a tricky thing, but once you figure out how to work with yours, instead of against it, things will change very quickly for you.
What You Really Want
At the end of the day, you really want a new zero that is the equivalent of one whole month's worth of bills.
But I know that isn't possible for everyone. There are so many people who live paycheck to paycheck.
This is another reason why I suggest that you need to build this new zero up slowly. It's not always easy to build it up and still make sure all of your bills are covered.
What Can Change For You When You Have a New Zero?
Think about it, what will actually change for you when you have a new zero in your bank account?
Will you be less stressed about money because you know that you actually have money in the bank?
Will you be able to stop buying things you don't really need?
Will you be more conscious of your financial decisions?
Will you find more ways to make more money?
What do you see happening for you when you have a new zero in your bank account? What is going to change for you financially and mentally?
My answers to these questions are going to be different than yours because we don't have the same financial situation. Each person is unique, as is their own money story.
But you can change your money story, just like you can change what zero means to your bank account.
So are you ready to change your zero in your bank account? What is your ultimate goal for your new zero? Now where are you going to start with your new zero?
Make sure you take the time to build up your new zero while still paying all of your bills, as well as paying attention to your money.