Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Prosperous Heart, by Julia Cameron

In this book Julia Cameron encourages readers to look at their habits and beliefs about money, and change to a more deliberate approach to spending money on things that really do improve their lives.

She identifies four habitual spending types:

  • The Big-Ticket Spender
These people want to buy the best. Status symbols give this spender a sense of security to mask their actual feelings of insecurity and anxiety.

  • The Bargain Buyer
Quantity, not quality, give this type of spender a sense of security.

This shopper masks anxiety with compulsive bargain hunting. They rationalise their purchases because of the great deal they are getting.

  • The Monetary Miser
This is the shopper who doesn't make purchases, even when they're called for. "I can get by with what I've got" is this shopper's motto. The underlying belief related to this approach is a lack of faith in the future. 

  • The Enabler
These people often take responsibility for other people's debts and expenses. They are afraid if they say no to their friends' or partner's requests for money, they will lose the relationship.

As with many of Julia Cameron's other books (including 'The Artist's Way'), 'The Prosperous Heart' is structured as a twelve week course, with readers encouraged to write morning pages, take time outs, and walk regularly. In this book Julia also recommends avoiding spending money you don't yet have (apart from mortgages and big items like a car), and keeping a note of all spending throughout the twelve week course - just noting what you do spend money on, so that you can later evaluate whether there are alternative approaches which will work better for you.

Each chapter begins with an essay, and is followed by a series of writing exercises to bring to light the reader's beliefs and unexamined attitudes to money. The idea is to free you from automatic responses to your spending (or lack of spending, in the case of the Monetary Miser!)