July 2015. It’s that time of year again when we sit down to complete yet another tax return and consider ways we can maximise our hard earned cash (and spend the lump sum we’ll hopefully receive).
Depending on your behaviours and mindset, you may be someone who digs her head in the sand when it comes to money and thinks, “I’ll just keep making ends meet because it’s too hard to change, and that’s the way I’ve always done it.”
Or you could have your ducks in a row and know exactly what is occurring with your money because of positive habits and a proactive nature towards controlling your finances.
Unfortunately for most of my adult life, I’ve been very comfortable in to the former group, never really understanding how I could take more responsibility for my money, because I was too busy dreaming up ways to spend any savings, because every cent burnt a hole in my pocket.
I soon realised, just like all other areas of my life, I’m responsible for my own financial situation and therefore need to value, not only the contents of my wallet, but my-self more in order to receive the abundance and financial security I was seeking, i.e. I needed to make a radical mind shift to break free from my bad habits.
With that realisation I purchased Kate Northrup’s book Money: A Love Story for its personal and non-financial approach to discussing money.
Here are 10 key lessons I learnt from the book, just in time for you to infuse in to your own end of financial year activity:
- You are enough – as a Coach I often say to women they can do anything they set their heart and mind on, but I never used this statement on myself when it came to cash. In other words, I am worthy and so are you.
- You are not your bank balance – You don’t need to spend all your money to appear more successful, happy or secure. That evolution comes from valuing your life and loving yourself as you are.
- Learn to receive – not only receive money, but personal compliments, self-love and gifts. Being open to receive and be grateful for what someone else does for you, and what you are allowed to do for yourself, is not selfish and will go a long way towards helping you stop sacrificing yourself (and your bank balance) to please others.
- Honour your truth – When we genuinely love ourselves and show-up as we are, we give ourselves permission to speak our truth and value what we have to say, think, feel and believe.
- Invest in yourself – By ‘invest’ I mean perform small acts of self care that nurture your soul. You don’t need to wait for that fortnightly pedicure to make yourself feel good, instead implement small acts of kindness for yourself everyday to honour your own worth. Self-care could be as simple as enjoying time in the sunshine with a cup of tea and listening to the birds; reading in bed for an extra hour on Sunday or turning your tech off for a few hours to reconnect to your own thoughts and feelings.
- Be your own hero – Women have been raised to believe their place in the world is beside a man who will provide for them for the rest of their life. Guess what, it’s 2015 and that way of thinking has no place in society any more. By living a life until ‘someone saves me and pays off my credit card debt’ we inadvertently give our power away and assume no responsibility. How can we ever be in control of our life if we assume someone else will do it for us? Kate recommends writing a list of everything you want from your rich Prince Charming then start making it happen for yourself.
- Retrain your brain – As in other areas of life, when we want to create positive change, we look to use positive affirmations to help us believe what we want is already happening to bring it to reality. Turning your relationship around with money is similar in that we need to remove fear from our mindset, be grateful for what we have and believe we are abundant. For example, instead of saying “I don’t have enough money” reframe your internal dialogue to “I am open to receiving and am worthy of abundance”.
- What you give energy to will grow – So if you pay all your attention to what you don’t have and how miserable life is, your life will continue on the same path. Nothing will change because your energy maintains it. However, if you pay attention to all the wonderful things in life you will naturally attract more of it. By staying negative towards money, one can subconsciously build a wall against it.
- The woman at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there – Kate was $20,000 in debt when she decided she wanted to be financially free, however working her way out of the red was not an overnight event and you shouldn’t expect your financial world to change as rapidly either. Take small steps each day. Pay off debt in incremants, value what you have and build your future little by little, and soon your goals will eventuate. Don’t just focus on the end prize, make smaller more attainable goals or may lose motivation and feel it is all too hard.
- You’re not alone – don’t keep yourself in a box during this time and hide your woes from others. There is no harm seeking advice from friends, family or a professional for extra support, it shows you’re serious and taking real steps towards building a more sustainable future.
For more tips and insightful heart-centered advice, check out Kate Northrup’s book Money: A Love Story here.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you successfully built a financial future for yourself and/or your family or do you feel trapped living an indulgent, flashy lifestyle that is beyond your means?