Did you know that money is the number one stress trigger for Australian’s (and for most of the developed world)?
And this stress can start to breakdown the very things that give us strength; our sleep and relationships and distracts us from what truly brings meaning and joy in our lives.
But the fact that our money stresses are so common means we can work together to set them free.
It is our ability to choose to take control of our finances and fears that enables us to change our relationship with money.
Money fears and frustrations are often about our psychology as much they are about the flow of money in our lives. So being aware of your thoughts and feelings about money can really help to reveal what is going on.
You may recognise yourself in these fears but if yours are different that is ok too. Try writing your fear down and look for the underlying question behind it. This will help to work out what the problem is that you are trying to solve.
Fear #1: I am only a few unexpected expenses away from couch surfing
Tip to set it free: Create plan and build a “Just in Case” fund. Nearly 50 percent of Australian’s have less than three months’ worth of expenses saved to help them bounce back and adjust to the twists and turns of life. So if there is only one thing I suggest you do today, please make it this. Open a new online, high interest, no fee account. Labelled it “Just in Case”. Put $1,000 in it today (if you can). If not, gumtree your old bike, sell your old clothes, sell anything that you haven’t used in the last 12 months. Just find a way to get $1,000 into that account. Then make a plan to build this account balance up to three months’ worth of expenses. I know that savings goals and paying off your debt is important but they should all follow creating your “Just in Case” fund.
Fear #2: I ‘m not smart enough to manage my money well
Tip to set it free: Being a masterful money manager is so much less about brains and more about behaviour. It doesn’t matter if you hated maths at school, these are not the skills that will help you be resourceful, gritty and generous.
Being wealthy is also less about how much you earn and more about what you save. So don’t let either of these things hold you back or define your relationship with money.
Fear #3: I am a reckless spender and I am drowning in debt, how is this ever going to change?
Tip to set it free: Choose to be a conscious consumer. Once the decision is clear the doing becomes effortless. We choose to wipe our life free of consumer debt, cut up our credit cards, start using cash, detox our life of the behaviours that kept us stuck in this rut and then we are able to experience the pure joy of being the captain of our ship again.
Fear #4: Being wealthy will make me greedy
Tip to set it free: Challenge the stereotypes and find new role models. Unfortunately our books, stories and movies often portray rich people as greedy and evil. Again we see so many examples of them in the media and they reinforce this link between greed and wealth. But money is just energy…having more of it only makes you more of who you already are. Think about all of the amazingly generous and joyful things you could do with a windfall or bonus amount of money. Remember you choose who you are going to be, money doesn’t define it.
Fear #5: My financial paper work is growing like a monster in the cupboard.
Tip to set it free:
A. Set a date to simplify & tidy your financial files. This could be a major task depending on how long it has been accumulating for so be prepared for it to take a couple of days. Go slow and enjoy the process. To keep inspired read Marie Kondo’s book “The life changing magic of tidying-up”
B. Sort your files into three piles;
SHRED (all junk mail that contains personal details)
SCAN (or take photos with your ipad/iphone of everything that doesn’t need to be kept as an original including receipts and warranties)
KEEP (titles, deeds to property, birth and marriage certificates, wills and legal documents with original seals and signatures.)
C. Stop this overwhelming mess from returning by switching to e-statements and getting into the habit of scanning documents and then shredding them instead of keeping the physical file. Protect the peace that you have just worked hard to create.
If you have any questions or feedback about these tips please feel free to write to me in the comments section below.