Money, money, money
So are you in charge of your finances or are they in charge of you? Money is not the source of happiness or wellness, but the lack of money and lack of management of money is one of the leading causes of arguments in relationships and stress in our lives.
This is a pillar many of us ignore which then affects other areas of our lives and it is one that consistently comes up as needing work. I'm not suggesting that money becomes the major focus for anyones life, but I do believe that money should be respected, managed and utilised in the best way possible to achieve our own defined success.
How many of us have said "if only I could earn $x more, then I'd be right" only to achieve this and be no better off than before. More often than not, it's because we fail to live within our means. As many have commented previously - we spend money on things we don't need to impress people that don't matter! Time and time again I have witnessed "poverty lines" caused by our actions and our relationship with money. This is primarily driven through allowing others to define our values and what success means. This is where we need to take charge.
Anna Rosling Ronnlund has a great Ted Talk here which demonstrates just how "rich" most of us truly are against world standards. Its a great one to put things into perspective and celebrate the little things like having your own toothbrush!
To better manage your money, you need to have a good relationship with money. What's your relationship with money like? Do you see it as something there is never enough of? Do you see it as something only selfish people have lots of? Do you believe someone can be kind, caring, contribute positively to the community and be financially successful? Just like with each of our other pillars of wellness, its the dialogue in our heads that we follow, guiding our actions to enable ourselves to prove "what we think" to be correct.
Some actions I have had personal success with and have seen work for others is removing the "I can't afford it" line from my thoughts and speech. Change this to "how can I afford it?" - make a plan and make it happen. I got this from a Marie Forleo podcast and it works!
Understand your values against your money personality and ensure you are spending your money in line with these values. Take a money personality test like this one from www.sorted.org.nz. If you have a significant other and you have joint finances - what are their values? Do each of your values align? Have the conversation!
This Weeks Challenges
Put aside some time this week to see if you can answer the following questions accurately within 15 minutes
What I own
What I owe
Who owes me
If you can't do this within 15 minutes (should really only take 5!) invest some of your time to get things in order. You can't improve and grow if you don't know where you are starting from.
Make an annual appointment with yourself to check out how your retirement savings are tracking, what insurance policies you have, and what you want to achieve financially in the coming 12 months. (I did this and realised a direct debit had been operating well after I had cancelled the policy!!)
Set your own financial mini goal this month - from keeping track of what you spend for a week to aiming to keep your credit card spend below a certain level - it doesn't matter how small - what matters is that you are taking control.
If you are too over whelmed and don't know where to start get some budgeting advice from someone you trust - www.sorted.org.nz is a good place to start as well as CAB New Zealand.