3 ways to shift your relationship with money. And yes, they work.
I was going to write to you today about making baby food (which I did this week), but I decided what I’m even more passionate about writing about this week is money. Yup. Money. Something we’re taught not to talk about, along with politics and sex.
Money is one of those subject’s that strikes right at the core of our belief systems. We all have so many different associations with “money” that just the word itself can invoke fear, lack and anxiety for many of us, especially if it’s something we’ve struggled with. Even if we have a steady, well paying job, our society is very good at keeping us in a fear state that somehow we’re not going to have enough. And while I agree that we all need money and saving for the future, emergencies and unforeseen circumstances are extremely important, I’m coming to realize that changing our relationship with money can do wonders for not only our emotional health, but also our bottom line.
The reason this is important for me, is that as my life has changed over the past couple of years (from single young professional with a steady salary to a married, entrepreneurial, commission-based mama) it’s given me the opportunity to look hard at my own relationship with money, and think about what it all really means.
There have been many times when I’ve felt struck with anxiety of my own about money (will my business survive? what does it mean to share a budget? how much does college cost again?) So I’ve come to a few simple truths that have really made a difference in my life. One of the big ones is that money is an exchange of energy. I can’t remember who said it, but it really resonates with me.
It follows another simple truth that the more you give, the more you open yourself to receive. I like to think of not only money this way, but other things in life too. My colleague Hannah Marcotti calls it the flip. For example, if you really want something, say recognition, start by recognizing others. If you want a promotion, promote someone who works for you. If you want to more abundance, start giving with abundance. What you put out will eventually come back. Sounds counterintuitive, but it does work.
I’ve started experimenting with these concepts and I’m reminded once again how powerful they are. Just yesterday I was able to create an annual savings of nearly $900 for our family by making two quick phone calls. And when I went to get the mail, two checks I had been waiting on were both sitting there for me. When my business was feeling stuck after having a baby, I invested in a good coach to help me get back in the flow and since have been able to nearly double my outreach.
So if you ever find yourself wondering about money and gettin’ all worked up about it, here are a few simple ways you can begin to make the shift and move from scarcity to abundance:
- Spend some quality time. Like all relationships, money requires we spend some quality time with it. If you find yourself terrified to take a peek into your bank account, take a deep breath, put on your big girl pants and open your eyes to see where your money is actually going. I am so not an Excel person, but I’ve been kind of geeking out this week taking a look at our bank account and seeing where our money’s been going. It’s been amazingly empowering.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes it’s not all about making money, but also saving money. Once you’ve taken a look at your finances, don’t be afraid to call up a service provider to see if there is a better rate or promotion they can give you. I called our cable company and found out we could lower our monthly bill by $40 just by getting rid of some channels we never watch. I then called my cell phone provider and they lowered my rate. Voila. That’s like instant money.
- Watch your words. One of the most common things we all say is “I can’t afford it” or “I don’t have enough.” And I know this because I’ve said it too. Get rid of these words in your vocabulary. The more you say you can’t afford something or don’t have enough of something, you are reinforcing that idea in your consciousness. Instead, try what it feels like to say, “I have enough” or “I’m choosing to put my money here right now.”
If we are able to shift our perspective of money, from something that’s limited, difficult and scarce, to one of abundance, fluidity and ease, it’s astounding how different our reality can become. Money no longer becomes a dirty word, and is something we celebrate and honor, rather than worry about and fear.
What’s your relationship with money like? Is it something you embrace or fear?