Change the way you feel about money

GothIntroduction: Fabulous article from Psychologies magazine.  Take the time to mull over and assess how you feel towards money.  What are your hidden desires, motivations and restrictions about money?  What assumptions do you hold dear to money that may or may not be false?


Change the way you feel about money

Our finances can be a highly emotional issue, regardless of whether we consider ourselves to be rich or poor. The good news is there are simple strategies we can adopt to change the way we feel about money, and improve our lives in the long term.

From article of same name
Marianne Curphey
Psychologies magazine | this life
November 2011

Step 1: Fantasise

  • “Create a ‘life board’ by tearing out pictures from magazines and assemble them into a collage of the life you would like to lead,” says life coach and therapist Becky Wright of New Leafe (newleaf.uk.com).
  • This allows your subconscious to work freely without any of the inhibitions of worrying about how a lack of money will prevent you from achieving your ideal life.
  • “It helps to set the mind free and open it to possibilities,” says Wright.
  • “I often think about money as if I am in a relationship with it.  How am I getting on with this partner? Are we in harmony?” says Wright.

Step 2: Become emotional

  • Money too often becomes a boring chore to be sorted out, instead think of it as the key to personal freedom – the opportunity to change yourself, your life and the world.
  • “Feeling inspired rather than obliged makes it more likely that you will commit to your goals and successful in the long run,” says life coach Suzy Greaves, founder of The Big Leap Coaching Company (thebig-leap.com).
  • “Take a good look at how you want to spend your time and your money.  When you can see where your money goes, then you can make positive decisions about what is a priority for you, rather than feeling compelled to save or beating yourself up about not having any money left at the end of the month,” says Greaves.

Step 3: Stop being afraid of money

  • Let go of the power money has over you.  Break the cycle of saying, ‘I’m no good with  money’, ‘I’ll always be in debt’, ‘I just can’t save’.
  • Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations, says clinical hypnotherapist Georgia Foster (georgiafoster.com).
  • “A lot of people actually feel anxious about being wealthy.  In order to be comfortable with money you need to reach a state where you feel safe about attracting money,” says Foster.
  • For three weeks, practise saying to yourself, “Good things are going to happen,” or “I welcome money into my life”.

Step 4: Identify your money blocks

  • “Money is often linked to strong emotions.  Becoming more aware of your unconscious money beliefs will allow you to change your financial journey in life,” says Wright.
  • Stop and examine what emotions you hold with money and where they come from.  Find out your assumptions.
  • “Place a value on the money you earn, and on yourself,” says Wright.

Step 5: Create a spending plan, not a budget

  • “Rather than using phrases such as ‘cutting back’ or ‘going without’, which imply you are depriving yourself, think of it as giving a gift to your future self,” says financial life planner Simonne Gnessen of Wise Monkey Financial Coaching (financial-coaching.co.uk).
  • Help to balance what you want now with what you need for your future.
  • Realize your dreams for the future.
  • Create an inspiration goal for being solvent in a year’s time, as opposed to saying ‘in debt’.
  • Create ‘financial freedom days’.

Step 6: Become a detective

  • Uncover hidden money motivations that may control your attitude to saving i.e. why do you spend, splurge or feel guilty about money.
  • “Money issues come from childhood, are very deep-rooted and impinge on everything,” says financial life planner Tina Weeks of Serenity Financial Planning (serenityfp.com).
  • (1) Imagine you are financially secure and will always have enough money to take care of your wants.  How would your life be different from the way it is now?  Describe the kind of life you would live as fully as you can.
  • (2) Imagine that you have only five to 10 years left to live.  How would you change your life and how would you spend your time?
  • (3) You have only one day left to live.  Who did you not get to be and what did you not get to do?  What did you miss?

Step 7: Create new habits

  • Often we want a revamp of our financial lives, but Leo Babauta, author of The Power of less (Hyperion) and author of blog Zen Habits (zenhabits.com) says it is easier to have small, achievable goals that can be ‘quick wins’ and build confidence, rather than grand schemes that are more likely to fail.  E.g. start a small savings habit and give yourself a target of three weeks – that is how long it takes to form a new habit, he says.
  • Money habits are complicated.  There are many little habits we’ve formed over the years and we need to replace the bad with the good, one at a time.

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