I’ve never really been comfortable about the ‘F’ word. My relationship with it has not been the best over the years. When I found myself time and time again making stupid decisions which left me feeling at my worst – it was time to finally talk about it and free myself of it’s burden.
There was a time when my FINANCES affected everything in my life. I was swimming in debt and usually had more month left at the end of my money. My relationships, how I felt about myself, my lifestyle and my mindset were all being influenced by my lack of money.
(I’m not sure what ‘F’ word you was thinking about! Get your head out of the gutter. lol)
But it’s now time to get intimate! I’m going to share my money mindset journey with you. And you’ll also find out 5 Quick things you can do right now to turn your current financial situation towards living a life of abundance.
Let’s start at the beginning…
My Financial Low Point
When I had My Midlife Crisis, I was up to my eyeballs in debt. I owed over £16k in credit cards, loans and store cards. This accumulation didn’t happen over night. It was a constant habitual lifestyle I had adopted over the years. Spending money I didn’t have, paying the cards off with new cards, getting loans to pay off those cards and then spending more money with new loans. It was a vicious financial circle of constantly chasing my tail.
During this time I had about three credit cards, all with varying limits. With no real financial understanding, I was paying the minimum amount each month. Literally still paying for a Chinese take away I had eaten a year ago!
It never occurred to me that living this way would have taken over 10 years to pay off all the debt and cost me an additional £13k in interest!
But hey, all I could afford to pay was the minimum amount. I had no extra money coming in and could not see any other way to fix this problem. So I basically continued to rob Peter to pay Paul. All the while, still spending more money to make myself feel better.
It was a mess of a situation and I was falling deeper and deeper into my self made pile of shit. Continuing the rituals I had been living for years. With no hope of changing my situation, I accepted this as my reality.
To tell you the truth, I had no real understanding of money. I got my first credit account back in the late 90’s and went to town on the Littlewoods catalogue. Nobody explained that I had to pay the money back with interest! They just offered me £1000 – which seemed like millions back then, and I went shopping! Getting great joy every time the delivery man knocked on my door with my hot new outfit.
As far as I was concerned this was normal. It was the way of our western culture. News headlines were full of people borrowing money and being in debt. Everyone I spoke to complained about not having money and the cost of living. So my environment didn’t inspire me to make any changes. Of course I told myself that in another few years I would pay everything off. (I still had not known my behaviour would’ve taken ten years to pay it off.)
My Financial Discovery
Have you ever heard the theory; if all the money in the world was shared equally amongst everybody, the people who originally had most of the money would get it back within a few years?
What’s your initial thought about the above? Is it: “yes, because they would find a way to steal it back”. Or “they would cheat and deceive their way to get their hands on it?”
When I was in the pit of my poverty mentality, that would have been my initial thought too. I grew up with all the usual messages working class people got about money. You can’t trust rich people’, money is the root of all evil’, money won’t make you happy’, the list goes on. It’s as if sectors in society are programmed to believe that having lots of money is not something they should try and posses. It will turn us into mean, selfish, deceitful people.
But really ask yourself if this could this be true? I did’t know any ‘rich’ people. However, I could identify a lot of people with not much money who demonstrated all the traits I was taught about the rich.
There must be something I didn’t know.
So just like my research to cultivate a better mindset and get my body in better shape – I went on the hunt to understand money and my relationship with it.
I read most of the ‘Top 10’ money books trying to find the answer to ‘get rich’. I didn’t really know what I was looking for. Yes, they all had some really good advice but I still could not get to the root of my own individual money blocks. That was, until I came across this video from Lisa Nichols
After watching this video, I took a deep dive into YouTube and gobbled up all in information I could about ‘Abundance’. I realised that my lack of money was just a symptom of my overall ‘lack mentality’. This didn’t only show up in my financial situation, it was present in my health, body weight, relationships, spirituality, business and overall lifestyle.
Whilst I was busy trying to find the secret to get rich, I discovered that all wealth begins in the mind! It has nothing to do with actual physical money. In reality, it’s all energy and emotion that we create from the stories we tell ourselves.
Time to change my story!
My Get Out of Debt Plan
Ok, so money is energy – everything is energy – blah blah blah – I’M STILL IN DEBT!!
My biggest challenge was to unlearn and then re-learn what my relationship with money was. Because I knew how easy it would be to slip into behaviours and attitudes that had got me to my current situation, I needed to set a baseline standard for what I would accept in my life from now on. So instead of focusing on how to ‘get‘ money, I decided to focus on ‘keeping‘ more of the money had.
Having already worked on creating my own life values, I started applying my value system to my financial behaviour. If the thing I really wanted to buy did not fulfil one of the items on my values – I did not buy it. Now, don’t miss understand me – this did not come easy. The mind has a very clever way of trying to influence you to continue doing the things you are trying to stop! But little by little, I started winning the battle of my mind.
By the end of the first two months, I only bought two items of clothing. And had £115 remaining in my bank account once everyone had been paid, (the minimum amount!). It may not sound like a lot to you, but for me with my old story of being broke, it was epic!
Seeing the financial reward for that little change in my behaviour was the catalyst for my debt free journey.
It became evident pretty quickly that in order to feel like I had more money, I actually have to pay attention to where I was directing it. Living for so long just spending, paying out, spending, paying out – I had no idea that I could control where my money was going and therefore have more of it. The fire was ignited and I stated my plan.
Over the last two years I have added other habits and processes to cultivate a positive money mindset and pay off over £10k in debt. I will be sharing lots of it with you in future blogs. However, if you currently find yourself where I was at the beginning of my journey, take action on points below to start your own rescue mission. The only person that can save you is you!
My 5 Quick Actions to Start Your Debt Free Journey
Investigate your bank statement.
I took the plunge and printed out my last 3 months bank statements. You would not believe the things I was still paying for! I painstakingly contacted each company and cancelled the direct debits and standing orders for things that I no longer needed or facilities I no longer used. Amazingly I managed to save £90 a month doing this. Can you believe I was still paying for a sim card on an Ipad that had been broken for nearly 3 years!
Use more cash
This was a key habit that kept my money in my pocket. I was so used to pulling out a card and ‘beeping’ my money away. What’s worst is that the financial industry kept making it easier for me to part with my money. (They know there is less of an emotional connection if I don’t actually ‘witness’ the transaction.) This changed when I heard the phrase ‘Cash Is King’. Actually have the physical money in my pocket made it more real. Each pay day I took out a sum of cash from the bank and used it to pay for what I needed. You’ll be amazed at the things you decide not to buy because you don’t want to break your £10 note.
Do your food shopping online
On too many occasions I would return home from my weekly or monthly shop. I’d start unpacking the bags and realise that a quarter of the items I bought were not on my original list? I was probably spending a good £20 – £25 more a week on these non essentials. In came monthly internet food shopping! I was able to look through my cupboards see what was missing and only buy the things I needed. Not only saving money – but also saving time.
Pay bills with gratitude
Before I started automating most of my bill and debt payments, I would have to pull out my card from my wallet go online and manually type in the details to make the payment. I hated it! I didn’t mind spending the money, but hated having to pay it back. Screw you visa, with your £89.13 minimum payment!
But one month I had used my card to help someone in a worst situation than me. This time when I had to make my card payment I thought about how the money had helped them and was grateful that I had the means (even thought it was borrowed means), to get them out of their situation. I felt good paying it back. I tried this sentiment on all the other payments I had to make. “Thank you gas company for the heat and hot water you are providing”, “thank you Mastercard for paying for my sons school trip”. Sounds like madness, but this shift in attitude helped changed my perception of money leaving my account. It all had a value – it was an exchange of energy between myself and the facilitators and I felt good. Two years later I still do this for anything I pay for.
Re-Align Your Values
If you haven’t already done so, you must complete my ‘How to Set Values and Change Your Life’ workbook. I know I’ve said it time and time again throughout many of my blog post – but I truly believe that in order to stop doing the things that are causing you pain, understanding your value system allows you to eliminate the cause instead of exhausting yourself fighting the effects.
Your core values will help you develop new beliefs about who you are and your behaviours will change to support the new identity.
I am living proof!!
Everyone starts at the start. The difference is where you see yourself going.
So listening to my story, how are you feeling about the ‘F’ word?
Are you ready to get brave and really dive in to understanding your own money mindset?
Do you have any more actions that can be added to the list to help other Brazen Spirits start their own journey.
Tell me what I’m missing – leave a comment below.
Thank you for sharing your experience and financial knowledge! I have often times used retail therapy as a way to get through whatever was irking me at that time. It didn’t matter that what I bought wasn’t for me. I was just happy for that package to arrive! I knew that what I was doing was dangerous for my financial health. But I kept doing it anyway. I’d say to myself “they’re worst things to be addicted to!” But I’m at a point where I’m very unhappy financially. I don’t even check my bank account because it scares me! But I’ve begun taking steps towards mindful spending. (In some cases NO SPENDING) In tired of being scared of my finances. So my save more, spend less mentality has been activated! I’m no longer going to use “new packages” as therapy!
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I know how hard it is to be open about money and finances on the whole. I would also suggest deleting the card details that are saved on the online shops you most like to purchase from. You’ll be amazed how quickly you decide NOT to buy something when you have to get up from you comfy seat to get your card out of your wallet, lol. Let me know how you get on. Continuing being Brazen. x