This is the second article I am writing about how I cleared my credit card debt and stepped into a much more powerful version of myself who really considers where my money is spent.
First though I have to share with you a new framework of thinking that I have implemented since reading some online financial blogs – one in particular is The Money Habit by JP Livingston.
When it comes to money and increasing your wealth, yes you have to work on your mindset about your worthiness to receive and you ability to create money, but you also have to think about the real logistics of it. JP talks about four elements that feed into increasing you wealth. Those are – your spending habits, your income potential, your ability to invest and grow your money plus minimising tax exposure.
I have been focusing on the first two elements of this, and in this particular article I am talking about spending habits.
It is so very easy in this day and age to want more. It comes down to thinking and believing that having more will make us happier – and the ‘more’ I’m talking about is the paraphernalia that we surround ourselves with. Yes, I want a nicer car, I’d like to have a garden office and yes I really want to go for fabulous adventures with my family – however, those are not the things I have spent money on.
I spent money on my education. Last year I completed a business degree, so that in itself is a huge chunk of change that is hanging over my head waiting to be repaid but I have also invested in several online programmes to help me with online marketing and getting my business up and running. However, this is a very slippery slope. It starts out as purchasing a small ebook, then an audio training and before you know it you are spending large amounts on coaching programmes. It’s like jumping from one shiny object to another, looking for the magic bullet to get things working.
Constantly looking outside myself was not the answer. I’m a very smart, intelligent woman. I have no shame or doubts about saying that. I am. So why did I continually look elsewhere for the answers? I have learned some incredible things during my online education over the last two years, but I am saturated with information. I have put a stop to big spending, because I know everything I need to move in the right direction. And that is what has been happening for the last six months. Moving in the right direction.
How do I know? Because my bank account tells me so and the fact there is now an echo on my credit cards, where previously it was like a packed sardine tin of debt.
But how did I finally say NO and take back my power?
1. I read the book You Are A Badass At Making Money (three times so far), and
2. By telling myself no more. For now. Because there’s something better for my money to go on – like this very bold idea of paying off the mortgage within two years. Yep, I know that’s a crazy thought, but that’s my goal.
I am all in on the idea of investing in yourself and continually learning and growing, but when that comes at a detriment to your monthly budget then something has to give.
I still get tempted by training programmes, but I now ask myself these questions…
Is this thing something I NEED to learn right now?
Is this thing something I have TIME to learn and implement right now?
Is this thing more important to me than my BIG-BOLD-CRAZY goal?
And usually it’s a NO. And I move on.
By doing this, I have cleared my credit cards and started saving.
I’m a bit of an all or nothing gal and perhaps I have taken this too far, because I could really do with some new socks since my others are so thread-bare but I’d rather save the money right now. I did manage to invest in a new pair of jeans because one of my old pairs were of the ‘ripped-at-the-knees’ variety and the rips were getting bigger as I continually put my foot through the holes when I put them on. PLUS my dad kept making jokes about him having to sub me some money to get some new jeans. So I invested.
It’s incredible how my mind has switched about spending. It’s a bit like when I suddenly decide I need to be healthier. One day I’ll just stop eating biscuits, drink more green smoothies and switch the balance from carbs to more protein. And I do it like that *motions clicking fingers*. I’m pretty proud of myself actually.
I do know that some spending decisions could actually help me towards my big-crazy-bold goal, like learning more about copywriting and perhaps that is something I will invest in for the future, but right now I have a happy medium of the work I’m doing (which does involve copy so I’m learning ‘on the job’), the money I’m earning and the money I’m NOT spending. Mostly I know things are going to take time, and I’m in this for the long haul and want to create a business and lifestyle that is sustainable.
It comes down to a choice of what your priorities are – and that’s what I invite you to do. To look at where your priorities lie in terms of time, energy and money. And do what is necessary to align to that.
And if you need to curb a spending habit, why not create a set of questions like mine that are the touchstone for your decisions?