Money is like a sixth sense. You can’t make use of the other five without it. – Somerset Maugham
For me, and perhaps for you, money can be both a source of comfort and shame. My job, and my income, is often tied to my sense of personal worth. If my job went away, my value would plummet.
How you view money is a natural part of you. Just like the color of your eyes is controlled by your DNA, so is your attitude about money. From an early age, your money blueprint is developed. Usually it is your parents who create this blueprint.
The Inheritance of Your Money Attitude
If you see your parents feel shame or anger when money is tight, then you grow up with similar attitudes. If your parents are careless with their money; then you have a good chance of not being a saver, too. You inherit the idea of how you feel about money.
Although I have only a modest amount of control over the financial health of my employer (I don’t need a w-4 calculator to determine that), I do have power over how I look at money and how I associate it to my importance and to my ability to provide for my family.
I also have the ability to create a new money blueprint and to use this blueprint as a plan to find value in myself even if the worse happens. I hope you find value in these five strategies as well.
- Stay Centered.
Don’t get too anxious over the lack of money or too elated with the abundance of money in your life at any particular time. If you are struggling to make ends meet and dread when the bills arrive in your mailbox, don’t be rash and overspend on unnecessary items. Instead, make a plan and then work your plan.
When you have money coming into your house is the best time to create a budget. Take a look at your spending habits over the last six months and consider which expenditures you can eliminate. Often when we spend time focusing on how we use money, we find opportunities to keep more of what we earn. For me, this gives me a feeling of empowerment and confidence that I do have control over the financial well-being of my family.
- Align your income with your passion.
When you are doing the things you care about the most then it’s really not work – it’s you passion. A by-product of this will be greater productivity and less risk of burn-out. Your income will continue to grow as you continue to grow and be nurtured by your passion.
- Live within your means.
Spend what you have today, nothing more. Yes, you may be on path to making more money, but let that day come first. Over the years, my wife and I have found the following strategies help us to live within our means:
- Refinance your mortgage at a lower rate.
- Tear up all of your credit cards, except one. You may need one for emergencies.
- Question every purchase. Do you need it; really need it right now or do you want it?
- Monitor your credit report and look for mistakes on it. Clear these up.
- If you have a high balance on a credit card, ask the company for a reduction in the rate.
- Cancel any credit cards or lines of credit you are not using.
- Create value for others.
Focus on what you can do for other people. How can you improve their lives, help them make and save more money, or simply make their lives more comfortable? By increasing the value for others, your value will be automatically and simultaneously increased. The more value you create for others leads to better financial opportunities for you.
- Have a plan.
If your financial situation is not where you want to be, then stop doing the same things you have always done with you money and try something different. Meet with a financial planner and create a path that allows you to see where you are today and where you want to be in the future.
A plan will also provide you with a picture of hope and a finishing line to set as a goal. Once you have crossed the line, it’s just as important to adopt a new plan to keep you from sliding backwards.
My New Money Blueprint
Everyone morning I will get up and work as hard as I can. My family depends on me to provide food and shelter. However, there may come a day when my income is interrupted.
If that day happens, my hope is I will not feel shame, but motivation because my new money blueprint will provide the way to find new opportunities and choices that will keep my life moving forward.