Last year I started my own personal Money Project with a focus on uncovering my money blocks and transforming my relationship with money.
In other words learn to love it and consciously apply the law of attraction the right way, to bring more of it into my life.
Now before you all jump out and say, but money isn’t everything and can’t buy you happiness and all those excuses we say to cover the fact we don’t have money and don’t love it, let me say this.
From what I’ve discovered, we can’t show up fully and authentically if our needs aren’t met and we can’t satisfy our deepest desires. This is not about greed or overindulgence. This is about giving us the time freedom to express and live our true purpose and give to our health and relationships.
What I noticed from the comments in this recent post, What if money wasn’t an issue was that when people removed money as a barrier and spoke from their hearts they had pure and honest intentions that involved giving to themselves and others.
It had nothing to do with greed or overindulgence.
But here’s the thing, almost all of those heart pure intentions and dreams involves needing money in some way to achieve them. Forming a better relationship with money is a good thing!
I hope that has cleared up that negative money belief for you. It’s not evil. And yes, it can’t buy you happiness. It’s just a tool we can use to create a life we love and one that serves others.
Here’s a great quote from Tony Robbins about it:
I’ve learned that there are 7 principles to co-creation – that is conscious creation in connection and in collaboration with Universal Miracles. Most of us are clueless to what these are so we end up creating unconsciously and wonder why our lives falter on the lack or sucky side.
I can help fix that for you.
But, back to my new focus this year.
Rolling out the red carpet for your money
The second part to creating a more stable financial future is to learn how to treat the money right once it arrives. When you roll out the red carpet for a guest you love, they keep coming back.
This year I’m becoming a financially responsible adult and learning how to treat my money right. It involves spread sheets and savings, investments and passive income. It’s a world that freaking scared me not so long ago because of our hideous financial disaster.
Now that I feel better about money and we have a more loving relationship, I feel confident in managing it better and letting it hang around full-time.
1. Pay Yourself First
Affirmation: A part of all I earn is mine to keep
Determine a set amount of your income each month to automatically transfer into your savings account. When you set it up as an automatic transfer, you forget you’ve done it and don’t even notice the missing money.
Start with what you can afford, but stretch it slightly into discomfort. When you get uncomfortable you’re forced to make smarter choices to reduce your expenses. You then end up with more money for your future.
We also set a small automatic deposit each month to go into the girls’ savings accounts. Thanks to Bank West, which has a 5.75% interest rate on their Kid’s bonus saver account. You can only deposit up to $250 each month, otherwise there’d be a lot of adult children opening up accounts.
2. Set Up Your Money Buckets
We use high-interest savings accounts for our money buckets with ING.
Our automatic savings go here, plus we add in any extra that we can afford each month. These buckets came in handy recently with our short business trip to the White House. Because we had been putting money away in our savings and emergency buckets, we had the money to go.
It was a business investment, and we can see the pay off in the future, so were willing to use that money we had set aside. It means we’ve got to fill it back up again, but we believe we can.
3. Pay Your Bills on Time
Most of my bills are set up to be paid automatically each month. I set this up through direct debit or credit card payment.
I prefer credit card payment so we get the frequent flyer points. If you don’t already do this, go through all of your bills today and get this set up.
Paying your bills on time sends out a very clear message that you love and respect money, you are grateful for the services these bills provide, and you can adequately provide for your needs.
Even if you don’t feel that is the truth, by automating and paying your bills on time, the Universe will believe you do.
Plus, if you have negative feelings around bills, by setting and forgetting it, you totally miss that inside whole churning up when it comes time to pay your bills.
You’ll always get more of what you feel. So if you feel churned up around money, you’ll bring into your life experiences to help you continue to feel that.
4. Do Not Pay Your Bills Early
Get in the habit of making your money work for you.
The longer you keep your own money, the more interest you’ll make on it.
Even if you only earn 1 cent, or no cents, you’re still sending a clear message that your worth is the most important.
Pay when the invoice is due – not a day before or after.
5. Track Your Money
I hated this possibly worse than you. Tracking my money felt like a chore that was taking away my fun and freedom.
As I mentioned in this post, my values are starting to change and security is becoming more important to me.
I actually love tracking my money now as it helps me be aware of my spending and feel secure and responsible.
In fact, I celebrated last week after doing my end of month financials and noticing we had we had come under budget for every spending category bar two. (Thanks Margaret River wineries for blowing the alcohol budget)
We reduced our monthly expenses by $3000. Can you believe that? That’s purely because we turned our attention to what we were spending and being conscious of ways to reduce it.
Don’t forget to also track the money coming in.
I’ve only just started doing that and can’t believe how my brain used to be wired to focus on, and fret about, expenses. Bring in the joy to celebrate every dollar that arrives. Even if you find a $1 coin on the ground, log it in as income from the Universe.
6. Forgive Yourself
I follow this one on from tip 5 because after seeing our huge expense change this past month, I also wanted to beat myself up for being such a stupid spender and wasting so much money previously.
Shame and guilt are wasted emotions. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Today is a new day. It’s never too late to make a different choice and you’ll always be supported with abundance if you willingly step towards it.
Forgiveness is a doorway to love and love is the ultimate creator. It’s how you got here right?
7. Evaluate Your Monthly Financials
This can be quite the task, especially if you run your own business as you have your personal and business financials to evaluate.
At the end of each month, I go through all my credit card, paypal, and bank statements and note down all my expenses.
I categorize them into spread sheets and tally each monthly total up. I then input it into another yearly spread sheet, which also has my budget allowance for each category. So next to each category is my budget and then the total for each month. It’s an easy reference sheet for me so I can see if I’m over or under budget AND if my expenses are going up or down each month.
I do the same for my income.
Now I can very clearly see what needs celebrating and what needs fixing. These spread sheets are really helping me to stay focused and motivated. It’s becoming a game to make the expenses go down and the income up.
Don’t forget to take all that extra money and divide it up into your money buckets.
8. Stay on Top of Your Bookwork
It’s so easy to let other things get in the way of your bookwork. I was letting it slide by about a week, but lately, come the 1st of the month, I’m sitting down with a cuppa and getting on top of it.
I’m also ensuring I’m logging my expenses at the end of the day. It’s so empowering to dedicate the time to your money management and your future.
Once the habit starts forming, you start feeling so much better about it, even excited towards money management. The change in my feelings about it, just by keeping on top of my bookwork is astounding. No more cowering in fear under the table.
I cannot tell you how proud I felt when my accountant told me over the phone how easy we are to work with. “You always get your bookwork into me on time and if I need something from you I get it straight away.”
“Oh really? God. I thought I was really crap at this stuff.”
“No, I wait months to get stuff from some people.”
I immediately felt in control and responsible about my money. I’ve come along way, from ignoring my money with a lot of fear to making the decision to face it and take control over it. Just a simple decision can turn you into a better money manager.
It comes back to treating it as a priority. Paying on time, staying up to date with your bookwork, keeping it organised. When you do this, not only does it help you feel good about money and your control over it, it sends out a clear money that you’ll respect and treat money right, so it will continue to come knocking.
9. Set Yourself Some Monthly Goals
Now you’ve got your spread sheets with your monthly financials clearly listed, it’s time to set some monthly goals.
Go through every expense and see how you can reduce or eliminate it. Some you may not be able to. But, I believe if you bring awareness to it and set the intention you want to reduce your expenses then miracles will start arriving to help you do this.
Work out what you are wasting your money on and what is not returning a good investment for you.
Perhaps focus on the top three areas you need to work on most and then create an action plan for it. You might need to phone different insurance providers for better quotes, or do FebFast so you stop drinking alcohol (that’s me this month!!)
Also, write down your income goals, with the steps on how you will increase them. Maybe work a few extra shifts, or even ask for a raise. I’m sure you deserve it!
And, of course, you want to set savings goals!
10. Work to Your Cycles
I can now see that we have a cycle of low and up months. Dec, Jan and Feb are low-income months for us.
What does this mean?
It stops me from doing my best Chicken Little impersonation. And I know from now on during these months, I’ll take a bit of a break from the blog. Rejuvenate, rest and use this time to create products behind the scenes.
This helps free a lot of energy for me so when it comes time for the up part of the cycle, it will have my full attention.
I’m excited to think that at the end of this year I can actually schedule a holiday.
11. Reduce Your Debt
I love seeing a healthy bank balance. I”m so tempted to let my money sit in my savings and grow grow grow.
But, considering the low savings interest rate and the high credit card interest rates, this is not a rolling out the red carpet move. This is kinda showing my lack of faith that the money I need will continue to arrive.
It’s so important you reduce your debt. We paid too much in interest this past month because we were too tepid to transfer the money over. Stupid.
The awareness and tracking work shone a spotlight on this one for me. We’ve almost cleared the debt now. It gives me extra incentive to grow that savings account again.
12. Watch out for FEES
Bank fees can be a killer, especially if you are buying overseas and get stung with international transactions.
This is a sore spot for us. We get hit with a lot of fees, mostly because we’ve been irresponsible about them and have not taken the time to be prepared and organised.
I’m working on the best solution for our overseas business costs to reduce this.
13. Come Back Tomorrow
Let’s show money you respect it by thinking carefully about all your purchases.
You see that beautiful turquoise dress in the window. It sparkles like the perfect Western Australian beach. You’ve just got to have it. Pause. Do you?
You might really need it. You could possibly afford it. But, just pause first to check. Sometimes a pause is all that is needed to stop you from impulse buying and wasting money you don’t really have.
I use the trick, Come back tomorrow.
Leave the shop and if by tomorrow you cannot get that product out of your head then return and buy it. If you’ve forgotten about it, then you know it wasn’t really a must have item. I stop myself from about 80% of my purchases from doing this. Except for crystals. They tend to call me immediately and I can’t even get out the store before I’ve got the receipt and I’m putting my new shiny crystal in my bag.
14. Keep Money in Your Wallet
Having money in your wallet helps to give you a sense of, “I can cover this.”
We got so used to never really needing money in our wallets living in America. You could pay everything by card. Not in Australia, cash is often the only accepted form of currency. This would mean we’d have to go to an ATM that wasn’t our banks and get even more fees.
For the past two weeks, I’ve had cash in my wallet every day. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my attitude. I feel abundant as I can see the notes every time I open my wallet. I pause more when it comes time to spend, and as I can see real money it makes me think more about what I’m buying. I’m saving money on excess fess so I feel a lot more relieved and less guilty.
I get to have that sense of satisfaction when I hand over a bill to pay for something knowing that I’ve got the money to pay for it. We lose this connection when we always pay for things by card. It’s an important connection to have to help us feel good about money and all of the wonderful things it can help bring us.
15. Educate Yourself
Because security is now important and I want to invest my money smartly, I need to educate myself.
We weren’t born knowing how to do this stuff so we have to learn from those who do. I strongly believe part of the reason we have been so successful with our blog is because we invest in our education and ourselves.
We’re always doing courses and reading books to help us grow. So now we’re studying (and applying) the following books:
- Money: Master the Game
- I will teach you to be rich
- Your money or your life
- Barefoot Investor ( a website mostly for Aussies)
I’ll keep you updated with the tips and strategies I learn.
Just in case you didn’t realize this, I am NOT a financial adviser! I’m just a gal sharing what she’s learning along the way to being a better money manager. I’m responsible for my own choices as are you.
Sorry I have to write that, but you know this world we live in is at times a little craaaazy.
Tell me one smart way you treat money right. What do you struggle with?
How we’ve made travel our lifestyle for 22 years
Without loads of money. These podcast episodes will reveal many nuggets of wisdom!
- Episode 1: Solo Travel and Working Abroad before we met
- Episode 2: Our 5 year honeymoon living and traveling the world
- Episode 3: The Dark times and Birth of the girls and travel blog
- Episode 4: Embracing Family Travel and our 18 month Australian road trip
- Episode 5: Getting a green card and traveling the US (our dream realized)