Hey diy Ass-kickers!
Do you struggle with managing your money?
I’m not asking if you have enough money. Most people would likely give an automatic no to that question, as they think of that a trip to Spain they can’t take, or that new bedroom set they really want.
I’m asking you about managing your money. It doesn’t matter how much you have, if you don’t manage it intentionally, you are what I lovingly call a money Ahole.
For many more years than I care to remember, I was that money Ahole.
I always had loaded credit cards and well-used overdraft protection on my bank accounts, racking up countless dollars of ridiculous interest charges. I was an emotional spender that included dishing out for lavish gifts for others, helping out people in need, and making sure I was never in want of anything. I rarely saved a nickel of my own accord, and supported my behavior by telling myself that I deserved every single penny that I was spending. So there! Talk about justification! Lol!
I am so very grateful that all that Ahole money stuff worked out during that time, as there was always plenty of money to go around. Sadly, having no pressure to change left the space open to staying the same.
But I knew that I was not serving myself by using my emotions to guide my money management, just like we all know when we ignore our real needs and values. There remains that gnawing feeling in your gut that something is missing.
I was using money to make myself feel better. And it worked. With every gift, every purchase, every extravagance, I felt great. In that moment anyway, but not much longer afterward.
On some level I knew what was happening. My mom was an emotional spender and I could see the pattern repeating itself in me. But I wasn’t ready to deal with it. I wasn’t ready to face what was behind the emotions.
Then I was. No crisis abounded, no universe throwing shit my way as a reminder to get it together, no need to change.
Other than what came from within. The gnawing in my gut was my reminder that there was something there that I needed to get real with. Something that would match my values to my behaviors.
We’re told that money management is about tools like setting financial goals, setting an appropriate budget, and good record keeping. But it’s really about so much more.
It’s about looking at what’s behind your thoughts, feelings and behaviors about money. Is it a dirty word, something you feel shame around, or something you connect with just fine? What do you believe to be true about money and you?
It’s about being curious about patterns in your spending, how you interact with your money. Do you dance with your money or do you side step past it as you take over the dance floor? When does your spending leave you uncomfortable? Where do you feel the discomfort?
It’s about understanding historical influences on your money management. Who before you appeared to have the same money issues as you do? What did you grow up learning about money, spending, privacy and shame? (Keep in mind that money management is only second to sex in the none-of-your-beeswax department.)
It’s about checking in with your deep core for the values that guide you with money. What’s important to you, not just around money and finances, but how you live your best life? (Some of your values may be independence, responsibility, community or service to others, health, stability, and honesty, but think of others that may also apply to you.)
And then it’s about letting go of your past auto-pilot way of managing your money and using your values to guide what you want your finances to look like. That’s where you get to determine what tools will help you manage your money in ways that feel good to you.
Spending can be just another place to hide our feelings. Be honest about and open to what comes up for you. Once you clear the path of resistance…well…there is no resistance.
And no resistance living is nothing short of a holy shit moment.