I want to talk about money today. I know you’re thinking, isn’t this supposed to be a beauty blog? Well, money is related to beauty in a few ways, so I think it is definitely within scope. For one, we are prepared to spend ALOT of money on making ourselves beautiful. For two, we are currently covering the theme of “stress.” And money is a primary source of stress for many people.
I wanted to share my money rules, just to give you some ideas and outside perspective. Hope something resonates!
1) I control my money; it does not control me.
I used to avoid money things like the plague. Bills would get paid late, overdrafts or overcharges I would just suck up and ignore, and I never had any money in my savings account. Today, I have a budget, I have a monthly financial check-in with myself. I am aware of all incoming and outgoing money, and I feel like in any given month, I can cope with any unexpected emergencies by expertly redistributing my income to different channels. This is a great mantra whenever you are feeling like you can’t open your bills, your debt is too high, or you’re deep in poverty minset. YOU are in control. “I control my money, it does not control me.”
2) I do not resign myself to debt; I avoid new debt and pay off remaining debt aggressively.
A lot of these rules I owe to a few guides and mentors in my life, most notably Ramit Sethi (via his book I will Teach You to Be Rich) and Shelly Bullard (via her amazing free and course content). This one is 100% Ramit. Debt is not just money you owe. It is money being TAKEN from you. That’s what interest is, and all debt has it. If you have debt, have a plan for paying it off. My personal plan is to have a small amount in savings for emergencies, send a minute amount to my investment account (yep, more on this later), and take the rest and throw it in the bottomless pit of my student loans. Credit cards – if at all possible, pay off more than the minimum each month. Also, find out which debt has the highest interest – that’s the debt you want to kill the fastest.
3) I am happy to invest.
So here I am telling you about all my late bills, student loans and tiny savings account. And yes, now I want to say, I just started investing. (Read Ramit’s book and you will too!) You don’t need to be a baller to invest, and at a discount brokerage just $50 a month can get you going. If you are an entrepreneur, please, think about your future. One of the crazy things I read in Ramit’s book is that so many upper middle class people in their late 40s are actually sincerely worried about retirement. Think about investing like a savings account with much higher interest. Investing now, long-term and low-risk, is a wise move.
4) I am proud to be “penny wise, pound foolish.”
You’ll hear this saying tossed around like it’s a bad thing. It’s meant to make fun of the person who reuses their paper towels to save money, but then buys extravagant things on a whim, undoing (and then some) the tiny amount they might have saved reusing a paper towel. But as a mentor of mine taught me, it’s in those small, almost unnoticeable daily leaks that money slips through the cracks like sand. Buying that pack of gum, getting that latte every day, subscribing to a site for just 4.99 per month, getting that $8 tank top, and before you know it, all those “insignificant” purchases have stolen away HUNDREDS of dollars a month. The big purchases we make pretty consciously. It’s all the unconscious spending we do (eating out is another HUGE culprit) that leaves us with a zero tank at the end of every month.
5) I believe that Source is the source of true wealth. I believe that I am Source. In this way I am freed from dependence on money for wealth or abundance.
This one is via Shelly. Having good spending and saving habits will only get you so far. If you have limiting beliefs about money, or have a hard time seeing wealth and abundance as concepts that are actually not intrinsically conencted to money, then you might find yourself always struggling with money. Your relationship with money is a reflection of your relationship with yourself. Wealth and abundance are mindsets, and have nothing to do with money. If you connect with Source, and work on deepening that connection, you will realize that you will always be taken care of, regardless of money. And that you have so much wealth and abundance already in who you are and in your life, even before taking into account money.
6) If I’m not willing to save up for it, I don’t really want it.
Love my big ticket purchases, but I also really like working for them. The longer I save up for them, the more I can be sure that I really do want them, and that they will bring me long term pleasure. Also, by taking the time to save up for them, I work through and justify all the (possibly unconscious but definitely present) guilt and discomfort that would normally be associated with buying something I might deem as extravagant. A Costa Rica vacation on a whim? I’m out a lot of money and spend my entire vacay worrying about how to pay for it. A Costa Rica vacay after a year of saving? First of all, I’m SURE I got the best deals cause I had plenty of time to research, I’m sure Costa Rica is where I want to go, and I feel proud that I am paying for this with money that I saved just for it.
7) Quality is WAY better than affordable. Quality gives lasting pleasure; affordable leads to lasting disappointment.
Learned this one the hard way. There is rarely such a thing as a good deal. If something is too good to be true, it probably is. If something is cheap, it probably is. I used to really try to save on haircuts and haircolor. After years of fried, poorly cut hair, I decided investing in a good cut and color was MORE than worth it. Months of hating my hair vs months of loving it? Pretty priceless, actually. In retrospect, I was pretty surprised at how long it took to figure that out. Same thing goes for shoes. Poorly made shoes are easy come, easy go. I like shoes that will last a long time and that look good. They bring me SO MUCH pleasure. Cheap shoes might be fun to buy, but pretty soon they have me feeling regretful and self-conscious – SO not worth it!
8) The trick with spending money lies in knowing, with every fiber of your being, that it will return.
This saying actually comes from an email I get called Tut. (You can check it out here – it’s like a daily inspiration thing.) I use this a lot in my business. Similar saying is: you got to spend money to make money. Money is a great way of putting skin in the game. It’s a great way of controlling energy. I don’t spend money rashly, like I used to, but I also no longer “overhoard” it, which was a reactionary swing to all the consequences I had to deal with thanks to my poor money habits. I truly believe that money likes to maximize its usefulness, and the last thing it wants is to be buried under a tree somewhere. When you use money to invest in something truly desired, worthwhile and well thought out, only good can come of it, and your investment will 100% return, often doubled!
9) Money flows, just like any other form of energy. Let the flow be free, easy, and unobstructed.
As soon as you realize money is energy, the game changes. I remember a long time ago, I was really uncomfortable with the term “energy,” and thought that it was a bunch of BS. These days, I see everything in terms of energy, including emotions, moods, health, etc. Illness is a form of stuck or depleted energy. So is a bad mood, etc. I truly believe this, and it makes it much easier to navigate life on my terms. Because we can shift energy with our thoughts and behaviors. The best state to be in with money is FLOW. That means money coming in AND money going out. That means money is moving. And that can be scary to many of us. But allowing money to move means there is some life, structure and purpose to our money. We don’t want uncontrolled flow. We want CONTROLLED flow. We want to be masters of the money dance, but we also want our money moving and alive.
10) I challenge my financial thermostat as needed.
You may not realize it, but you have a financial thermostat. It is what helps you make money judgements. If you believe a yearly salary of $250,000 is extravagant instead of normal, that is your thermostat. If you believe that $200 is too much to pay for jeans, that is your thermostat. Your thermostat is regulated by how you were raised, media influences, friends, and your current financial situation. Is it serving you is the question? If so, then no need to challenge it. But if your values and beliefs about money are getting in the way, and creating feelings of helplessness, negativity, and feeling trapped, then you might need to raise or lower the temp. Consider: If you have a great job, great friends, great life, but you have an arbitrary money rule that says you can’t be “successful” or “happy” without making 6 figures, turn the thermostat down. But if you are struggling to charge clients what you know you are worth, if you keep offering discounts on your services because you believe you can’t ask full price, then you need to work on turning your thermostat up, because you have an unconscious temperature that is holding you back.
11) Regardless of what is going on financially, I believe I am safe and will be taken care of.
‘Nuff said. Separate survival from money, which can be hard to do, since money is what pays rent and buys groceries. But, consider: You made it this far, right? How old are you? That is how many years nothing too bad has happened! Why should things change? Take the pressure off!! Do your best, but at the end of the day, give it up, let it go, hand it over to a higher power. Note: obviously this is NOT an excuse to shop like crazy and then wait for a divine miracle. But seriously – worst case scenario? Declaring bankrupcy, having to move back in with your parents, bad credit for 6 years? You’re still alive, and people are going to help you out. Not the end of the world. Feel safe, it is your divine right.
12) The more I give, the more I get.
This is a tricky one. Even if you truly believe you are giving just to give, if there is some unconscious part of you that is waiting for gratitude, or getting something in return, this will not work. Only give if you truly feel like your cup overfloweth. Otherwise, giving can feel very depleting and disempowering. Maybe you don’t have a lot to give – just give what you can and don’t feel bad shutting the spout off after that. But time and time again, I hear people say, they have gotten great opportunities from giving without expecting anything in return. When I was in fashion design school, I took an unpaid position contributing to a fashion blog. Did I want that to turn into a paid position? Sure, but I wasn’t doing it for that SOLE reason. I really loved fashion and writing, and knew it would look good on a resumé. Before long, I took over editor in chief, and that same lead led me to becoming a VP of Marketing in my twenties.
13) When I am afraid to spend money for the things I truly need and want, I am sending the message that I lack the resources to provide for my survival and well-being.
Not a message you want to send. I can’t stress this enough. To the extent possible, provide for yourself, pay your bills on time, etc. If you’re not there yet, work wholeheartedly to get there. You can take care of yourself. It is possible, and it feels really, really good not to be dependent on someone else’s kindness – or to be able to repay their kindness. Paying bills feels really, really good when you see it as part of taking care of yourself, taking care of your responsibilities, and having the courage and moral backbone to fulfill part of a contract you entered into.
14) My relationship with money is an opportunity for growth.
Hell yes! Take control here, and you’ll see a new confidence in all other areas of your life. Such a powerful force, and that means when we work to harness it, so much growth and wisdom and wealth is possible. It is truly an amazing adventure. Just imagine how will it feel to open an investment account? Pay off the last dollar of your debt? Feel those butterflies in your stomach? You CAN. And you will. But first, you need to look money in the eye.
15) If there is value in something, I realize it is worth investing in. If I constantly seek free or inexpensive things, I am sending the message that I do not see value in myself and the products and services I, in the most literal sense, take advantage of.
Don’t be this person. If you love a podcast, toss it a few bucks, even though it’s free. If you go to a donation-based yoga class, freakin’ donate. If you sign up for a free webinar, don’t be dismayed or mad when they go into their pitch without giving you the meaty bits. If want everything for free from everyone, that is some karma that is going to come back and hit you hard. Because that is not right. If you want someone’s time, service or product because you believe it has a value to you, then be willing, even eager, to pay for it.
16) No matter what, I do not give in to scarcity mindset or poverty mindset.
Super important. Thoughts of scarcity, poverty, lack, etc. only draw more of those things to you. Even though it might be hard to make the mental shift, think about what you DO have, what makes you feel wealthy and grateful, all the gifts and good things in your life. If you feel flush, wealthy, and abundant, then that is what you attract.
17) My relationship with money is a reflection of my relationship with me.
Maybe scary to think about but true. Aim to feel authentic, empowered, and in flow with money. If there are fears or other shadow feelings, address and heal them, because we are holistic beings. Have you heard the saying: How you do one thing is how you do everything? The way you manage your money might have interesting insights or implications for your relationships with others, and with yourself.
In any case, no reason not to get on better footing with money, starting now, am I right?
What are 3 things you can think of that you can do with your finances or money beliefs TODAY, that will get you moving in the right direction?
They can (and probably will be) small. That’s ok. The idea is just to get some small wins, and get some momentum going!