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Making Finances Friendly, Fun and Fearless!

OK, so first things first. Yes, I’m totally serious that your finances can be friendly and fun.  No, I am not taking any special medication that helps me to think that way.  (Sorry – I just had to get that out of the way since most people ask if I’m serious and if I’m taking any drugs when I talk about finances being friendly and fun!)

With the right approach, finances can indeed be friendly and fun which helps to relieve a lot of the fear surrounding money.  In fact, my business tagline is “Making Finances Friendly and Fun” so I’m even putting it out there loud and proud.   I believe every word of my tagline.  I live it, I breathe it, and I teach it to my clients (and pretty much just about anyone else who will listen).

I can hear the chatter in your mind right now – she’s got to be joking. I’m so stressed out right now about money that the idea that it could actually be “friendly and fun” is pure insanity.

Call me insane, call me whatever you want to.  In fact you can call me an orange hippopotamus if it helps you to consider changing your financial perspective for the better, I could care less!  But I have proof that it can happen – my clients all tell me in the end that they see money more positively and aren’t weighed down by fear.

With a few simple shifts in perspective, you can start seeing things differently for yourself and decrease the amount of financial fear in your life while increasing the amount of financial fun and friendliness.  There are 3 simple steps I suggest to get started on viewing your finances in this new and exciting way.

1)      Think of money as a game – One of the main ways I tell people to shift their perspective about money to a more fun and friendly approach is to think about money as a game.  In essence, money is a tool and a resource to get you where you want to go and to allow you to do the things that you want to do, so the more money that you keep the more that you can do the things that excite you.  With that in mind, start to think of yourself as the gatekeeper of your money – it comes in, and YOU are in charge of what goes out!  Take a stance that every bill that you pay is a money-making opportunity in and of itself.  Do you know how many times I’ve found an error on a bill that I’ve reviewed and called the company about it to have my bill adjusted? I can assure you it has been LOTS of times and it has likely added up to thousands of dollars over the years. Another great idea is to involve other family members in helping you to manage the money.  In fact, I have a client who plans her family’s food for the week and creates the grocery list for her husband and he then takes their young daughter to the grocery store where she adds up their bill in the store with a calculator so they can make sure to stay within their planned amount!  By making a simple shift to empower yourself as the gatekeeper of your money and begin looking for ways to involve others and ask for help you’re well on your way to making money more manageable. 

2)      Redistribute and realign how you’re using your money – I find that most people talk about the things that they “should” do with their money.  And while there are certain smart things that you can be doing with your money (saving and living within your means come to mind),  I would encourage you to spend less time thinking about what you “have to do” and more time thinking about what you “love to do” when it comes to your money.  Yes, we all have responsibilities and I completely get that.  However, from the information I see when I look at how my clients choose to use their money before we put together a new plan I see a lot of unconscious spending.  That isn’t a judgment on my part it’s just a fact from where I stand.  It’s very likely that there is space for you to have more experiences in your life that you would “love to do” if you simply took the time to redistribute and realign how you’re using your money right now! 

3)      Allow yourself to dream again – For me, this step is the most important one in making the shift to view finances as friendly and fun.  For many people, money is full of a heavy energy and responsibility.  Many people have simply forgotten how to dream and think of money only as something to pay the bills.  If you want only enough money to pay the bills, then that’s exactly what you’ll attract and not much more.    What are the reasons why you’d like to have more money in your life?  For me, I love to travel and learn, and I want to contribute toward the futures of my 2 adorable nephews, Jack and Ryan.  I enjoy taking care of my mind, body, and soul as well which for me means lots of Pilates classes and regular massages, manicures and pedicures too.  In the future, I’m looking forward to being married and being a mom, so I know I’ll have lots of reasons to dream big then too!  So ask yourself, what do you dream about doing and is it even reflected in your financial life at all?  Where can you be fearless and dream about doing something bigger than you ever thought you could to inspire yourself and others? You’ll be able to attract more money and financial stability into your life if you have a specific reason to enjoy it.

In the end, viewing finances as friendly and fun requires a purposeful decision to want to see things differently.  There’s an old quote that “every master was once a disaster” and this is true for your finances as well.  Perhaps things aren’t going well now, however that doesn’t mean that you can’t decide today to shift things around and view your finances in a more positive manner.  The choice is yours, are you ready to believe that finances can be friendly and fun?

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3 Steps to Financial Gratitude in Your Life

When I mention the topic of financial gratitude to people, sometimes I get the blank stare like “Huh? What the heck is that?”

To me, financial gratitude is when you’re grateful for the resources that you already have, instead of always focusing on what you don’t have. If you’re always focused on what you don’t have, you’re focusing on the negative instead of being appreciative of what you already do have.

Let me offer an example. If a loved one heard you complaining about what you didn’t get for Christmas when they just gave you a beautiful scarf that they took time to pick out specifically just for you, how do you think they would feel about getting you something next year? Probably not very good, right? They might not put much effort into it next year. It works like this in a universal sense as well – if you focus on what you’re not getting, you’re sending out bad energy and you block positive things from showing up in your life.

I’m going to get real here for a minute about my own life. One year ago I took the brave step to open my own business, and let me tell you building a business is challenging sometimes. There’s no guaranteed paycheck, and I’ve been investing in myself and my business heavily. I have less money in my accounts now than when I started, and I have some additional debt now too from some business investments that I’ve made. Yet despite the decrease in my financial net worth, my personal self worth has increased exponentially and I’m grateful to know I’m on the right path and living my purpose. I choose each and every day to focus on the many resources I do have. I have supportive family, friends, colleagues, and a life that I love – can you ask for much more than that really?

At this point, you may be saying “Well Beth, how do you find financial gratitude, especially during the challenging moments?” I’m glad that you asked.

Step #1 – Reflect more on what’s working, and less on what’s not working!

When was the last time you complained about something? I know several years ago that I complained….sadly I did it a LOT. I was miserable at work and in my life, and I whined to others about it. My friends were unhappy too – it was like a big old complaint-fest and we fed off each other’s energy about how crappy we felt (yuck). And if I’m being really raw here, I was jealous of other people who were happy. (Sorry, it’s ugly but it’s true.)

Then I learned to focus more on what was working and the resources that I did have instead of whining and complaining. Slowly but surely I felt a shift start to happen…more good things and good people showed up in my life.

Try for yourself and schedule some time to reflect on what’s working. If you’re having trouble with getting the complaining under control, check out this great resource I learned about a few years ago –

Step #2 – Write down what’s working

Once you’ve found some positive resources in your life, it’s time to write them down (i.e. journal, gratitude jar, etc.). Because when we’re trying to shift our habits, sometimes we forget the positive things in the harder moments. Shifting takes time, so it’s always good to have something written down to refer back to when you’re struggling and having a tough day.

Step #3 – ASK for what you need

During Step #1, inevitably things that you need and don’t yet have will come up. We can’t help it, we’re human.

Select one item from the list of what you need to ask for help with. What specifically do you need help with (details are important)? Who can help you? How will you ask for help?

Don’t be afraid to simply ask. It’s an often forgotten art form, especially for us women. Be brave and ask as you may just be surprised how positively others respond to your request. When the resource that you need appears, you can be grateful for it and reflect on what you have (and thus, the circle begins again).

3 simple steps to begin building financial gratitude in your own life – it’s that simple to get started. And for a bonus step (because some of you are over-achievers like me), if you want to take it up a notch you can ask the loved ones in your life how you can help them. You may just spark something in them to help spread a ripple effect of financial gratitude!

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