Back to (your money) basics

I was listening to a Jen Sincero audio book, and one of the lines was money is a measure of what we give and what we receive. In most cases the money we have is something we have worked really hard for, sometimes at the expense of friends and family. So let’s just take a moment to actually appreciate that the money that you earn is a result of the labour that you’re giving you receive it.

When your pay pops into your account this week take a moment to say thank you and express gratitude that you are valued.

My next question is how are we spending that money that you have so tirelessly worked for?

Now budgets are great! And I am all in favour of sitting down and and either you and your partner or you on your own, instead of doing an upfront budget for how much you think you’re going to spend, let’s reverse engineer it and go back over what you’ve been spending over the last six months and see how that turns out. That will give you a completely different figure.

Grab your bank statements, download a spreadsheet or look at your bank’s budgeting app – whatever you do make it real…don’t guess! Remember, this is the money that you’ve worked hard to earn, so we want to keep. It so you want to make sure that it’s being treated really well, sort of like treating yourself really well. Now that you know where you really spend, you can also see where there are small moves that you could make to address some of the places address some of the things that you’re what we address. Some of the areas where you’re wasting money buying something that doesn’t particularly bring you joy that doesn’t light up your life, doesn’t supply you with a secure base for how you live, so it’s not your electricity. It’s not your gas, it’s not your phone. It’s more like your takeaway coffee. Or the drive through McDonald’s on the way home, or the small expenditures that you’re doing every day that aren’t adding value to your life. Some of it is also really unconscious, particularly with tap and pay. So when you’re actually physically looking at it in your spending, you can see the patterns of things that you didn’t want to do or things that aren’t lifting you up, that you’re spending money on anyway.

Money is there in every single thing we do every day – its in the light we switch on, the clothes we wear, and the car we drive, so there is nothing to be gained from ignoring your money.

Once we’ve worked out what we have to spend, let’s then look at what we don’t have to spend. By this I mean those discretionary things, things like clothes and shoes and haircuts. If we have less money, then the frequency of buying things like that is a lot less. If we have more money, then the frequency of buying those things is a lot more.

Then find something that brings you joy – even if it’s something small.

How much are you spending treating yourself to something nice? And how often are you doing it? I have a friend; she buys herself a bunch of flowers every week. It makes her feel wealthy. It makes her feel good that $50.00 on flowers for her is money well spent. So find the things that bring you pleasure, and relaxation, take you to that next level, and make sure that you’ve put something aside for that as well.

When you look for the joy that having money can bring you, when you look for the things that you spend on that bring you joy, that’s where you find the real gratitude and love of money. Yes, I’m grateful for switching the lights on, but it’s something I do every day, so it’s not something that I’m fully conscious of all the time. I’m really grateful for the ability to get a massage or have a long Sunday lunch, or buy an indulgent gift!

What you’re giving and what you’re receiving and how that money is flowing into your life and where it’s bringing you joy.

I know this is an exercise that will take some time, and believe me, we’re happy to hour of power you through it if you prefer to do it that way. Please give it a go because being in control of your money, knowing where it goes, knowing how you’re using it, and appreciating how very hard you’ve worked for what you’ve got is absolutely key to becoming a person that is in control of her money.

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Phoebe is available for interviews, guest appearances, article commentary, and talks on a range of topics relating to property, mortgage broking, and personal finance (particularly for women!).