Your Money Story- The Real Reason You Can't Stick to a Budget
YOU’VE TRIED. LOTS OF TIMES. BUDGETS JUST DON’T WORK FOR YOU. OR SO YOU THINK! FIND OUT THE REAL REASON YOU CAN’T STICK TO A BUDGET AND GET READY TO UNBLOCK YOURSELF FROM THIS FALSE MONEY STORY!
I’ve talked about the importance of Money Mindset before. I think it’s important enough to talk about again and again. And again. Actually, I believe it’s the crux of gaining AND retaining personal, emotional and financial freedom with money. And how to actually stick to a budget once and for all!
We all have our stories. Stories about who we think we are in this world. Stories that other people tell us are true about ourselves. Even stories that our culture and families of origin use to help us make sense of this big world.
These stories aren’t always negative. We can use a strong sense of self that we got from our feminist mother to our advantage later on in life. Often, though, stories can be a place of shame and guilt – especially money stories.
Some common themes I’ve heard over the years of working with individuals and couples are:
“I FEEL GUILTY FOR SPENDING MONEY ON MYSELF AND MY FAMILY.”
“MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.”
“ONLY GREEDY PEOPLE HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF MONEY.”
“I’LL ALWAYS BE POOR.”
Tony Robbins talks about business in an 80/20 manner. Building a business is 80% mindset and 20% mechanics. I believe this holds for our personal finances as well.
We’re all led to believe that our personal finances are 80% building a budget, having an emergency fund, setting up RothIRAs and kids’ college funds…mechanics. People get hung up here and beat themselves up about not being able to make a good budget or stick to a budget, etc.
I’d like to propose that our personal finances are actually 80% mindset and just 20% mechanics.
AFTER ALL, I BELIEVE OUR THOUGHTS CREATE OUR REALITY.
Let me introduce you to James Wedmore. He’s a business coach, and he has amazing insights about how to change our money stories.
I know I’ve shared before that I’m a total podcast junkie – I was listening to Amy Porterfield’s podcast(which is an amazing resource for online businesses!) a couple weeks ago and stumbled across her interview with James.
Man. He is eloquent and gracious and thoughtful and shared SO MANY amazing tidbits about money stories and how we can choose to live into our abundance, rather than stay stuck in our stories. His philosophy totally jives with Greatest Worth, so I knew I had to share it with you all!
This can look a couple of different ways. 1) A rooted understanding that there is more than enough to go around. If someone has a LOT, well, there’s still enough for me and for you to have what we need and even some of what we want. 2) A committed choice to return to gratitude – to see what we do have and are truly grateful for it.
On Amy’s podcast, James talks about realizing abundance in this way: Making a list of everything we have in our lives right now, including relationships, money in our bank accounts, our work and our physical stuff. (You could also go back to my Net Worth post and make a strictly financial list that way). And then “choose to accept that this list is the sum result of the current beliefs we have about who we are. And the world around us.”
YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE AWARENESS.
The sneaky thing about these stories, though, is that they don’t want you to notice them, they resist awareness. They prefer ignorance or, worse yet, denial, as they wind and wiggle through your mind and heart.
James goes on to recommend a book called “The Abundance Code.” (I haven’t read it yet, but I plan on it, and I’ll get back to you.) In her book, Julie Cairns talks about getting passionately curious about your FRUSTRATIONS when it comes to money. And asking yourself what’s NOT working for you?
Tony Robbins says “the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself.” So, especially when things aren’t going the way you desire when it comes to money – ask yourself: “What belief around money do I have that created this situation? What is the story that’s shaping this moment?”
Ok, I know you’re thinking… I’ve gone a little woo woo on you. To choose to believe that what I focus on, will create my reality sounds like I’ve walked off to Crazytown, especially with money. But… but… what if this doubt and skepticism is just another sneaky story working it’s dark juju? After all, much our entire economic system, many of our nation’s political relationships, most of our societal choices are built on scarcity and fear – it’s a pervasive story as old as modern America. It’s the footings for the American Dream – the same American Dream that has left you feeling bombed out and blasted. It’s way past time to find a new story, and the starting point, always, for everything, is a choice.
LET’S CHOOSE TO WRITE A STORY AND BUILD A PRACTICE SITUATED ON GRATITUDE, SUFFICIENCY AND GRACE. IT’S A MINDSET THAT WILL CHANGE THE ENTIRE GAME, AND, I KNOW, WILL MAKE THE MECHANICS OF PERSONAL FINANCE (STICK TO A BUDGET ANYONE?) WORK FOR RATHER THAN AGAINST YOU.
What have you got to lose? Ask some new questions and get into the hidden parts of your deeper stories.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT MONEY THESE DAYS? DO THEY SOUND ANYTHING LIKE THESE…
“I just can’t get ahead!”
“If I just had that new car, I’d be content.”
“I’ll never make enough money to have the things I want.”
“I’m going to have this debt forever.”
“Living paycheck to paycheck is how everyone gets by. This is just how it’s done these days.”
“I’ll never have a job I love.”
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.” – Meaning, there’s a limited supply of money.
“I need X, in order to be successful. It can’t happen any other way.”
“I don’t deserve to have money.”
“Money is the root of all evil.”
“Frugally is the best way to live.”
“You have to work HARD for money.”
“Only greedy people have an abundant amount of money.”
Which resonate most with you? What stirs and rises within your experience as you direct some attention to these ancient stories?
Please, dear one, remember this: these are just a part of the story we tell ourselves, or were told. They’re not the whole of the truth, not the whole of you. Thoughts and stories are constructs we build to help us make sense of the world and its dizzying complexities – they’re a choice.
YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOUR CHOICES. AND IT ALL STARTS WITH AWARENESS.
I know that asking questions, even uncomfortable ones – especially uncomfortable ones – is paramount to my forward movement in life. I’m always questioning the way I’m doing things and if there might be a different way. A better way.
So, all this to say, write down your money stories.
What do you radically believe about money and its power? Good or bad. Write down the stories that have a grip on you.
If you notice yourself thinking, for example, “I MUST have that cup of coffee from the gourmet coffee shop every morning because I work so hard and I deserve that cup of coffee. And what’s a few dollars here and there?” then I say you have a deeper money story there.
Why do I deserve a cup of coffee?
How does working hard relate to coffee and my deserving of it?
Why does a few dollars a day not matter to me when I spend it on coffee, but it does matter if I want to give it away or put it into long term savings?
My hope for you is you now have a deeper understanding of YOUR story and how it might be hindering you in reaching your money goals (goals like, “stick to a budget”) and, ultimately, financial freedom.
Choose awareness friends.
And then, also choose to step out of that old story and into a whole new way of being with money.
You got this.