Money is an emotive subject. It doesn't matter how much you earn, there will always be bills to pay. As your income grows, so do those expenses, meaning that you'll likely always feel like you never have enough.
It's no surprise that the most common complaint I hear about money is that "it's never enough".
Thinking about money triggers a physical and emotional response in us; much like the fight or flight response that our body experiences in moments of stress or danger.
Many people are operating in survival mode when it comes to their money. They don't open credit card bills, they avoid debt collection calls, they keep spending until the money runs out every month. They ignore it because it feels safer than looking at it.
However, the sense of 'safety' you get from ignoring your money is actually false. Rather than creating safety and feelings of security it eats away at the subconscious, like a dripping tap, it's always there in the back of your mind. You get no peace from ignoring your money.
So as part of World Mental Health Day I want to share the exact Money Audit I do with my clients. You will gain so much clarity from this exercise, and with clarity comes progress which will begin to reduce your money stress.
Firstly I'd like to share my top 3 tips for regaining control of your money:
- Look at your money every day.
- The more you look at your money, the less emotional it becomes. Over time you'll desensitise yourself to it, and you'll begin to see it as merely a number. When you look at it daily, you take back your power. Money no longer has power over you. This is the first step to regaining control of your money.
- Track income and expenditure.
- This really is one of the easiest ways to regain control of your money. It's not about seeing where you 'waste' money so that you can beat yourself up about it. NO. It's about getting comfortable seeing money come to you and flow from you. Seeing the flow of money rewires it in your brain as a good thing! It opens up your subconscious and begins to create new beliefs that allow you to receive more money and in turn you get to do more with it. Win Win.
- Save a small amount, regularly.
- Even if you can only save £1 a week, do it! The best way to make sure it happens is to have it set up as an automatic transfer. That way you won't notice it going out and you'll quickly be able to increase the amount. It's always encouraging to see a savings account grow, so use this to motivate yourself to save. In addition, think about what you could do with the money you save. Money loves a purpose!
- Name your savings account! Don't just call it a 'rainy day fund'. Instead, name it something that reminds you why you're saving e.g. New Shoes Fund or Chanel Handbag Fund. If there are a few things you want to save for, create a savings account for each one.
How best can you apply these three tips?
Use your smartphone. Be sure to download and use your banking app, as well as a note or spreadsheet app for tracking income and expenditure. It can be super simple, there's no reason to complicate it.
Now on to the audit! I'm really excited to share this with you.
Grab a pen and some paper.
We're going to look at 4 'types' of money:
- Income Goal
Each of these 'types' of money has 3 different aspects, and the audit will ask questions to unlock clues for each of these:
- Programmed belief / habitual self talk
- Emotion that runs through your nervous system
- Connected traumas, losses or events / memories
Let's start with Savings:
Write SAVINGS at the top of your sheet of paper. Underneath it, write the amount you currently have in your savings account. If you aren't sure, give it your best guess. If it's £0, write that.
Now I want you to look at the number you just wrote, take a deep breath and notice what feelings and emotions come up for you.
Question 1: What are you feeling? Where can you feel it in your body?
Question 2: What is the thought running through your head; what are you saying to yourself as you look at the number?
Question 3: What memories come to mind for you as you look at the figure in your savings account?
Make notes and write down what comes up for you and everything that you notice.
Congratulations, that's the first 'type' of money done!
Now all you have to do is repeat this process for the remaining three 'types' of money. Write the heading at the top of a fresh sheet of paper for each one, write the amount applicable to each one and then answer the same three questions.
This audit is a truly powerful process. You'll uncover hidden thoughts and beliefs that are sabotaging your money. You'll draw connections to past events and memories that are holding you back from earning more money and building your savings.
I've recorded an audio that walks you through the FULL audit. I'll be walking you through the process and sharing the biggest AHA's and takeaways from the people who've already gone through this process to help you identify your own blocks and see how they hold you back from creating a positive relationship with money. Join me next week, when I'll be sharing it with you right here on LifeLabs by Psychologies.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or insights you'd like help with, please share them in the comments below.