Last week, I got a question on Instagram to talk more about abundance and financial wellness. I love this question so much because it is such a necessary theme to feeling like you are on the right track with your finances and feeling good about money.
At the end of it, the main root of having abundance with money just means to feel good with money, right? We want to get out of this trap with negative thoughts about money.
Here’s why this is so key too – you likely want to feel good today about your money. After all, you are not going to fix your finances overnight. It took time for you to get where you are and it will take time to undo it. What we can do – even starting today – is to ensure you are focusing on positive thoughts, and push yourself into a better financial state.
From my financial coaching client’s experiences, it is so easy to go down the rabbit hole of “not enough”, “how did this happen?”, “this is going to take years”. I totally understand that and honestly, have been there myself when I was tackling my debt and even when we were building up our savings. Those thoughts can be all consuming, can’t they?!?
My goal of writing this is to give you a few pointers on feeling better with money.
Before you read any further, please note that I tackle this individually with clients that express interest in exploring this topic further. Abundance, gratitude, money contentment are topics that I think are really personal. I tend to know my clients after spending virtual time with them so I tackle this in a customized way with them. There is no “one-size” fits all when it comes to finding what makes you feel content and abundant with money. If something does not work, please keep trying until you find a good place for yourself.
Scarcity vs. Abundance Thinking
Let’s start at the top…there has been so much written about scarcity vs abundance thinking. A scarcity mindset tends to move people towards thinking of the world as limited – limited resources, limited money, limited opportunities….and at the heart of it all, competition. Scarcity puts you in the mindset of there’s never enough.
Note that scarcity affects people regardless of income or net worth. You could have 10 million dollars and very much believe it is not enough. And it won’t be – scarcity puts you into a place of thinking there is never enough.
An abundant mindset, on the other hand, believes that more money can be made. You feel content with what you have. You give openly and with palms wide open. If you want something, you believe you have the power to go out and make it happen. At the heart of it, maybe you feel like it is all going be alright with the current path that you are on.
Abundance is where you – literally – on all the things you have in your life. Your basic needs are met but then as you look around your life – clothes in your closet, roof over your head, car, books, food, access to medical care – all much more than you need or use within a day.
I hope you revel in that idea. Soak it in. You very well have more than what you actually need to live.
This article here from Inc talks more about these differences if you want to check this out further.
You are on the long road with finances - make sure you are on the right road
The financial road is a long one. The current path you are on right now…is going to take years? A decade? Maybe a couple decades?
I don’t know about you….but the idea of this sounds overwhelming. Like it is never going to happen. Like I am going to spend my whole life working on these finances.
Now, that is not the path of thinking we want you going down.
If that resonates with you, you gotta do what you can with your finances. Meaning set yourself up with a realistic budget. Live within your means. One that allows you to travel, dine out a bit, or whatever floats your boat. Get yourself on a path that actually is absolutely on the best financial path for you – cutting debt or investing in your retirement automatically – but then go out and live your life.
Set up some basic parameters or rules for yourself that you don’t ever cross – like no new debt, faithfully create sinking funds, stick to your budget, automate savings, use cash, etc – but then leave it there. Thinking about your money is not a hobby. I seriously regret how much time I spent in my own life stressing about money, focusing on the lack, and, in general, obsessing….don’t be like the former me, please!
If you are on the right path with your money – the one where you see your debt payoff in sight or you are focusing on savings or retirement – then let the money stuff go. Obsessing or worrying about money (& I see this a lot with my clients) adds nothing to your bottom line of saving more or paying off debt. Use your energy to produce income or cut expenses. But you are wasting time by thinking about money without producing a tangible result (it is like the difference between thinking about working out and actually doing it, right?!?!?).
If you don’t feel like you are on the right path, reach out to me for some pointers on your situation or work with someone else who can help you. Your peace, stress, and general ability to get financially ahead is at stake. There are coaches out there that can help you see your finances differently. Rely on someone else to help you get ahead.
Focus on what's going right and how your needs are being met...
It is so easy to focus on what’s not right – what’s not working – where you aren’t in your life. But I tend to challenge my clients to think about what is going *right* in their life.
When you take your mind to a place of needs – food, water, shelter, transportation, access to medical care – it brings your mind to a place of feeling grateful. Sure, your place may not be decorated the way you like or you may not like your current neighborhood, but allowing yourself to feel joy for what you do have is the starting point.
I would encourage you – like I do my clients – is to focus on what is going well. Are you current with any of your bills? Can you make your minimum payments? Do you have clean running water? Do you have a cell phone in your hand that connects you to billions of other people and ideas? Do you see financial progress happening? Are you getting better with your budget? Use whatever spot you are in right now to create gratitude for what you do have.
If you have a hard time with that, another thing that I do is to remember when you were younger and you used to dream of the day that you would have in-unit washer and dryer? Or the side of the you that dreamed one day of owning a home or having keys to your own place? Where did that side of you go? That side of wonderment?
As you add more into your life, you become accustomed to your environment. The fancy academic technical term is hedonic adaptation (here’s an article about it!). As new things come into your life (new job, new pay raise, marriage, new jeans), the glory of its arrival fades after awhile. Your emotional state returns to where you were before. That’s why having, say an in-unit washer and dryer, no longer makes you giddy like it once did.
But, if you remind yourself of these new additions on an ongoing basis, then you feel gratitude for your situation. I personally get in touch with those thoughts throughout nearly every day so I never get too far away from the person that used to dream about keys to her own place. What does to my thoughts is it open my eyes to everything else I have….a car that I don’t worry about starting in the morning? Able to put more than a dollar in my gas tank at a time? Wow, I have so much!
Sometimes, we are so focused on “what’s next” that we forget to look at what we have accomplished and what is going well. I would encourage you to make a list.
Make your finances simple
I wrote about this on this blog post here about reducing money stress and creating a more simplified approach to money. I would encourage you to think about how you change your process to get to feeling like you are reducing your money stress and simplifying your finances. Using cash, sinking funds, changing your process to pay bills just one or two times per month….all of it reduces the noise and gets you away from the stress of whether you have enough. Do your bills once or twice a month and then live your life after that.
Change your words
Consider moving your words and thoughts from “I can’t afford that….” to “I choose not to afford that….” or “How could I afford this in the future?”. Focusing on what you can’t do is another scarcity tactic, but using different words and thoughts puts you in a more abundant mindset.
I hope these tips were helpful to you in thinking about how you can bring more abundant thinking into your life. I encourage you to look for ways that will be effective for you and your personality – this is just a starting point.
I want to really encourage you to take small, simple steps to get ahead financially so that you can improve your relationship with money and feel abundant with it. Take action to find out what can allow you to feel better about your finances today.
From gratitude, thinking about your actual needs, changing the words you use, remembering how your former self used to feel, moving on a positive road with money all helps you help heal your relationship with money and feel abundant. I hope these tips helped!
Interested in working together?
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