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Money Mindset Part I - Defining my Relationship with Money and Building my Sense of Value and Esteem

'Find a penny, pick it up and all day you'll have good luck'
'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'

When you see or hear about money what comes into your mind?

For me it was easy come, easy go - to be honest.  There never seemed to be enough money and even large amounts seemed to float through and out of my life and I could never really account of where it went, it certainly didn't grow and I had no connection to it at all, in fact I have come to realise I was actually scared of it.

My first money mindset work was to get to grips with my money. I always avoided looking at the accounts and having to see it dwindle away, feeling like there was never enough and always going into thousands of pounds of overdraft as I had no management of it at all.
So rather than just create an excel budget (which I did and was really helpful to actually see what I had coming in and therefore what I could actually AFFORD to spend) I also wanted to track my realistic spending and stick to my budgets.  I downloaded a bog standard free / cheapy money tracking app where I popped in all my budgets and every time I bought something and this did two things. First it made me look at my spending and where I was spending my money and secondly it made my stop and reconsider spending if I was going to go out of my budget.  Cards are chaos for tapping away and not having to be accountable about expenditure but tracking my money meant I had to see what I was doing and take ownership.

Next was looking at my money demons. I started reading Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas and she talks about going back into our relationship with money, our history, our parents stories and how it made us feel.  Wow! There was so much there and I started to see I'd confused money for self-worth and my financial state was a manifestation of how I'd been undervaluing myself and playing small in my life.  I created some money mantras and stuck them around my desk and in my head:

" Money flows easily into my life" "I have more than enough money"

Energetically though I knew I had to make shifts in how I was handling money and get on top of my debts.  I paid off all small debts I could and tackled bigger credit cards debts through 0% balance transfers I found through Money Saving Expert saving £100s on interest alone and being able to budget the repayments.  My early strategy was to get rid of all my debt as quickly as possible but soon found this was causing cashflow problems, as I was not leaving enough monthly expenditure and found a new strategy after watching this Marie TV episode with Amanda Steinberg.
I realised debt wasn't a bad thing, it was how it was managed so I reduced the repayment amounts and made a plan for longer term debt-free strategy, shifting the balance when the promotional offers expire.  So far in 2 years I have repaid 2 cards and have freed up some of that income that was going to pay off activities and items whose joy was long in the past and now the debt was a burden limiting my future.  When I realised this, I knew I wouldn't be taking on debt again unless I knew I was in a position to repay it monthly or at a certain definite point.

So I'll be sharing part II of this journey soon and hope that unlike the movies, this next part will be just as interesting.

As a parting point I also started to see a link between my trauma and mental health and my money and also in many others around me.  Those who seemed to be the most confident emotionally also displayed good management of their money so I asked my therapist if she knew of a link and whilst there's no research it makes sense that poor money skills are linked to trauma for many reasons; being a victim, not feeling a sense of power and control and also the chaotic emotional space we often find ourselves in when our mental health isn't at it's best.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from you... What has your relationship with money been like and what tools or tricks have helped you gain some mastery over those £££s?

 Please comment below and also come and find more musings on my Instagram page @acacia.woman


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