For so many years, I had mostly negative feelings about money. There was never enough. Progress was always so slow. Stuff always cropped up. I had so much fear, scarcity, and resentment. Basically all my thoughts about money fell into one of those buckets.
And all my interactions with money were basically the same. I’d get paid once or twice a month, but have to spend money on many more days per month. It’s hard to feel positive and abundant when you’re mostly focused on the money constantly leaving.
Making more has given me breathing room. Space to step back, rethink and re-examine my relationship with money and how I handle it. I can see now that I could have changed a few things back then that would have helped. It wouldn’t have changed the bottom line, but it would have done wonders for my mental wellness. (I do credit myself for stepping back from the PF world years ago when things were super tight and I knew that reading and obsessing about money was doing me no good.)
There are always things we can do to start feeling better about money right now, though.
When paying bills…
Imagine that money coming in instead. Landing in your account.
(The power company is gonna get its due. That’s not changing. But what if you played around with how you think about this?)
I used to resent paying bills. Now I try to flip that around, and feel grateful for having the money to easily pay the bills. I have that luxury now. That might be a stretch for you. Just try imagining that money coming to you instead.
Hat tip to Denise Duffield Thomas for inspiring this one. I heard her hack for filling up at the petrol station – as the number ticks up on screen, imagine that is your bank balance going up – and then adapted this to use anytime I paid bills
Transfer money to savings as often as possible
Sometimes quantity does reign supreme. It’s the psychological effect (like debt snowball vs avalanche). Lots of small wins = a big mental boost.
Especially if things are tight. Transferring just $5 can be really meaningful.
We’re always telling ourselves stories. This is one way to start changing your story to one where you CAN and DO save money. You’re a saver. Even if $5 or $10 doesn’t feel like much and might not feel worthwhile, it’s symbolic.
That’s how habits are built. We start small. We stay consistent.
Give when you can
It feels amazing to give. Truly. I used to be sceptical. Having beats giving any day! Why would I want to do that?
Then I started doing it. Being someone who’s generous is not an identity I ever aspired to or related to. I just never saw myself that way. But as I’ve become more able to, I’ve increased my giving back. Turns out I like it. It makes me feel amazing about money.
I’d bet that the same would be true for you. Make a donation next time you’re feeling blah about money and see how you feel afterwards.
If you liked this, you’ll probably love Money Groove, my self-paced digital course all about finding your own financial groove – it’ll be right up your alley.