When it comes to how to treat your MONEY, there is a certain amount of prophesy required.
You should know if you will have enough to meet your month of expenses.
You should have a plan for what you will use your savings for in the next five years.
You should know the best kind of investments for your long term goals.
Yet, you don’t. Not really.
The thing about life is that it is unpredictable. It can be a journey of an unknown length through unexpected landscape.
That’s the fun part.
Planning for it can be more challenging.
So when it comes to your MONEY, you want to plan for the things that are likely to happen (e.g. taxes, health stuff, a rainy day) and the stuff that will happen (future plans and goals, like vacations, buying a house, and retirement).
There’s no formula and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
You have to gather the knowledge to know what the options are.
The challenge when it comes to spending is that we only know what has already happened.
Humans love to remind themselves of the past and this includes the money and expenses that have come before.
The beautiful thing about life, especially in a creative career, is that you really don’t know what is coming. You have an idea, you have a vision, you have an inkling, but until it happens, you have no idea what’s next.
So when it comes to planning or budgeting your money, it can be easy to fixate on the known numbers:
what has come before
what happens to other people
what the worst possible outcome would be
Yet, as likely as these solidly reasoned projections might be, they are still projections. They are ephemeral shadows made to represent an unknowable future.
And frankly, you just don’t know what the universe has in store for you and for your future self.
Remember that person? Your future self, the one you are evolving into.
They have needs too and you don’t yet have a sense of what those are.
So take some time and consider the expenses that might be needed when you arrive at the place you are heading for. Maybe that’s pilates classes, maybe that’s another degree, maybe that’s a subscription for art supplies.
Consider investing in the you that’s coming and perhaps you just might prompt them to arrive that much sooner.
When it comes to MONEY MONSTERS, it’s easy to fixate on all the ways they hold you back. The ways they keep you from things you are convinced are better than the ones you have.
Yet MONEY MONSTERS are really there to keep you safe. Wrapped tight as a bug and held close for ‘safety’.
They mean well.
They are protecting you from the great unknown.
This is an important part of human survival, the section of the brain where imaging the worst leads to vanquishing challenging circumstance.
It’s why we are here today.
Our ancestors did not get eaten by dinosaurs before they reproduced. They found enough resources to survive to nurture the next generation. They may even have shared some of those resources when their offspring left the nest.
They made it safe for us to survive.
That’s what the MONEY MONSTERS are trying to do too.
But now that we are no longer in constant mortal peril, they kinda don’t have serious jobs anymore. It’s peacetime for the amygdala. What’s a hardworking MONEY MONSTER to do?
Find trouble at every turn.
But like a dog who just wants to go out for a walk, they are alerting you to every little noise and potential danger.
Catch that? Potential danger
Yes, it could be a serial killer at the door…..or the mail man.
It could be a terrifying beast with blood dripping fangs……or it could be the tightly wound chihuahua from next door.
MONEY MONSTERS aren’t capable of discerning the difference. They are just on high alert for danger.
Thank them for their service and let them know you value their bringing the threat to your attention.
Not every security alert means imminent death.
It’s just letting you know of the possibility of danger.
After the learning lesson of life, it can be easy to second-guess yourself, especially when it comes to MONEY.
Perhaps the mistakes of the past scream loudly in your ears.
Perhaps they whisper quietly when you try to fall asleep at night.
Perhaps you see their reflections in the successes of others who achieve the dreams you sought.
This loop of self-judgement builds an environment where you may feel your choices are not the best. Your instincts are not to be trusted. Your impulses, too impulsive.
Like a child learning to walk, the stumbles are part of the success. If the toddler only crawls because it knows how to do that without too much struggle, then the growth of learning to walk is never embraced.
Sure, no one ever sees you fall but no one ever sees you run either.
There is learning in wobbles. There is strength building in returning to equilibrium when you head a little too far out for comfort.
Trust yourself and know whatever the outcome, you are offering yourself the best opportunity to learn you can. And you’ll need those skills for what’s next.
Back in the days of my starving artist hustle, I often chose to skip a meal to save time and money. It seemed like sustenance was optional.
SPOILER ALERT: it wasn’t.
I cost myself connection and opportunity by not feeding myself properly.
Yet now that I work on taking great care of myself financially (and all the other ways, frankly), I see that if I had taken the time to care for myself first, then the opportunities I sought would find me.
I wasn’t showing up as my fullest self because I was withholding the resources I needed to function at my highest level.
I missed moments when more was possible.
I skipped social events.
I bowed out of commitments due to untreated overwhelm.
I didn’t know that taking the time to invest in care for myself reaps multiple benefits in the long run.
I choose to prioritize the care and feeding of my best creative life and suddenly I create an environment where I can shine as my most fully realized self.
And who doesn’t want to connect and collaborate with that person?
More creates more. So start letting yourself have more and see what increases without effort.
In our modern life, we tend to be more focused on accumulating than valuing.
This leads to a clogged closet that is more buried than benefits us.
We can’t see what we have so we can’t use it so we can’t enjoy it so we can’t appreciate what we have.
Do you see the edge in that accumulation of actions?
We buy what we need and sometimes what we want. We sometimes forget to go back and look at what we have.
This is not just pairs of shoes.
This is anything that we hold onto that is more than we can really use anytime soon. It gathers stuck energy around itself and begins to feel like a burden, heavy and unmovable.
Back in the day, this was fancy samples from chic hotels. I had piles of them and never used one of them. Somewhere in my mind, I thought I would have a day when I felt the way I wanted to feel and I would use them.
SPOILER ALERT: that day never came.
They leaked, took up space, and started to devolve into goo. Sad loss of a neglected resource.
Cash flow has flow in its name because it is meant to move.
You put a little out there and more comes back. You move some into savings or a long term account and then a little more flows its way.
It’s the in and out of the tide. The tide may go out but it always does come back in.
But if you clog up the flow with a boulder of stuck energy because of a lack mindset, the flow may move around the obstacle and away from you.
So maybe take some time and clean out your closet. You might just find something you need and forgot you had. Your MONEY will thank you.