Break old money habits and change your mindset around money. Today we rewrite your money story with Belinda Rosenblum.
We all have preconceived notions around money, many of them unconscious. If we can tease those notions to the forefront, we can conquer them and the behaviors they cause that hold us back financially.
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Our guest is a CPA and wealth expert who helps people take the worry and fear out of money. She believes life is supposed to be fun, and money is supposed to fund it for you! Belinda left her thriving corporate finance role to found OwnYourMoney.com in 2007 and lead a movement to change our entire perspective on money – so we release the overwhelming shame, take control, and learn the needed skills to be confident with money.
Belinda is the creator of the Money Makers Academy, a monthly step-by-step program that quickly shows you how to make more and save more money – without the confusion and stress. This is about teaching you the essential money skills and mindset that you may assume everyone else knows but actually very few people were ever properly taught.
You can even begin to “Shift Your Money Destiny” in her new free online workshop open for a limited time at www.ownyourmoney.com/listen — get instant access now to the Money IQ Quiz and Rewrite Your Money Story Guide!
She also is the coauthor of the book, SELF-WORTH TO NET WORTH: 12 Keys to Creating Wealth Inside and Out, offering a step-by-step approach to help you build your financial self-esteem and manage your own financial life.
We All Know What To Do
Being financially healthy and physically fit have a lot in common. We all know what we should be doing; don’t spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need by charging up your credit cards. Eat meat and vegetables for dinner, not chocolate cake.
That doesn’t always mean we do the right thing though even when we are well aware of what that is. Why not?
Sometimes we do manage to stay on the right track, we don’t overspend on our credit cards or eat cake for dinner. But then something happens, we might not even realize the correlation, and we fall back into our old habits and our old holes.
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Addressing the Symptoms but Not the Disease
For whatever reason, we were able to do well for a time. Maybe we got busted by a partner for those bad habits that affected them too. Maybe we got a new job with a significant pay increase and were able to pay off the credit card debt. Those things only address the symptoms; the overspending, not the disease; what is causing us to overspend?
The Original Sin
What is the reason we fall back to those old, bad habits, sometimes without even realizing it? Maybe we never learned good money skills. Our thoughts and habits around money are formed early ages 4-7. If we didn’t have parents who modeled good money habits, many of us never learn them unless we seek them out on our own because they surely aren’t taught in schools either.
Our beliefs around money affect so many other areas of our lives; how hard we work, what kind of jobs we take, how we interact with our family about money. To find our true money destiny, we have to uncover those original money sins that have shaped our behavior over the rest of our lives.
Getting to the Bottom of It
Belinda has developed steps to help you uncover the disease, the reason you have these behaviors around money, rather than just slapping a band aid on the symptoms.
-Recognize 3-5 pivotal money moments in your life. It could be something like a parent’s job loss when you were young or your parents working all the time so they could buy you things but were never around enough to spend time with you. You know, Freudian stuff!
-Choose one and look at conclusions you drew based on what happened. Maybe like Thomas, you decided to start your own business so no one could ever fire you. Or having lots of money and things was a poor substitute for your parent’s time.
-Now consider what other conclusions you can draw from the ones you have always held; a new perspective on your old beliefs. And reframe your old beliefs in a more positive way. Your mother or father lost a good job but worked a series of lesser jobs to keep you fed until they found something better. Bad things happen but we can find ways to survive.
Your parents weren’t trying to avoid you or buy your love; they wanted to give you all the things they didn’t have growing up.
The Perfect is not the Enemy of the Good
Some of us equate perfection with love and approval. If we got straight A’s, our parents would be proud and love us. In our minds, anything less than perfection means rejection and for some people, punishment. Sometimes these people strive for that perfection for the rest of their lives, always seeking that love and approval or avoiding that punishment.
This mindset doesn’t necessarily make them more successful. Do you think every person who stays at work until 10 pm is a top producing employee? Probably not. Top producers get things done in a way that doesn’t require so much time.
Sometimes perfectionists don’t produce anything at all, or at least not anything anyone else gets to see. They either are so paralyzed by the thought that whatever they do has to be perfect that they just can’t start anything or they tinker and tinker with what they do produce which means they never get anything out the door or ruin something perfectly good because they can’t leave well enough alone.
Some people wear their perfectionism as a badge of honor, much to the annoyance of us lesser mortals. It’s such a part of their identity that they can’t let it go even if it makes them insufferable to others and causes suffering for themselves.
If this sounds familiar, be aware that this is part of your identity but be willing to let it go. You won’t suddenly disappear or become invisible if you let that part of yourself go.
Rather than striving for perfection, strive for excellence. Is a perfect dinner better than an excellent one? No.
Do What You’ve Been Avoiding
If you want to get started without all this introspection, start with the thing you’ve been avoiding. You can go back and do the exercise outlined above later to figure out why you keep falling back into old habits and fix them.
But right now you are avoiding something, and it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse. Take that first step to rewriting your money story.
Ommegang Abbey Ale: A rich, fruity Burgundian brew.
Dogfish Head SeaQuench: A sour made with lime and black lime.
Belinda’s Personal Finance Workshop: Start to shift your money destiny and rewrite your money story.