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CREATE SPACE FOR NEW BELIEFS

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We have all unconsciously downloaded misinformation into our brains. We now have to consciously begin identifying our early money programming memories based on our family, early childhood and how we were raised. It will take some work to identify and change those beliefs.

By finding and following The Money Nerve, you have already started the process of self-discovery. The more I’ve learned about myself, the more I’ve understood the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant events have had on my life and that probably rings true for you as well.

Before you start any journey, you need to know where you want to go (your goal), what you have to work with (your beliefs), and what new things you will bring (your new perspective).

It’s important to bring your story to consciousness so that you begin to take responsibility for where you are. This, in turn, helps you make clearer choices that will take you where you WANT to go—and allows you to realize your own power.

Explore some of your old habits and see if those actions are still serving you. If they hold you back, it is time to clean out any financial and emotional “trash” and move forward. Once you are aware of where you sabotage yourself financially, you can begin to change your automatic responses. Be more present and listen carefully to the words you are using. As you start to consciously hear yourself creating roadblocks, choose to intentionally reroute your mind toward the fresh course of action that you have set for yourself.

Start by setting aside time to think, reflect and write down your thoughts, present and future. Spending time by yourself gives you the ability to hear your own voice and discover your dreams. Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

With a certain amount of quiet time, you start to listen with the ears behind your ears. You may hear voices saying, “Only special people do that,” “I don’t deserve it”— and the voices may not be your own. It will sound like you are saying it, but if you are like me, you might hear your parents telling you that you are not capable. Tell those voices to be quiet; you are busy. And then go back and pay attention to your own voice.

Are you ready to take action? If you hate your job, find your passion and work in that field. If you don’t have skills, take classes. If you hate being broke, start saving. If you are unhappy with your debt, make a plan to pay it down while curbing spending.

What is working for you and what isn’t? Are you ready to start creating your financial freedom even if the process is scary? Now you can begin to head in a new direction.

Invest in Value for Long Term Sustainability

The financial quick-fixers have a duct tape mentality, and contrary to popular belief, duct tape doesn’t fix everything. They may get immediate results, but are not actually dealing with the cause of their problem.

If you are overdrawn in your bank account, you might think you are doing right by using your credit card to bring your account back into balance. That is robbing Peter to pay Paul. The reality is that you are creating more debt for yourself and adding interest payments to what you owe already.

I joke that I wish I could “un-know” what I know. It is a lot more work when you start to take responsibility for your life. Imagine going to a seminar and hearing that there are eight steps you have to take in order to become a millionaire. Many people in the seminar will stop at four steps and say, “I’ve finished four steps, why don’t I have 500,000 dollars?”

We live in a volatile world. Instead of being a financial quick-fixer, take a longer view into the future and begin to make choices will create a healthy and abundant lifestyle over time.

  • Figure out where you are: Take a look at your spending habits and write down every purchase in a month.
  • Identify your priorities: How can you reallocate funds to support your priorities and provide additional value in your life?
  • Create a financial support system: Actively seek support utilizing professional advice, friends, financial tools, software and applications to set yourself up for success.

Once you learn to work with your list of financial goals and stop operating out of fear regarding money, you will see your efforts transfer to other aspects of your life. You may feel more financially confident once you have a clear vision of where you are and where you want to be.

Empowering yourself financially allows you to toss out old reactions and habits. You choose your actions! As you tap into your own power, you no longer wait for luck to happen or hope that you win the lottery—you actively take charge of your life. I call this positive lifestyle where the riches of life are inherent in your soul—proactive abundance!

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BUDGET FOR YOUR FUTURE

Start a Savings AcctAre you saving? If you are in the hole one hundred dollars this month, and you continue down that path, how long will it be before you get so far behind that you will not be able to turn it around? You need to create a savings habit. Some financial advisors suggest eliminating all debt before saving. I believe you should pay off debt and save simultaneously.

Start putting twenty-five dollars into a savings account. Today. NOW!

Set up an automatic debit with the bank so that, when your direct deposit hits on the 5th of each month into your checking account, an electronic transfer goes into your savings account on the 6th. Start this habit at the same time you learn to pay down your debts. You want to establish a method for both. Yes, you’ll pay a little more interest than if you put the extra twenty-five dollars toward the credit card debt, but you’ll start to see your savings account grow. My experience is that, as people begin to save a little, they feel a sense of accomplishment and can’t wait to start putting more away.

Remind yourself to “pay yourself” first. That is what saving is about – paying yourself for your future. People say they want to pay themselves first, and they usually don’t follow through. I ask my clients, “Why aren’t you saving?” I often hear, “I am waiting to get this big check, and then I’m going to kick-start my savings plan.” Or they say, “I want to pay off all my debt before I start saving.”

My experience with many clients (and my previous self) is that we often promise ourselves to save, and we rarely do. There isn’t usually a big windfall or a money tree that lets us wipe away all our debts and obligations. Assume there’s no big lottery win in your future and just start putting away small amounts.

Get into the new habit of saving. You should start with twenty-five dollars. Start experiencing the gratification of seeing your savings grow while paying down your credit cards and other debts. Incorporate the habit of saving while honoring your prior financial obligations. You are now becoming debt-free while building your wealth and that equation will provide more freedom for future plans.

Each evening, I empty my pockets and drop the change into a jar. I have three or four jars. When one fills up, I add a second one… and then a third. I may have about eighty bucks of change at the end of the year. If you like to save your change like I do, you don’t even have to keep filling those jars. Take the coins down to the bank and throw them into your savings account where it will earn a little interest. It may be little change at first, but lots of small change turns into dollars. Going from being in the red to managing a positive flow of income is a great feeling!

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Setting Your Priorities

Shift in Perspective

Re-evaluating what is most important can be life changing. Studies have proven that effective goal setting can bring about significant change in a person’s thought actions and lifestyle.

Sometimes people procrastinate because the task seems to big to handle. Some folks concentrate on tiny meaningless decisions that don’t make an impact on critical choices. Some people think there just isn’t enough time, but in creating a slight mental shift, time and desire can redirect your time, efforts and concentration to become more productive in your choices.

One of the benefits you may have as you make progress in one or two areas — you may find that your renewed focus and energy manifest positive changes in other aspects of your life as well. Setting goals is an excellent way to discover your true internal beliefs and take actions that are true to the “real” you. You can learn to create balance and success in both your personal and professional live.

While it may feel overwhelming, stating intentions and setting goals can be broken down into a few easy steps.

  • Step 1: Write down all of your goals for the next 2-5 years. Rank them by what you desire most and then make a side note determining if the goals are easy or difficult. Breaking the bigger, more challenging goals into smaller “chapters” gives you the ability to work out a solution over time.
  • Step 2: Realize you can’t make massive changes in every area of your life at the same time. Pick three main goals to begin with and stay focused on those first.
  • Step 3: Write down your goals and start a journal to review your thoughts, write yourself notes or log inspirational quotes or ideas to keep you going. You may find the goal evolves with time, producing better results.
  • Step 4: Reward yourself for success. Many “pint-sized” steps can culminate in achieving substantial results. Take time to recognize small victories and “treat” yourself with a little reward.

Life is a series of snapshots and moments that create the wholeness and beauty of our lives – rejoice in it!

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AFRAID OF THE IRS

IRS-Agent

It’s amazing how many people are terrified of the IRS. They view this government organization as the ultimate parent or authority figure. Even when they know they’ll get a refund, the process of getting their financial numbers together (and the fear of a possible audit) are enough to make some people avoid dealing with their taxes altogether.

Some even believe they’ll end up in prison if they have avoided filing taxes for years. Debtor prison ended a long time ago, but fines for filing taxes late are real. Ignoring tax responsibilities does not make them go away, it merely increases work later and often has a penalty attached.

When you fear authority and do not take responsibility for your finances, you essentially put the responsibility on others to make your decisions. If you’re not taking action out of rebellion, you’re saying, “I don’t like your ideas, so go ahead and do whatever you want.” If you’re relinquishing your financial responsibilities because of insecurity, you might say, “I’m afraid of doing it wrong, so I will do nothing.” Although the intentions are different, the result is the same.

Sam, one of my of my clients, came to me one day to talk about his taxes. He said, “Um, I don’t want anybody to know this, but I haven’t filed my taxes in ten years.” He was very embarrassed. I completed his returns, and it turned out he would have had tax refunds, but lost all the money due to him because the IRS deadline to collect the refunds had passed.

Once Sam became current with his filings, he was relieved and promised he would never let it happen again. The next year, I called him to remind him to send me his tax information … and the next year and the next. I finally stopped calling him. Caution! There is no time frame if you owe the IRS money. Sam was literally paying the IRS 5,000 dollars per year to not file! It is truly amazing how expensive inaction can be—and inaction is often triggered by fear.

One way to avoid fear is to be intentional as you journey through the year. Purchase an accordion folder this week & start stashing paperwork into categories. File them as soon as you pay the bills or get a paycheck. Breaking the entire fiscal year into a weekly routine of filing paperwork into your different categories will make that big April 15th chore much more manageable!