Shift Your Thoughts About Money and Seize Control Of Your Financial Destiny

Here's a strange question, but stop for just a moment and reflect on it. What role does money play in your life? Be completely  honest with yourself. Are you constantly chasing it? Are you always afraid there isn't enough? Does it intimidate you or confuse you? Does it seem unimportant? Can you never get enough? Does it provide emotional comfort?

Now, what about your finances — what shape are they in? Are you in debt? Spending beyond your means? Do you have a savings plan, emergency fund, and retirement portfolio? What about investments and stocks?

You'll be interested in this important little fact: your attitudes about money have a direct impact on the health of your financial situation. Understand the role money plays in your life, and you will go a long way in taking control of your finances. According to a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, money is the No. 1 source of stress for 73 percent of Americans.

Why does it cause so much stress? Because nearly all of us look to money as a way of finding emotional and spiritual contentment.

At the root of our spending problems and money angst is a core belief that there just isn't enough to go around. But deep inside we know that this is not true. In reality, we can erase much of our pain by simply shifting our desire for having more of what we want to wanting more of what we have. The vast majority of us have everything we need and many of the things we want. And yet we continue to struggle with money — either desiring more or never having enough.

Another lie we tell ourselves is that money and things are more important than life, relationships, spiritual connection, or the world around us. And we live in a culture that supports putting money ahead of everything else. We have ruined relationships over money, cut down forests for money, and even started wars over money. Is this really who we are deep inside? Why does society legitimize this behavior and attitude?

Rather than shifting your values to accommodate your financial goals, wouldn't it be far healthier to shift your financial attitudes to support your values?

We must remind ourselves every day what is really important — what really fulfills our emotional and spiritual needs.

  • Loving relationships in which we don't fight over who deserves more or who is spending too much.
  • A balanced life in which we don't work so much that we lose our personal connections or our sanity, just so we can buy more things that we don't have time or energy to use.
  • Peace of mind that we aren't spending more than we make, neglecting bills, and getting in debt.
  • Respect from those we love who observe us showing self-discipline and making wise financial decisions.
  • Self-respect from knowing that we are living in alignment with our values and our real priorities.
  • Spiritual well-being as we allow ourselves the time to connect to nature or a higher power and draw sustenance from that rather than the fleeting high of material acquisition.
  • Physical health which is so connected to our level of stress and emotional integrity.
  • Personal growth that is fostered when we release ourselves from the bonds of financial and material desire and discover how abundant life is regardless of how many zeroes are at the end of your paycheck.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you need to shift your thoughts about money so that you can take control of financial destiny.

1.  Are you an emotional shopper or do you shop when you get upset?

2.  Do you work all the time hoping to “get ahead.”

3.  Do you buy more than you should because as a child you had to do without?

4.  Do you think you and/or your children “deserve” more?

5.  Do you buy things hoping that this stuff  will fill an emptiness or void in your life?

6.  Do you purchase things in order to keep up appearances or make an impression?

7.  Do you worry yourself sick over money? Do you think about it from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night?

8.  Do you have trouble falling asleep because of money problems?

9.  Are you and your spouse and/or children always fighting about money?

If you see yourself embracing an unhealthy attitude toward money, then force yourself to take a step back and give yourself a financial review.

If your life is out of balance, you are stressed out and chasing your tail, you are in debt or never getting ahead, if  you can never have enough — then it's time to give yourself a financial makeover.

My friend Jeff Nickles who blogs at My Super-Charged Life was in bad need of a financial makeover about five years ago. Here's what he has written about that time in his life:

“About five years ago, I was in a hole financially.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was a mess nonetheless.  On top of it all, I was in denial.  I didn’t want to face the truth about my situation.  I didn’t want to admit that I owed tens of thousands of dollars on stuff I had long since forgotten I bought. I had virtually nothing in savings or retirement. I was one financial emergency away from bankruptcy. I made a good living, but I always felt broke. I was a terrible money manager.”

Jeff turned himself around and took control of his financial attitude and his money. He is debt-free except for his mortgage, and he is saving and building wealth. Jeff's success story propelled him to write an outstanding guide to help others turn their financial attitudes around and get on the road to financial freedom. It's called The Super-Charged Guide To Financial Freedom: A Simple, Step-by-Step Plan for Getting Control of Your Money and Creating Good Financial Habits.

It is a concise, 70-page plan that you can follow to get control of your finances and start winning with money.  It will walk you through exactly what you need to do every step of the way in clear, easy-to-understand terms. It is a practical, down-to-earth approach to effectively managing your money.

The guide is packed with commonsense advice on:

  • Creating a workable plan for changing your financial habits.
  • Effectively communicating your financial plan to your spouse.
  • Getting your spouse involved in the decision-making process.
  • How to overcome resistance to living on a budget.
  • Developing a flexible budget that works in the real-world.
  • Solutions to common budgeting problems.
  • Setting goals that will help you climb your way to financial freedom.

Jeff gave me an advance copy of the course, and I wouldn't recommend it if it wasn't a stellar program for anyone wanting to take control of their finances. He does offer a money back guarantee if you don't find it useful, but I have no doubt that it will help you get your financial  house in order, while you shift your attitude about the role money plays in your life.

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Comments

  1. Tess The Bold Life says:

    Barrie,
    This is excellent and you’ve hit so many major key points. I have 9 siblings and two core beliefs were “There’s not enough for me.” and “I’m being left behind.” Being left behind pops up more than lack. Now my fear is being left behind in blogland. LOL

    When hubs and I married I was 17 and pregnant. He was 20. He had one dollar in his wallet. We’re prove that anyone can change their life and financial situation around.

    Now we work less and enjoy life more. My car is 11 years old (we’ve only had 3 new cars in 39 years). When it gives out we’re not replacing it. We’ll be a one car family.

    Is all about choices and instant gratification is out of control these days.

    If we all realized just how much we have we’d fall down on our knees in gratitude.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Running- Why My World Revolves Around It =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      What an inspiring story Tess. Your kids must think you are amazing. It’s great to see a marriage that started when you were so young last so long! You two have been through it all together. I guess you learned financial responsibility together too. Thank you for your comments.

  2. Barrie,

    This makes me realize that being fulfilled and enjoying life is what is most important. It’s all too common that people incorporate financial values into what they believe will make them happy. I intend to perpetually increase my wealth, but this is different than being a slave to money. I feel in control of my financial destiny and from this feel healthy about financial decisions I make. It can be more complicated as children come into the picture and we obviously must have the financial means to live a desired standard of living, but the way we view money and how it impacts our emotional well-being can be our choice more than we realize.
    .-= Joe Wilner´s last blog ..The 4 Laws of Increasing Life- A Guide to Abundance and Flouishing =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Joe,
      You are so right — you can still increase your wealth and maintain a healthy balance in life and a maintain your values. Sometimes when we stop working so hard for money, it appears in our lives more naturally because we are doing things we love. There isn’t resistance involved. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

  3. Interesting read, Barrie. I prefer not to think too much about money, but it keeps pushing itself to the front of my thoughts as unplanned bills come up. Maybe that’s why my finances aren’t so hot. Since my main interests involve reading and writing, I don’t have a huge number of expenses, but it would be nice to be able to buy new stuff when I need it. Your list of emotional and spiritual needs looks a lot like my personal goals. My professional goals are where I look to earn money. It’s good to know the difference. Thanks for the post.
    .-= David Smith´s last blog ..Your Free Time Needs Balance =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      I’m like you David — I don’t like to think about money too much either. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing, But we have to be practical and pay attention to the money we have so that we have enough to do what we love. I’ve learned it doesn’t take a whole lot of money to find happiness.

  4. gloria morales says:

    muchas gracias por la excelente vision sobre el dinero y el bienestar emocional, no lo tenia desde ese enfoque y esta bueno porque en vez de vivir angustiado por lo que me falta, vivo apreciando y honrando mi vida por sobre las modas pasajeras generadoras de stress, y conflictos innecesarios.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Gloria,
      I can’t read Spanish, but I get the idea that this post was helpful for you. Thank you so much for commenting.

  5. Steven | TEM says:

    I notice that many people are discontent with life based on the ideas they have about money. It’s made me think about what money really is, and how it should serve my ends, instead of me serving only for its end. We have to accept that money is just a tool, and it can be used for both good and evil. It’s the mind of the user that will determine what success or failure you have with money.

    One of my favorite quotes on money is by the spiritual guru Osho,

    “Money is a means. If you are happy and you have money, you will become more happy. If you are unhappy and you have money, you will become more unhappy because what will you do with your money? Your money will enhance your pattern, whatsoever it is.”

    Really great piece. It touched on a lot of core ideas I sometimes wish I could better express on my blog. Nice work, and I’m looking forward to reading more from you soon (have you bookmarked now)!
    .-= Steven | TEM´s last blog ..Tweet Chat About Empathy On January 25th 7PM EST =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Thank you so much Steven. I am so glad you liked the post. I love the quote — there is so much truth in it. Your money does enhance the values you have in life. It is so refreshing to see a very wealthy person who is doing something meaningful with their money. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

  6. Steve-Personal Success Factors says:

    You highlight a nice balance: not thinking too much about money, but not thinking too little of it, either. When driven by fear, greed, and lack, we will repel money. When we have made peace with our misconceptions about money and abundance, we will be able to live in line with true values and bring value to our world. We will then be paid in full. I’m glad you mentioned Jeff Nickles: he’s a person with true integrity, and I’m excited to see what he has put together.
    .-= Steve-Personal Success Factors´s last blog ..Little Known Activities for Finding Happiness =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Steve,
      What a thoughtful comment! Thank you for sharing it. I love the words: “We will then be paid in full.” That’s what we are all waiting for, to be paid in full. But the best pay isn’t financial. You are so right about Jeff — a wonderful guy with tons of integrity.

  7. A friend of modest means told me that she views everything beyond her basic needs as wealth, and thus considers herself a very wealthy person!

  8. Great post, it give my thought
    I just think about money, we try to make more money to ensure for our life. So we need know what is important to spend our money. Everything need specific. And we need have plan to use our money to save money for life in future and for investment.
    Other hand, we need focus on make more money.
    This is problem of many people, but if we seriously to learn how make more money we will get it.
    We need keep habit for save money and learn how make more money for our financial.
    Thank you