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Out of Balanced Accounts

Out of Balanced Accounts

July 29, 2021

Honestly, how many of us have an unbalanced checkbook? How many of us put on a face that we have it all together when truly we have no idea where we’re at financially, have no idea where we’re heading and feel that there is no one to help? And that if anyone knew we might possibly be judged?

There is a term called money phobia, meaning we obsess over a lot of things money related, and can bury our head in the sand for fear of what we might see. We don’t want to look at our credit card statements, we don’t want to look at our bank account, we don’t want to record our spending, we don’t want to review our year, we do not want someone telling us what to do with our money, we’re very afraid to share what’s really happening with our money, we overspend and don’t understand why, we can understand but we still worry about money constantly. Another good term would be money avoider. You really have to be honest with yourself and ask, do I avoid money and all that surrounds that because truly I’m afraid of what I might see.

There is an interesting version of the Brothers Grimm fairytale called The Shower of Gold along the lines of a child bag lady, a fear that a lot of women contend with. Keep in mind, this is the original print with its grammatical errors.

The Shower of Gold

Once upon a time lived a poor maid and her father and mother were both dead, and the child was still very poor that she had no little room to live in, not even a bed to lie in. At last all her clothes were gone except what she wore and had nothing to eat but a piece of bread given to her by someone who had a kind, pure heart. Still, she was good and pious, and although forsaken by the world, she knew that God would take care of her, and she went out into the field and pray to Him to help her. On the day that a kind-hearted person had given her a piece of bread, she was walking along the road when she met a poor man who said to her, “Pray give me something to eat for I am hungry. “ 

Immediately she offered in the whole of her bread and went away after he had taken it, saying, “Heaven has sent it to you.”

Presently she saw a little child by the side of the road crying and as she passed, the child explained, “Oh my head is so cool, can you give me something to cover it?”  Instantly the poor maid took off her own cap and gave it to the child.

A little further, she met another child who said she was freezing for want of a jacket, so she gave up her own. Another asked for her petticoat and she gave that also. At last she went into the woods, where it was quite dark, and here she intended to sleep. But she had not gotten far, before she found another little child with scarcely any clothes at all, and who appeared to be almost dying with cold.

The good child said to herself, “it is quite dark now so no one will see me if I take off all to give to this child.”

So she took off all her clothes that she had on, covered the poor little shivering child with them, and went away. This pious is child had nothing in the world at all, and she was trying to go to the wood to cover herself with the tree leaves, when all at once a golden shower fell around her from heaven. At first she thought that it was the stars, which look like golden money in the heavens were falling but when the drops reached the ground they were real golden dollars, and as she stood still under the golden shower she found herself covered from head to foot with warm and beautiful fine clothes. She gathered at the golden dollars, carried them away and was rich instead of poor all the rest of her life.

Although this is a heartwarming story I think secretly a lot of us as women and some men, harbor in our hearts that this will happen to us when in fact many times it just leaves us poor.

This orphan actually was blind to money because she did not calculate her needs or take stock of her resources and some of those resources were limited.

I personally had to deal with understanding the consequences of giving to generously to my own detriment. When my husband passed, I hired a finance coach so I could understand some of the money mistakes I made.  I came out of a traditional marriage where he handled our personal finances. While I ran a non-profit with a board of directors, we collectively worked on the organization’s finances, and this was very different than handling my personal finances. I had to have my oldest son come to my house and teach me how to pay bills online. I lost money not knowing what I was doing and not understanding the questions I needed to ask at that time. That is when I decided I needed a finance coach.  He said this, “You are the charity right now and although you have this desire to give, let’s work on decreasing that and increase cash flow and income.” I did not want to hear that, but he was 100% right.  I needed to put new habits in place, and I did.  This led me to learn the skills, develop the knowledge and earn the CeFT designation so I could help others going through these money challenges and life transitions.  Please reach out to us if you need the practical help. 

Signs that our accounts are out of balance

Hidden figures

Do we hide our actual financial figures and not because we're so abundantly blessed financially because we don’t want to face what we have or don’t have?

Sometimes we avoid learning how to build what we want because we don’t feel we deserve it. There are psychological issues surrounding money and can come in the way we were raised and how we were influenced. It’s not an excuse but it’s something to look at and ponder. Our relationship with money may start with our family, did your parents hide money, did one of your parents lie about money, did one of your parents use money as a controlling factor, or your parents envious about others who are wealthy?  These may be some of the same issue we deal with in a marriage. 

What if you actually started to change your attitude and your thoughts and habits about money and embraced your reality?

One of the first things I encourage is for the person to create a money story by writing out how you learned about money during your formative years and young adulthood.

First things first

You have to decide, “I need to know where I’m at so I know where I’m heading.” If you don’t start here you won’t be able to make the changes. Once your face what you have (assets) and your debts (liabilities) you can begin to make changes and plan purposefully.

How do I do this?

Change your inner critic

Take a sheet of paper and on one side think of all the negative thoughts you have in regards to money, everything, just write it all down, don’t be ashamed just do it. On the right side of the paper write down the positives to that negative. Brian Tracy said something really good in his book, Get Smart, turn the negative to a positive so if you say I don’t feel I earn enough money have the corresponding sentence say I earn $75,000 annually and you put in there exactly what you want we can refine this later but this is a start.

In 2002 Daniel Kahneman received the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences for advances in that he revealed that 90 – 95% of all the purchase decisions we make are determined by the sub-conscious part of our brain and that these decisions are driven primarily by intuitive and emotional factors rather than rational ones. So, we should slow down in how we give or spend our money based on our values and by preplanning as much as possible while also deciding what can we give spontaneously.

                                       Small continuous improvements change our outcome~ James Clear in his book Atomic Habits.

We don’t want to avoid money or our personal finance but face it. Remember, also that decreasing your spending is your first raise. What can I live without (a certain bill you don’t need) to give myself a $30 raise or a $100 raise or whatever small thing you can actually do without?

We don’t want to be unprepared for the journey!

Remember, decrease your spending, (get a raise), increase your income, (get another raise) increase your savings by automating for a rainy day, invest wisely, (a future raise) and give generously, (purposeful and value based)