Do you ever get the sense that everyone else is better at money than you?
Even though my job is to work with money, I often feel like I must be doing something wrong. If I wasn’t wouldn’t I be making money angels in a pile of Benjamins?
It’s so easy to get caught up in judging our money, especially because everywhere we turn we hear about how Lacy paid off $90k in debt in 30 days. Or how Jim went from $1k a month to $10k month in just one year. And how Barry and Sue make 7-figures by repurposing ketchup packets into ebooks.
With all of these “inspirational” stories, it’s easy to start feeling like the biggest money loser of all time.
But here’s a thought- what if the most inspirational thing we could do for our money was to stop judging it and appreciate it exactly as it is? What if we don’t have to be like Lacy, Jim, Barry or Sue and we can just be us- money warts and all?
Here’re 4 exercises you can do to stop judging your money and start appreciating where you’re at right now:
Write Your Own Money Inspirational Story
What’s one impressive thing you’ve done with your money?
Write a story about it.
If you’re thinking, “I’m so bad at money, I’ve never done anything well,” stop right now.
There has to be ONE thing you’ve done well with your money. Even if it’s as small as not buying those super cute shoes you saw in the window on payday or saving $5 at the grocery store- that’s an accomplishment.
You can still write a story about tiny achievements. Rehash all of the details, both about your surroundings and what was going on inside emotionally. Write about:
What inner resources did you tap into to reach this achievement?
How did it feel to do this thing?
What did this accomplishment inspire you to do next?
Relive the experience. What shifts do you experience in your perception of your money?
Make a List of Everything Your Money Enables You to Do
What parts of your life do you cherish? How does your money make this happen?
Here’s mine: My partner and I do a cabin rental share in a quaint town in Northern California. Once a month we pack up our dog and spend 3-4 nights in our rustic cabin. The cabin is our space to unplug, connect with our analog hobbies (no wifi!), enjoy nature, and spend quality time together.
These 3 days are what keep me going for the rest of the month. Without my money, these 3 days wouldn’t happen.
What activity feeds your soul? How does money support that activity? Even if it’s something that is free, like taking a walk on the beach, your money pays for the gas to get you there.
This exercise isn’t about needing money in your life, it’s about appreciating how money shows up.
Connect Your Money With Your Core Values
How does your money uphold your core values?
For example, justice is one of my core values and my money not only allows me to make donations to organizations that are fighting for justice, it also enables me to take time off and volunteer. If it weren’t for my money I would not be able to uphold my value of justice as fully as I do.
Take a piece of paper and fold it in half, lengthwise. On one side, write a list of your core values. If you get stuck, consider:
What’s most important to you?
When do you feel the most alive?
What value is this pointing to?
On the other side, write how your money enables you to uphold these values.
Even something as small as, “Not working after 2 so I can pick my kids up from school” is an important reminder of how money connects to your values.
Write Your Money a Love Letter
Get sappy with your money! Tell it all the wonderful things you see in it and why you are so happy it’s in your life. Use flowery language and don’t hold back.
What conversation do you have more with your money?
“Ugh, why can’t there be more of you? Why won’t you let me buy that shiny gadget? I wish I didn’t have to work so hard to make you. Why didn’t you show up more in my last launch? Why are you never around when I need you? How come you never listen to me? Why can’t you be more like Sally?”
“Oh sweet rosebud of my soul, how I cherish you in every waking moment of my days. My heart bursts with gentle gratitude for your subtle presence in my life. You dance across my every day with the grace and beauty of a monarch butterfly, fluttering through my life in moments of joy, moments of need, and moments of tenderness. Dear, money, how I love thee”
Give the sweet rosebud of your soul some loving and practice telling your money all the reasons you love and cherish it in your life.