I'm drinking Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea as I post this article, and I like that - basil being a herb of prosperity, appropriate to a money post. (Also a nervous-system balancing herb - equally as appropriate when it comes to money!?)
This is both a pracitcal and a money mindset post - because I think the two go hand in hand - the action comes rooted in the mindset.
All the money affirmations in the world about what you deserve and invite in won't help long term change, if you're still afraid to look at your bank account, or still have the story inside you that says you're not really 'clever enough' to understand money.
Mindset is the most important part of your financial plan.
Your beliefs and story around money will dictate everything.
One, because it is about how aligned you are with your purpose and with life around you, which affects the flow of everything. If you are resisting in certain areas, there is a resistance all around.
But, importantly, because it is out of your beliefs and story that you act.
Sometimes abundance and manifestation ends up sounding like it’s about wishing for something then sitting there waiting for it to fall out of the sky. That’s what it always used to sound like to me, which kept from really looking into it for years.
But it’s not like that. Yes, I believe in synchronicity, even miracles, and love the unexpected and magical ways the universe meets us on our path, multiplying and adding to what we are creating.
But that’s the thing - I want to create my life.
I don’t actually just want to sit there and wait. I like living, and learning and doing things. It’s just about living and doing things from an aligned place - that is empowering. Choosing, acting and living with confidence.
That is what this abundance mindset stuff is about to me - tuning into my real desires, and then acting from that place with complete confidence that I can create and live out anything I choose. Once I align myself with that belief, then I find I take actions much more naturally and it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Once I shifted a few key things in my abundance mindset, I found myself being drawn to more practical actions.
Simple, small steps.
Nothing massive, but just little steps out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I like big leaps into the unknown, but on a practical level, big money leaps just aren't even possible right now. And when it's something really unfamiliar, you don't want to set yourself up for failure.
The good news: if you're anything like me, your money comfort zone was probably pretty tiny to begin with - so you don't have to look far to find something that takes you out of it!!
I’ve had years of the voice in my head repeating the script that I’m bad with money, I don’t understand it, it’s scary and no fun.
So beyond just mindset, the actual practical management of money is a whole new area to learn about, as I’d avoided it for so long. Have you felt that too? Even as your mindset shifts, it’s then a matter of - well, where do I actually start?!
And my suggestion is just start with small, easy actions. Like learning any skill, it all feels unfamiliar at first - like learning to drive a car or ride a bike - but once you’ve been doing it for a while, you can hardly remember not knowing how.
(Sure, if you want to become a race car driver, that's another level. But you don't have to aim for the race-car driver equivalent of money management, not yet. You can simply start with understanding how to turn your money-car on and get it from A to B.)
Where you put your attention & intention, is what grows.
And as you take those small steps with intention, aligned to your bigger vision, I believe Life really does rise up to support you and accelerate your growth.
Life doesn't really mind what you do, or even how tiny the action - it doesn't wait for you to be an expert or even to have your shit together at all really - but it does wait for you to start.
Why? Because that is empowering for you! To know you are in control of your path and get to choose.
Feel confident that you can make your own plan. Your way doesn't have to look like anyone else's - you might be in a different place to me. But you will have your own next step, next comfort-zone expanding actions to take.
But if you aren't sure what little actions to take next, while I'm not an expert in any of this, these are things that have crossed my path recently that could be of interest to you too.
Here are the 5 simple money actions I've been taking:
(Affiliate links - only the link to the Barefoot Investor on Amazon is an affiliate link. And the Acorns invitation link is a mutual bonus. I'm not being paid to recommend anything - just letting you know what I've come across recently & am using myself, that may be of interest to you.)
> To Stay Aware of and Grateful for the the Flow of Money
- Keeping an abundance tracker - this is part mindset, part practical.
I record the date and amount of all money coming in - from income/sales, to finding a coin on the ground. As well as the equivalent value of things, like a voucher or coupon, a free bonus etc.
This is about mindset because it gets you tuned in and paying attention to the inflow. And practical, because it’s a non scary way of starting to actually look at the numbers.
> To Not Be Afraid of the Real Numbers (for personal and business record keeping)
- For the proper record keeping, I use WaveApps - for both personal and business.
It’s free, you can link it to your bank accounts to automatically keep track of all transactions. And it generates reports so you can get a real look at how much is coming in and going out.
Obviously if you have a business, this is all very practical, as keeping track of your finances each week will save you a lot of headache when it comes to tax etc.
But it's also the least scary, easiest way I've found to keep a regular eye on what is actually going on with my money. Which I find, beyond purely practical reasons, is important to not letting fear creep back in.
Confront that feeling of "Ah, no, I don't even want to look!" while stumbling on blindly. Whatever the reality, knowing is always better than not knowing. Trust that you can handle it.
> For Savings and Money Management
- Opening multiple bank accounts for different purposes. I’ve seen this recommended in a few places, and I decided to try it.
The Barefoot Investor* has a simple, practical approach. Other people have variations on it.
E.g. A main transaction account, then multiple other savings accounts - and you can label them for specific things - “Holiday” “New Computer” etc.
Or the very least an everyday expenses account, a savings account that is your ‘emergency fund’, and a separate transaction account for splurges or the ‘fun’ spending.
The more mindset/manifestation side of this is about creating a welcome home for your money, specifically inviting it in, both mentally and energetically.
The more practical side is setting specific goals, clearly defining them to yourself, keeping them in view and being able to keep track of what is actually going on with your money. When you bring something to the forefront of your mind, you more naturally take action on it.
> Reducing Fees and Increasing Interest Accumulation
- Another recommendation from the Barefoot Investor* - which I'd already been planning to do, but starting to read that book finally got me in gear to actually do it - was switch to ING for our bank accounts.
Between us, we were paying way too much in unnecessary fees, and even some overdrawn fees, as our accounts weren't organised and we kept having to transfer money between them. Silly ways to be leaking money. So this definitely needed to change.
ING have no account fees, and no ATM fees - even overseas under certain conditions - and a consistently good interest rate for the savings accounts.
They’ve also got a $75 bonus offer right now - not affiliated, it's just their offer available to everyone. You need to be signed up and fulfil the conditions by the end of Feb 2018. (I’m in Australia. Not sure about other places.)
> To step out of my comfort zone and face my fears
- I’ve started investing with Acorns.
Investing was the last thing I ever imagined myself doing!
I mean, creating healthy savings accounts was one thing, but the stock market and all that jazz? I just couldn’t even see myself going there. Too overwhelming.
But I heard about Acorns recently, where you can start investing with tiny amounts - like tiny, a few dollars at a time.
So this is a really small step into feeling out investing, without needing to feel like you’re taking a big risk or jumping in the deep end.
A cool feature is the ‘Round-up’ feature - you can link your bank account, and they automatically round up to the whole dollar on your purchases, and put that into your investments. So say you buy something for $4.75, they’ll put that that remaining 25c into your Acorns account.
You can also choose to do other manual or automatic investments, either in addition to the round-ups, or instead of.
I’ve only just started - like, I’ve got about $11 in there. I was up 3c the other day and now down 4c in market returns… haha. Investing is a longer term plan.
Actually, since first drafting this article, the stock market has had more of a downturn - something I would have been totally oblivious to a week or two ago.
The current market is likely going through what they call a 'correction' - where things got hot and overpriced, and so now it's balancing itself out. I won't even try to explain more than that. I'm still getting my head around how it works.
But now I find myself reading about it and actually finding it fun to learn. I'm always motivated by new challenges. And having even a little skin in the game means I'm actually paying attention.
Even though it’s a tiny toe in the water, it is a really easy way to bridge that first and sometimes biggest hurdle - just getting started. I’m a long way from knowing exactly what I’m doing, but already I can feel a confidence shift in me, that, YES, I can learn this, it is not out of my reach.
And this way I can do it without feeling freaked out about having thousands invested, and the potential to lose any of it.
So definitely do your own research on it. But I think this is a great way to get yourself familiar with it without much to lose. To start learning that new skill.
If you want to try it out too, using this link to sign up will give us both a bonus $2.50 to invest.
So, there you go, a few practical steps. What about you?
Are these things you could see yourself trying out? Or have you already, and how have they worked for you?
What's your next comfort-zone extending action?
Not directly about money, but after writing this article, I saw this Marie Forleo episode about your comfort zone which I think is relevant to everyone, whether in business or not.
*Amazon affiliate link. If you purchase through this link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.