Secure the Bag

One of the goals that I set for myself this year was to change the way I think about money. I realized after a few conversations with friends and reading one of many self help books that I didn’t have the best money concept. I’ve referenced this book before because it touches on so many pertinent things and I will reference it here again. Abundance Now by Lisa Nichols is what made me realize I needed to change the way I relate to money and what I think about my earning potential. I sought out professional counseling for a myriad of reasons and this was one of them.

I’ve always been pretty good with handling my money. I didn’t grow up wealthy nor did I grow up in a state of lack. All of my needs and most of my wants were met. I received an allowance and learned some basic money management habits from my parents. My dad would give my brother and me $5 each for completing chores around the house. My brother was more likely to spend his money, but I was a great saver. I would hold on to that $5 bill for weeks until I got another to add to my stash. As a child I wasn’t saving with any goal in mind, but I liked to have a little something tucked away in my sock drawer.

As an adult I still have a good saving habit. I contribute the highest amount possible to my 401k and take full advantage of my employer matching my contribution. I come up with strategies to pay off my debts in a timely manner. I seek financial advice from people I respect who are more knowledgeable than I. I’ve paid off my student loans. Bye Sallie! I keep low to 0 credit card balances. Pay my bills on time(most of the time). I have good credit. I handle all the money things properly. Better than a majority of Americans or so I am told. So what’s lacking? The mindset.

I wasn’t really aware of how poorly I related to money until one night I joined a few friends for dinner. We were trying to pick a convenient place to meet up so I asked where they lived. They responded and because I was mid home search at the time I said let me look and see what is available for sale there. Everything was out of my price range. I immediately I thought, “They would live in THIS neighborhood.”

Hello there bitterness.

We went to dinner and enjoyed ourselves, but I found myself feeling a way about it the entire time. How did they do this? We’re the same age and all of us are college educated. I must be doing something wrong here. Well duh. A few things actually, but we’re not talking about all of that. I told my bestie after dinner that I realized my issue. I never envisioned myself as a high earner. I had a self imposed ceiling.

It wasn’t completely self imposed. I had a little help constructing it. We learn things from all sorts of places when we are children. Especially when we are children. I think one major influence for me was my early church upbringing. We spent a great deal of time in this circle of people. No one there ever talked about money except for when it was time to give. Give, not begrudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver.  Really the church I grew up in handled money talks the same way they handled sex talks. It can be used to glorify God. Everything else you do with it is in vain. Dassit. The members in my congregation led modest lives. I’m still not clear on whether they did so because it was considered noble and/or righteous or if it was because they just didn’t have the juice. That’s not my business.

The point is that somewhere along the way I settled in to this idea that I didn’t need to be a higher earner and that I wouldn’t become one. Now I am throwing that thought out of the window and retraining myself. I like to read the self help books to help with this type of reprogramming. The one I’m reading now is The Richest Man in Babylon.

I’m not about to give you a full book report. I couldn’t even do that if I wanted to because I have only read one chapter so far. Still, after reading only one chapter I can tell that this book will cause a shift. The most important tenet in the first chapter is “A part of all you earn is yours to keep.” I already knew that. Remember saving is a habit of mine. That was not a revelation for me. This part was. Kobbi tells his friend Bansir, “Thou bringeth to my mind a new understanding. Thou makest me to realize the reason why we have never found any measure of wealth. We never sought it.”  

Mind blowing.

I talk about setting all of these other goals for everything except my earnings.

If I want to change this to I have to set it as a goal and work on it. Few people earn, keep and grow a fortune without putting serious work in to it. Warren Buffett is still working at it. He is 87.

This is where the shift happens for me. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Hump Day Beauties!!!

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