What's your money story?
Spring is here and with it (at least around my house) come several weeks of what I call "garden recapture" - taking back what the winter rains, the cold and the weeds have taken over. That means carving out dozens of hours to engage in tedious, mindless, back-breaking work (not to mention being tired and sore the next morning when I crawl out of bed).
I wouldn't do this day in and day out (nobody in their right mind would inflict that kind of pain on themselves) if it weren't for the "story" I tell myself about it.
For me, Garden Recapture is part therapy and partly an investment.
How can something so painful be therapy? Good question. If my 25-year-old self were to look at my today self (suffice it to say I'm a few years older now), he would think I've completely lost it.
Overall, I DO feel better, though - more alive, less on edge and more balanced. The investment piece is realized in the summer and fall as fresh-picked veggies stack up on the counter and I can sit outside and take in the fragrance and beauty of carefully cultivated flowers and herbs. By then, those creaky, painful mornings are long forgotten.
In a recent post Joe Boyd, founder of Rebel Pilgrim Productions, points out:
"There is no such thing as a decision purely based in logic. Those who think so are just emotionally attached to being logical. So if you want someone to take action... you have to create an emotion."
Emotions are most easily stirred with a story.
MONEY IS EMOTIONAL, TOO
The same thing applies to your money.
If you frame your spending decisions with a good story - aligned with what's most important to you, you will accomplish more with the same amount of cash flow as anyone who uses the more traditional techniques of pain, sacrifice and self-discipline (a budget).
The end result will be a better quality of life just as my Garden Recapture efforts now lead to a kitchen counter abundantly covered with fresh veggies and the tranquility of sitting in the garden this summer.
WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
The case with your money is even easier, though.
Paying attention to your cash flow and spending every day (one of the BASICS of good wealth health) isn't even painful when you do it right (by thinking in terms of substitution rather than sacrifice). It's mindful, not mindless. It isn't tedious and you won't wake up sore and tired tomorrow.
Most of the financial issues people have come from the money story they are currently telling themselves. That story is often focused on scarcity ("I only have an income of $X but I want $YYY."), sacrifice ("I can't have what I want.") and self-discipline ("I need to use willpower to resist having what I want.").
Change that story ... and you will change all your financial decisions for the better.
When it comes to your money ... what's YOUR story?
We have the tools you can use to change your story and get control over your money.
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