Updated: Nov 5
Money, money money!!! Last week in our blog we kicked off our money talks with the “It’s all about the money honey!” post which you can find here! I recommend you reading it before diving into this one!
In a quest to deeper understand my relationship with money and how to get and make more of it, I made a few changes to my approach of dealing with money. Today we dig deep into the one of the top ways of making and getting money. This one is a life changer…..wait for it, wait for it, wait for it……………..
SAVE, SAVE AND SAVE!
Have you ever had a goal or an item you have always wanted to buy but felt that, that goal was way out of your reach?? This has happened to so many of us, and one thing I now know for sure, is it always seems impossible until you take the first step! Somewhere along the line as I was growing up I somehow got the delusion that my gift was making money and not saving it! It seemed to make sense to me then, and I convinced myself that I was good at it. In reality, what I was good at was coming up with ideas on how to make the money, but I was extremely poor on the putting the plan to action! Not to knock myself down completely, I did work hard. From the time I was in Varsity, I remember often having a job or two at any given point in time. So did I make money, yes. Did I have anything really to show for it? No.
After quite a bit of introspection, I realized that simply making it was not enough, I had to learn to save it too! In the past, I remember working hard to get money for a holiday, party or some kind of experience. It was the reason why I would take an advance on my salary then struggle through to make ends meet. Now as an entrepreneur, the culture of advance salary is no longer there or tolerated by the business owner (me). With that, I had to learn to be a grown up and start saving!
Believe it or not, the habit of not saving often comes from a deeper rooted issue that goes beyond the discipline. I realized, that part of the reason I never liked to save money, was because I always felt that when I did, the money saved up for that awesome thing or experience, was then used for some emergency or the other that took “precedence” over whatever nice thing I wanted for myself. For example, how do I take a trip out of the country for a friend’s wedding, when one of my relatives has just passed away and the family needs assistance? In my mind, I would be crucified by the court of public opinion if I did such a selfish thing. So I would take out whatever money I had, and give it wherever it was needed. Thereafter, I would feel like such a loser for being broke. As you know, being broke makes me sick to my stomach.
In terms of deep rooted issues, it did not end there friends. Having lived and grown up in Zimbabwe, I saw the effort my father and most parents put into saving for the future of their children. Come the Zimbabwe economic collapse, and 20 or 30 years of hard work, deprivation etc to create the trust funds for their children and to live a good life on a pension you spent your entire working life saving for, ALL washed down the drain. When I say ALL, I mean ALL! This further cemented my belief that savings were a risky investment, and it was better to just focus on making money! So did I have some level of PTSD? YES!
What has rung true though, as I work through my PTSD, is that the concept of “It takes money, to make money” is very true! When I figured out ways to get past the anxiety of saving, I realized that something transformational happened! When I had some money stashed away somewhere, it automatically made me feel richer than I had ever felt before. The feeling of being richer, wasn’t so much about having the biggest stash out there, but it was about having the confidence that I was a few steps closer towards my big goal.
I am one of those people who are motivated to save towards a particular goal. Not so much the whole, save for the sake of saving. I chose to look at my savings targets, as a game! A fun game where I could see, how much could I squeeze myself to save, without mass altering my lifestyle? There is something quite exhilarating about watching your bank balance grow. I started off with small amounts, like $5, $10 and gradually increased. I made it a point to throw to savings any money that I found lingering around me. Slowly but surely, the balance grew.
When I changed my mindset to accept that it was safe for me to have a positive bank balance, I saw the positive changes take place. The biggest change that came with the ability to save, was the change of mindset from scarcity to abundance. When I am in the spirit of abundance, my confidence increases. An increase in confidence, means an increase in my ability to take calculated risks that help me and my business make more money. It’s hard to take a risk, when all you have in the world, is all you have at hand. Having your secret stash somewhere safe, will give you that extra little spring in your step, and a twinkle in your eye, looking like the cat that ate the canary! All that confidence and abundance shining through, gives people the extra motivation to give you money in one form or the other!
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