During my career as a trainer in the banking industry, I have come across a lot of people under the illusion that they are ‘bad’ with money. Yes you read right, the ILLUSION of being bad with money.
So what makes those ‘good’ with money just that, good with their money.
Now this is not a “How to be rich in 4 easy steps” or a “How to make mega bucks”… sorry. Instead I would like to share a few of my observations and personal experiences that I feel separate the two.
Awareness before Action
This has become a bit of a mantra of mine over the last year or so. What does it mean? Quite simply before a call to action, there needs to be certain amount of awareness.
Awareness for each of us will be different. For some it’s being aware of how much you spend, or how not in control of your finances you are, for others it could be an awareness of the need or desire to improve financially. Some of us just need to be aware that we are not aware of what goes on in our life from a financial stand point.
Knowing is the beginning of doing. So before even beginning to think of being better with money, spend some time thinking of where you are at, what do you know about your finances and where are your blind spots.
One of the biggest hurdles I feel that those who are a bit financially inept face are their own self-defeating labels. ‘I’m just bad with money’ I have heard this countless times from customers and colleagues alike.
Being good with money is a skill. Think of a skill you have mastered… music, cooking, crochet, using a computer, mastering social media. Come on there must be something. What were you like when you started? How did you improve? Did you find some things easier than others? Yes there are some skills we just master, but many of them take effort, work, practice and persistence.
Generally the things you improve on are the things you focus your attention on and the things you feel a connection with. That is why awareness is the start of your journey. Once you decide this is important enough to master, the skill of improving your financial outlook can be improved in the same way as you would any other skill.
It’s all about Control
Being good with money is in part about control. One of the common misconceptions that many have is the whole, ‘if I had more money I would be better with it.’ Not so, it’s all about how you control what you have in your stewardship. If you can’t drive a mini how do you expect to drive a 24 wheeler?
Self restraint, self-control, all those lovely challenging things we need to master are part and parcel of controlling your finances in a way that works for you.
Another mantra that I live by is that every cent has a home, even if the home is called ‘For stuff’ I am in control of where every cent goes, the big ones and the small ones.
The ‘B’ Word
Yes the dreaded ‘B’ word, budget. It feels like the dreaded ‘B’ words most children don’t like, broccoli.
How are budgets and broccoli similar. Both are good for you, yet if not done properly can be uninviting and pushed to one side for something more self-indulgent. Budgets like broccoli often have the appearance of being something you won’t like or something that you feel forced to stomach. (Especially if your partner or spouse is the one imposing the budget).
Like it or not, but those who are on top of their finances use a budget. Or in other words they are aware of their financial actions and are in control of where the cents go.
One more thing to remember, just like broccoli can be steamed or fresh, in a salad or as a main, your budgeting options are just as varied and in your control.
Awareness, a changed mindset, control, and budgeting, four simple habits that can begin the journey to being ‘good’ with money.
What are your good money habits and bad ones? Share them in the comments below.
There’s to being financially better.
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`Allison called Binney