Money, money, money....thoughts for 2022.

Money.


That word throws up different things for different people.


Some people have no issue talking about it. For others it dredges up feelings of anxiety, stress, embarrassment, guilt and maybe even a little fear.


There are a plethora of reasons why people feel like that. It could be sudden loss of income (thanks COVID), bad money role models, no money role models. poor mental health, toxic relationships, relationship breakdown's, keeping up with the Jones' as well as many more.


No matter the reason, a negative money mindset causes major issues.


And no, when I say "negative money mindset", I am NOT talking about fear of getting rich. I am talking about the fear of money itself. The responsibility of money.


And if you are sat reading this, thinking "what does she know", I know a lot, because this used to be me. In fact, a good few years back, due to slow burning mental health difficulties, culminating in a full on depression, my relationship with money became so negative, I ended up in a shed load of debt and difficult decisions. It's incredibly important to note the consequences of which do not go away overnight; in most cases at many years.


The sad thing? I had no idea I was in need of help. I had little knowledge that i was stuck in a vicious cycle: have a really bad day mentally, spend money I didn't have; felt stress about not knowing where the money was coming from to pay things off, have a down day, spend again. None of this is ideal, nor is it responsible but in a lot of cases, when you're mentally struggling, you can neither cope with nor see the "responsible thing". Shame and guilt overcome you. It's vicious.


BUT the past is there to teach us lessons and dwelling on bad decisions doesn't help anyone. Little by little I dealt with my mental health and bad money management situation and developed a healthy but cautious relationship with money, understanding both it's incredible value (no pun intended) and it's danger. That's why when both Luke & I lost our jobs thanks to old 'rona, we were able to build a successful bookkeeping and accounting business, managing money wisely, as well as personally AND help lot's of other business owners do the same.


Money does not have to be the villain. In fact, it has the capacity to be something incredibly useful to carve out your future. If you this week, month or year, realised you have a negative money mindset, here are 3 home truths to help start that shift in mindset ready for 2022.


Realise that if you don't take control of your money, it will control you.

Money may be tight. You may be struggling because of unexpected circumstances, or a global pandemic attempting to sabotage you. OR it may not be tight at all. In truth, it doesn't really matter.


Money is of course important, but when you allow it to take control of you, it can consume your thoughts, damage precious relationships, even hurt your health. If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, surely it's to value our loved ones and our health more than our material possessions.


Put money in its place. Get in the driver's seat and grab the wheel.


Face your money issues fearlessly.

Pretty much everyone has money issues to some degree or another. They are unique to each individual and effect them in different ways.


Going into denial or procrastinating, I promise (speaking from experience here!), is only going to cause more pain down the road. As much as it feels like the safest things to do, it's time to rip off the band-aid. Face the issues you personally have with money, HEAD ON.

What is the worst that could happen?


If you think you may need help overcoming the mental anguish and anxiety that comes from thinking about money, speak to charities like MIND or the Samaritans who will make sure you are not on your own.


If debt is the issue, pick up the phone and speak to citizens advice who no doubt will point you in the right direction of a great debt management specialist.


If you know that's it's just procrastination for the sake of not wanting to deal with it, facing your issues with money fearlessly will help you discover that the big, scary money villain can go from tormenting you to being your aid. In fact, even if currently, anxiety and debt are an issue, having faced up to the issues with money head on, will help you start rebuilding a healthier relationship with money. You can feel empowered, inspired and motivated to continue on your journey. I did.


Stop emotional spending.

I told you, I have been where you are. I have felt what you feel. I know when everything feels like it's out of your control, it feels so good to do something that feels like it is within your control - spending money.


But I have some bad news: emotional spending is DESTROYING your relationship with money. It makes you think you are in control and then....it slaps you in the face with anxiety, guilt, stress or even denial and justification. This is where danger lurks.


So, I am challenging you to cut emotional spending from right now.

No more buying shoes when someone upsets you or splurging on that top-of-the-line tablet because you have had a tough week in the office. Be aware as well, it can happen when you're happy too. Keep your mind open to opportunities where emotional spending may present itself. Impulse buying is no exception.


Instead, sleep on it for at least 24 hours, 48 hours to be safe. I can guarantee you won't feel the same about it the following day and gradually your relationship with money will improve. And if you do feel the same about it? Give it one more night. That way you can be triple sure you're not spending for the sake of satisfying those fleeting emotions.


What next?

This isn't a one stop deal. Changing your relationship with money is an entire process that takes constant work and careful planning. It may even involve getting help from qualified professionals to help you with your mental health or shifting debt, or confiding in a friend or family member who has been where you are.


If you run a business and you feel your relationship with money as a business owner needs a bit of work, or you want to track profit more carefully, create budgets and improve cashflow decreasing the anxiety, talk to us today. I have been through this process and it studied it carefully.


In the meantime, remember the three important steps to starting to change your relationship with money for the best:

  1. Realise that if you don't take control of your money, it will control you.

  2. Face your money issues fearlessly.

  3. Stop emotional spending.


If you have been struggling with anxiety or depression due to money issues, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Here are the contact details for the various organisations mentioned in this post:

MIND - 0300 123 3393

Samaritans - 116 123

Citizens Advice - 0800 240 4420