Recently, we helped you learn about your money baggage. To free yourself from said baggage, follow these 5 steps:
1. Don’t Fight The Feeling.
Focus on tolerating your feelings instead of on changing them. You don’t need to like paying your bills, but you do need to sit down and finish the job. Use a technique called “Yes, and…” When you notice a negative emotion, say to yourself, "Yes, I feel [sad, anxious, angry]… and I need to [finish this budget, call my bank]."
2. Articulate Your Values.
Why is your financial health important to you? For the freedom to choose meaningful work? So you can give to others? So you can live in material comfort? Try a great exercise from Judith Stern Peck's book, Money and Meaning. She lists 14 values and asks readers to rank their top three. You can download the card sort exercise here.
3. Create A Positive Vision.
Think about setting goals. A powerful goal has four key elements:
1) It is connected to your personal values;
2) It is stated in the positive (i.e., “I want to be debt-free” vs. “I want to stop charging things”);
3) It is within your control (ask for a raise vs. win the lottery)
4) It has a stated time frame for achievement.
4. Find Your Structure.
This is the most overlooked step, but it's necessary if you're going to move past your money baggage. You are likely to repeat the financial patterns of your role models...unless you create a balanced structure that works for you.
- How often you will pay bills.
- How often you will reconcile your monthly earning/spending against your cash flow plan.
- When you will evaluate your progress on long-term goals.
Schedule these tasks in your planner and stick to them! Don’t wait until you have free time (never happens) or until you feel like it (you won’t). If it’s time to do a task and you feel the resistance kicking in, remember to practice “Yes, and…!”
5. Be Flexible.
Your feelings, values, goals, and structure will evolve over time. Don’t be afraid to review and revise. If something isn’t working for you, figure out how to change it.
Your money has the potential to take you on a journey, so pack light!
LV Daily: How Heavy Is Your Money Baggage?
LearnVest Living: What To Do When You Make More Than Your Partner?