Money, money, money. This is the kind of topic that I could just dig into for hours and have actually, as I prepared for this podcast. I’ve talked to my sister, I’ve talked to Dave, I’ve talked to some good friends all about money and our feelings surrounding money and the ideas that we have about money and the way that that impacts our life. I’m really, really excited to dive in today to Two Ways to Have Enough Money in Your Life and I can’t wait to get to that. But first, Odd Jobs.
Segment: Odd Jobs
Around this time of year, I always remember the three years in my early marriage that I worked the holiday season at Williams-Sonoma in the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. I absolutely loved it. I was working as a CNA part time, going to school full time and working kind of evenings and weekends at Williams Sonoma and I felt like I had stumbled into another world.
Three things that I learned while I worked there were these:
Number one: Retail feels like the holidays, even if you don’t buy anything. Especially a cooking store because the holidays was revolved so much around cooking and food. If you ever feel like a little holiday pick me up between October and the end of December, head into a Williams0-Sonoma store and just wander around for a minute, smell the smells. There’s usually a sampling going on. They have holiday music playing.
Number two: Nice pans are well worth their price. One of the big purchases that we made while I had an employee discount was to buy a set of All-Clad pans. They are still the pans that I use today (as well as these non-stick ones that I’m obsessed with.) We’ve been married for 12 years.
Number three: Which knife to use when. Not that any knife can’t cut anything, but when you’re using the right knife for the right application, it’s incredible how different of a job it does. It works so much better to use a fillet knife or carving knife for filleting. It works a lot better to use a serrated bread knife to cut bread and to use your chef’s knives for chopping.
I worked three seasons as holiday help at Williams sonoma and I love the quality and I loved the whole experience. I just thought that it was a really, really fun place to work. So with the holidays coming up, that’s a fun place to kind of pop in and just take a sample and take a turnaround. That is my odd job for the day.
Let’s Talk About Money
Now who wants to talk about money?
If I asked that question and you cringe a little bit inside, you will not be alone. Talking about money is not something that we do a lot in our culture. I think the majority of my listeners here on this podcast are women. It’s definitely not something we do a lot as women. I think that that is all to our detriment.
Money is Amazing!
“I feel like money is an abundant renewable resource.”I think money is amazing, money is awesome and it’s energy and it creates opportunity. I feel like money is an abundant renewable resource.
I think my first paying job outside of the family was when I was about 11 or 12. I started babysitting and I remember the feeling of being paid after my babysitting job and thinking “Wow, that was easy. I hung out with these kids and drank slurpies and got paid for it! That’s awesome!”
I Can Always Make More
A little bit later in my life, I was always saving up for trips. I would save up some money for a trip and then I would go on the trip and I would spend all of my money. Then I would come home and not have any money left because I had spent it all on my trip and I would think, “Okay, time to make some more money. Isn’t it so cool that I can always make more?”
I know that that is not everyone’s experience or everyone’s thought process.
Why Don’t We Talk About Money?
I think when we don’t talk about money because of courtesy or culture. We think it’s impolite. We think it’s tacky. We turn it into something so private and secretive that it can start to feel embarrassing or shameful, Sometimes we really aren’t open even with ourselves about how we feel about money.
Another interesting perspective is that in religious culture, if you are a member of a religion that believes in the Bible, the Bible talks about the love of money being the root of all evil and a lot of religious cultures. That idea creates this connection in our heads that money is bad, that if you want money, that you’re greedy. We learn that you shouldn’t focus at all on money as an important part of your life because that means that your focus is in the wrong place.
I believe that money can help us provide for others. It can help us be more generous. It can help us feel more peace. Money can be freedom and possibility and adventure, not in a selfish or wicked way, but in a positive, inspiring, enlightening way.
“Money can be freedom and possibility and adventure, not in a selfish or wicked way, but in a positive, inspiring, enlightening way. “
A Social Media Survey
A couple of days ago on Instagram, I asked a simple question and I invited my followers to respond. The question I asked was: “When I say the word money, what is the first word that comes to your mind?”
I received hundreds of responses and the number one response by a landslide was “stress”. When I say money, you think “stress”.
There was a handful of other negative emotions like “debt”, “not enough”. I had a lot of people actually just write “ugh” with like a frowny face. They don’t want to think about money. They don’t want to talk about money. Money is ugh.
And then sprinkled in the very, very small minority. I had a a handful of people respond “freedom”, “opportunity”, “travel”, “exciting”, and “love”.
It was a really very interesting and unexpected response. It showed me very clearly that as a group, as a whole, the majority of us have feelings surrounding money that are very negative. We think about money and it feels like a drag. I want to challenge that a little bit.
Challenging Our Thoughts About Money
If your first reaction when you think about money is to feel stress or to feel like you don’t have enough or to feel overwhelmed, today in this podcast, I want to invite you I want you to open up that little part of your mind today. I am going to chat with you about two ways that you can have enough money.
“I want to introduce this idea that money is a circumstance and the way that you think about it is not at all correlated to how much you have.”
Money Is A Circumstance
Consider this: money does not equal happiness or peace or fulfillment or security or ease. When you have more money, you are not automatically more happy, peaceful, fulfilled, secure, and likewise, when you have less money, you don’t automatically feel more sad or more stressed or less fulfilled or more insecure. Money is a circumstance independent of the way that we feel about it.
An example: I know people personally who have a lot of money, millions of dollars in the bank, no debt and investments that continue to bring in passive revenue, and yet they feel consistently very stressed out and anxious and fearful about money.
On the flip side, I know people who have very little money, people are in debt, have less coming in than going out who are not sure that they will make rent and they put things back on the shelf when the grocery goes over budget and yet they feel grateful. Abundant and peaceful about money.
“If you think about money as the silver bullet that kills all of your problems and creates happiness and peace in your life, I want to invite you to challenge that perspective.”
Ask yourself this question: If you never have more money than you do today, what is the very most happy and peaceful about money that you can allow yourself to feel?
There Is Always More Money To Have
Money is one of those tricky things because it is infinite in possibility and expansion. No matter what level of money you get to your brain looks ahead to the next bit that you could have, so as you acquire more, you are always still looking forward. There actually is not a point at which you could finish the race to get more money because there’s always more money available.
In some ways that is a positive thing. That can be really an abundant thing to think that, but the way that we most often think about that is that we never will have enough. It doesn’t matter how much we have, we never will have enough.
I want you for an experiment right now to consider the idea that if you stopped right now and you never had more money than you do now, month to month stays the same as it is right now. What is the most happy and peaceful that you could allow yourself to feel? With the amount of money that you have now, taking off the table the possibility of ever having any more, could you feel peaceful, happy, abundant, and content?
Could you possibly feel that the amount of money you have right now is enough?
Money Does Not Equal Happiness
I mentioned that in my life, I have felt for the most part like money was a renewable resource. I’ve always worked since I was little. I took a few months off after Plum was born and quickly went back to work because I love the feeling of making money. I love the feeling of contributing to my family, into myself and to the world.
When Dave and I first got married, he was playing rugby professionally. Although, he was paid very little. It was a per diem. He was working part time. I was going to school full time and working part time as a CNA and part time in retail.
Our goal, our first month of marriage was to pay our second month’s rent and be able to buy groceries. We actually sat down the day after we got home from our honeymoon to look at our finances. Our goal going into our marriage was by the end of the first month we would like to have eaten all of the meals and pay rent next month.
We were as happy as we could be. We were in love. We felt fulfilled. We were enjoying the creative adventure of making it work and we were happy.
Throughout our 12 years of marriage, we have run the gamut of the financial spectrum. We have had very lean years. We have had student debt and a mortgage and children and expenses. Regardless of the circumstances of our finances, our thoughts and feelings about money have been what impacted our everyday life more than the actual reality of the circumstance.
“Our thoughts and feelings about money have been what impacted our everyday life more than the actual circumstance of our finances.”
Even in times when the finances on paper didn’t look as we would hope or expect, the way we felt about our money determined our approach. When we were coming from a place of abundance, we would usually feel empowered, motivated, and excited about the challenge we were facing regarding our finances.
For example, that first month it was a challenge. It was kind of a fun game to see how we could with side hustles and other things, make enough money to eat and pay rent.
However, when in our lives, we have come from a place of scarcity, the stress of that has made us feel hopeless. When you feel hopeless about money, you close yourself off to potential opportunities for improving the actual situation.
So when you feel excited about the challenge, you create opportunities to change your reality and when you feel stressed and hopeless, you close yourself off to those same opportunities that could possibly improve your reality.
“When it comes to money, what is in your mind matters a lot more than what is in your bank account.”
Two Ways To Have Enough Money
“The two ways to have enough money are to acquire more or to desire less.”
When you change your thoughts about money, you invite opportunity to improve your financial situation, to acquire more money, and so I want to share with you four ways in our life that we have found we can acquire more.
Four Ways To Acquire More
1. Get A Higher Paying Job
There is a lot of work that goes into finding a job into getting a job and it doesn’t always pan out the way that you expect. However, changing jobs to a higher paying job is one way that you can acquire more money.
2. Get a Side Hustle
I should have a degree in side hustles. I have had every type of side hustle imaginable, starting with babysitting, cleaning offices, working retail. When I was pregnant for the first time, I was working full time as a nurse, but I wanted to have a side hustle as well, and I started selling women’s clothing on Etsy. I created a clothing line and I popped it online. It has never been easier than now to have a side hustle and if you want to acquire more money, think about what different skills you have that could create a profitable side hustle for you.
3. Charge More For Your Products Or Services
This has been huge in my life. Recognize the value that you are offering through the work that you do and increasing your prices. I’m doing the same amount of work, but I’m making more money for the same amount of work because I believe that the value that I’m offering warrants it. I also go above and beyond even what I say I’m going to do. The value is there. If you’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur, another way you can acquire more money is to charge more and believe that the right customers and the right consumers will be there for you.
4. Sell Things You Don’t Need Anymore
I also should have a degree in selling things. Over the years have made thousands of dollars on craigslist and facebook marketplace and having a yard sale. This goes hand in hand with some of the things we talked about in the capsule wardrobe episode and in the organizing your junk drawer episode. Although you might not find a lot of things of value in your junk drawer, as you’re going through and getting rid of things in your life, some of those things may have value in that may be an opportunity that you haven’t thought of as a way to acquire more money.
Four Ways to Desire Less
This I believe, is even more impactful than the first. The second way to have enough money is to desire less, and I’m not talking about necessarily desiring less money. I’m talking about desiring less stuff, desiring less space, desiring less square footage, desiring less designer jewelry, desiring less pairs of shoes.
“One really important and often overlooked way to have enough money is to reduce the amount of things that we have in our lifestyle that require money.”
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, I think money is awesome. I think it’s amazing and I think that one way that we can feel better about money without having to get any more of it is to step back and realize that we have enough. I’m going to offer four suggestions for how to desire less.
1. Don’t Browse
Don’t shop online. Avoid going into stores. Don’t search Zillow in the price range just out of your comfort zone.
“One way to desire less stuff is to take yourself out of the pathway of seeing all of the stuff that you might desire.”
Throw away the catalog before you open it so you don’t create in your head this imaginary world where you have the amount of money that you would need to buy all of that stuff that you actually don’t need.
2. Recognize What You Have Today That You Wanted A Few Years Ago
Look around your life and remember a time when the life you’re living today is the life that you wanted. It was the life that you were striving for back then when you were thinking about the life that you now have. How did you think you were gonna feel when you got it?
Maybe you’re in your first home and there were years that you lived in an apartment or a condo or that you were renting and you were so excited for the day that you would be able to invest in your own home. Do you remember the feelings that you thought would accompany that? The feeling of success and abundance and have hope? Now that you’re here, are you allowing yourself to feel the feelings that you thought you were going to feel? Because that’s up to you.
How you feel is determined by the way that you choose to think about the situation that you’re in.
Look around your life and recognize what it is that you have today that you really, really, really wanted and allow yourself to feel all of those wonderful grateful feelings that you knew that you would have when you got it. Isn’t that an awesome feeling? You already have a lot of things that you wanted…and now you’ve got them!
3. Consider If Unlimited Money Would Change Your Day To Day Life
I think it’s really easy to glamorize the idea of having a ton of money and we think that we would do all of these things. We would Globe Trot, and we would spend all of our time laying out in a resort and shopping on Fifth Avenue. Would your day to day life really look that different if you had an unlimited supply of money?
Another thing to consider is how would your day to day life feel differently if you had an unlimited, unlimited supply of money? If you look back at the times in your life when you have felt the most happy, the most fulfilled, and the most hopeful, were those feelings of contentment tied to your finances in any way?
I can tell you for sure for me that they have not been in any way. Money is a circumstance and the way that we think about it is not correlated at all to how much we have.
4. Decide What Feelings You Want To Have In Your Life, Not What Things
“Can you feel the feelings you want to feel: Peace, Happiness, Contentment, Abundance, Joy. Can you allow yourself to feel those feelings even in the circumstance that you’re living right now?”
Because I can tell you that if you feel stressed about money now and you feel like you don’t have enough now, it probably wouldn’t change that much even if you had more. The way that you feel about it doesn’t correlate to how much you have. So the way to have enough is to feel the life that you’re living today is sufficient. Look around and realize that you have the life that you wanted and if you don’t, if you look around and think, well, this isn’t at all the life that I want. How can you adjust your thoughts to create feelings of happiness and joy without changing the circumstance?
When we are able feel like we have enough that empowers us to then be able to acquire more.
“When you come from a place of abundance, you open yourself up to feeling motivated and excited about money and that feeds your ability to grow it and to enjoy it. When you come from a place of stress and scarcity that closes you off from opportunities that may increase your ability to grow the money in your life.”
And that leads to really one of my favorite takeaways from this whole podcast. When you choose to feel happy and optimistic and positive and empowered by your finances, whatever that situation is, you will be open to more creative solutions, to more work opportunities, to more interesting side hustles, to more money flowing into your life. All of that in ways that you did not expect, simply because your energy and your thoughts and your emotions are on this wavelength.
If our eyes are wide open to those opportunities, the more that you can put yourself in feeling abundant and feeling excited and feeling not stressed out, but grateful about money, the more money will come into your life. And even if it doesn’t, you will still get to feel happy and peaceful and grateful. There really isn’t anything better than that.
I hope that that there has been some small nugget of truth that you have related to in this episode. Some small light bulb moment that has told you that “Yes, my life today really is incredible. I have so many things happening right now in my life that I remember really wanting.” Rather than continually looking forward to that carrot that’s dangling in front of our face with every step we take, it moves a little beyond. We never quite get there.
I can look at the life that I’m living right now and recognize it as exactly what is right for me today. From that place I’m able to grow, from that place I’m able to feel all of the abundant, beautiful feelings about money and everything else that I want to feel.