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We all have a pattern of behavior surrounding our spending habits.  Behaviors that sometimes are rooted in truth and sometimes are rooted in how we're viewing the world around us at this time.

Just last week I did it to myself.  We have a huge project that we've been saving for over the last few years.  Well it’s come time to start writing the checks.  And oh how stressful that can be.  Long story short, In the midst of my current emotions surrounding money I denied myself a $1 iced tea.  Yes you read that right.  I decided that $1 was too much to spend when I had bottled water in the fridge back at the office that I could drink when I got there.  Never mind that I had three other stops to make and wouldn’t be getting back to the office for another hour or so.  AND never mind that I was thirsty.  I had hundreds of dollars of personal mad money in my wallet and I had $27 left from the cash I pulled out of our food budget for the grocery store.  I had the money for the drink and depriving myself of it cost me dearly.


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The cost of your self-worth

When I was stressed beyond belief all I could focus on was the lack.  Everything cost too much that day. What if we don’t have enough money to finish the project?  What if I don’t hit my income goals and we can’t get it paid for as planned?  My feeling of financial lack lent itself to my feeling of emotional lack.   Suddenly it wasn’t just that I shouldn’t spend it but that I didn’t deserve it. 

This one event started a downhill spiral that left me in a frustrated and depressed mood for the rest of the day.  One where there wasn’t enough for a dollar iced tea and one where I wasn’t enough.  That one decision reinforced the feeling of 'lack' and perpetuated the downhill spiral that continued all afternoon.

The cost of control

There's a question I often ask at live events and it’s this, ‘Who here would admit that at some point in their life they've been judgmental about how other people spend their money?’  We've all done it at some point in time.  That co-worker of ours.  Every week she has a new pair of shoes.  You know she doesn’t make that much more money than you do.  How can she afford those?  Why can’t you afford new shoes every week?

What is it for you?  The neighbor’s pool?  Your sister in laws new car?  The vacation your girlfriend and her husband are taking?  We all have something we don’t see as an option for us.  The truth is that we're the ones in control of bringing money into our lives and letting it go out of our lives.  The truth is you could make the same choices.  Don’t give away your power over your money based on what other people are choosing to spend. 

Ask yourself, ‘What could I not do or buy this week that would free up the money to buy that new pair of shoes?’

The cost of your future

When we allow the value of money to change based on what it’s used for we dishonor what we really want for our own lives.  Somehow the $1,000 we save in our retirement account and our ‘start our new business fund’ feels like it’s worth less than the $1,000 our coworker spends on car payments.  We live in a world of consumerism.  That’s ok, but when we let the shiny and new dull the shine of our future goals and dreams we are dishonoring who we are and what we ultimately want.

Write down this mantra and keep it in your wallet or checkbook:  I will not give away what I ultimately want for what I want right now.

Emotions are fleeting and often cause us to see things from a perspective that’s not always grounded in truth.  So the next time you find yourself feeling lack ask yourself, ‘What is the misconception here?’  ‘What lie am I believing about someone else’s situation or my own?’

Sometimes all we need is one little reality check to affirm and nurture the healthy relationship we want to have with our money.


Trisha Funk, Financial Coach and Author of Change Your Money Mindset – How to rise above the lies to reveal the wealth within is dedicated to helping people change their financial situation for good. Often referred to as the financial psychologist she has the gift of a whole person approach to finances that assists clients in not just getting out of debt and on a working budget but releasing the emotional control money has over them. She can be found at her home on the web, Finances With Funk or on Facebook or Twitter


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