MONEY CAN BE FUNNY: HOW TO TAKE STRESS AND ANXIETY OUT OF FINANCES
Finances and managing your money…this is one of those chores that makes you think that cleaning the bathroom or de-weeding the driveway is a better alternative. Particularly when the end of the tax year approaches! Sound familiar? If so, please rest assured that you are not alone. Many of us have an ongoing battle with keeping a realistic and proactive check on our money and bank balance. For some, making money is burdensome (it involves going to work), managing money is a drag, and it’s the spending that’s the fun part.
It’s is for these reasons that I have included looking and the relationship between finances and fun in MY Velvet Evolution – Year of Fun. I have spent a month focussed on looking at money, and more specifically managing money and getting on top of my finances and finding out if I can do this and make it fun so it doesn’t feel like such a chore and the one thing I want to keep putting off.
How to have fun with finances?
In my pre-emptive blog post (Is it possible to manage your finances and have fin at the same time?) I mapped out 6 points of anxiety related to money.
1. Finances mean money.
2. Finances mean money management.
3. Finances and money management mean doing maths.
4. Income only goes part of the way to easing the anxiety.
5. Managing my money and doing it effectively helps me feel in control.
6. Being self-employed means there is nowhere to hide.
And I have to say that this was my catalyst to understanding money and my relationship with it, and I found that once I had broken it down like this I understood myself much better. What I realised was that I can have a tendency towards having a fixed mindset about money. For example; if I do my finances I may uncover a problem so ignorance is bliss. Or, I will either see success or failure and judge myself accordingly. Once I got my head around this really being at the heart of any anxiety I was able to choose to employ a growth mindset instead and with this I found that it was far more simple to start ringing fun into managing my money and finances.
The second revelation I had came from returning to my Truths of Life, and specifically Truth #5 ‘By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.’* I found that an additional block and injunction I was creating for myself was in telling myself that if I sat down to do my finances, “I have to do it all in one sitting and it might takes ages and who knows what I’ll find!” Once I recognised this it was much easier to truly employ this Truth of Life and break the task down it smaller pieces. So to begin with I set aside only 15 minutes to sort through some receipts. The next day I set aside 20 minutes. And do you know what?! By doing a little bit each day, it really is amazing how much you can get accomplished!
So my experience of making finances fun has been a very rewarding and learned experience and I really have had fun with money this month. I have recognised where my anxiety comes from and why its there. I have taken ownership for how I have created those thoughts and feelings, and I have broken the process down into tiny pieces by employing a growth mindset which I already knows works for me. By employing tried and tested strategies, I have turned something huge and looming on the horizon into something that made up such an insignificant part of my day by only allowing 20 minutes to do bits, and yet the significance of knowing I had done something towards this was huge.
With this in mind I would suggest that finances can be fun, and that in order for that to come to fruition, you too may benefit from understanding what is at the heart of your anxiety. Are you afraid of the outcome, are you afraid of finding problems, or does it feel like a long and arduous task when you’d much rather be out being creative and having fun else where?
I would love to hear your thoughts on money and mindset, so get in touch.
Wishing you a happy and confidently prosperous month!