Rebuilding My Financial Life: Mindset Change
May 21, 2023
The first step after realizing that I am the problem and the source of everything that's happening to my finances, I started rethinking the ways I use and treat money.
Be the change you want.
As the saying goes, I must be the change that I want to see and that means addressing and understanding my relationship with money. Once I was able to do that everything began to fall in place.
Growing up I see my family using money as just a way to keep a roof over our head, put food on the table or help family members or friends that are in need. Money was not treated as something of value. So, when I realize the power of money if manage well. I decided I was going to change my family tree and create a life that will set future generations for success.
I need money.
I began cooking all my meals at home and brown bag my lunch to work. I began to search for free activities and events that are happening in my town and state. Which to my surprise was a lot, and most importantly I got rid of the idea that “I work hard so I deserve it”. Too often I find myself using this statement as a pass to obtain things that I couldn’t afford, which in return prevents me from being financially stable or keeps me from reaching my goals.
While I may have felt that I should be able to buy what I want when I want that was not my reality, and it may not be yours either (at least right now). I did not have the money to buy what I wanted or get the things that I so called deserve SO NO, I do not deserve it.
Don’t get me wrong. If you really want or need something you can work towards getting it, but you don't deserve it at all cost and I feel like the statement (“I work hard so I deserve it”) means whether you have the money or not, I deserve this at all costs. And that is a recipe for disaster that can really set you back and keep you in financial ruin if you're not careful. This shift in thinking helped me so I could keep more money in my pocket.
Another mindset change that I went through was my view on vacations. If I was not on a plane or driving out of state, I did not feel I was going on vacation. Also, I love to travel and every time I travel, I buy new outfits for every day of the vacation. Now I do wonderful day trips that cost almost nothing and if I do go away for a week, I pack from the cloth that are already in my closet or my dresser, as long as they are in good condition. Look, no one's seen your clothes where you are going and who cares if you repeat an outfit. I had to ask myself and think about who I was trying to impress and honestly this came from my childhood. As a part of getting ready to go on vacation, we would go on a shopping spree for the vacation, and it carried over into adult hood.
Knowing this about myself I challenge myself not to buy any new cloth for a year and see what happens. What I discovered is that I had a lot of clothes and shoes that I never wore but I had a really good excuse for the shoes. You see I have big feet (size 11) and it is very difficult to find my size so whenever I see a pair of shoes that is my size and fits me well, I buy them and then tell myself I will find an outfit to match later.
By taking on this challenge, money started materializing in my budget and surprisingly I did not have a problem finding clothes for work or other events. Yes, it was a challenge at times because we all like new things and how many times are you going to mix and match the same outfits but every time, I get the urge to rush out and buy something I told myself no, no, no, no, no, I will wear what is in my closet and I did.
The challenge gave me the wake up call I needed. I found an inner peace which was unexpected and surprising, and I believe it came from not relieving myself of other people’s expectation or viewpoint of me. I was doing what is best for me despite what family or friends thought and it was freeing.
What are some of your discoveries of yourself that you found impactful through your Debt Free or Financial Journey. Leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts and stories.