I recently caught myself having a pity party for my lack of funds and realized my attitude was only making the situation worse. It was to the point where I found myself saying things like, “What’s the point of working when people don’t pay me anyway?” Ouch, right?
As you may have guessed, I had a bad experience with a new client and was kicking myself for taking on the work in the first place, because it wasn’t work I would normally do. For some reason, I let my bad feelings about my lack of cash tell me that I should take the job, because I needed the money.
The “funny” thing is, I didn’t get paid for the work anyway, and I could have spent that time working on one of my passion projects. Sure, my passion projects may not pay me either, at least not right away, but they feed my soul. They make me feel good about myself. Taking on this new client sure didn’t have that effect.
I came to the conclusion that I desperately needed a money check up. Our money health is just as important as our physical and mental wellbeing, so I liken a money checkup to a health check up with the doctor.
Here’s the idea . . .
Time for a Checkup
How do you know when it’s time for a money checkup? For me it happens in much the same way as I know it’s time to see my doctor. Either it’s been a while since I’ve seen my doctor, or I just don’t feel good.
The same is true when it comes to checking up on your money. If it’s been a while since you last took a peek at your income and expenses or balanced your bank account, then it’s time to get back on track. Or, if you’re like me, and you did something money-related that just didn’t feel right (like taking on a new client you weren't entirely sure about), that’s another sign you need a money check up.
If you want to attract more cash and financial success, then you need to work on feeling good about your money situation, even if your situation isn’t quite ideal yet. Using affirmations and writing in your journal will really help with that, and I’ll explain more about those two things shortly.
Trim the Fat
When it comes to your physical health, it’s easy to tell when you need to trim the fat. Your clothes are tight or you feel kind of blah. When it comes to trimming the fat from your financial health, the signs can also include feeling blah. They can even go beyond blah to causing anxiety and depression too.
Besides what you feel in your mind and your body regarding your financial health, you may also have trouble making ends meet. Maybe your paycheck doesn’t last as long as it used to, or you aren’t able to set some money aside for savings anymore.
If this is the case, it’s time to print off your bank and credit card statements and give yourself some tough love. What do you see on those statements that no longer needs to be there? Where can you cut back on your spending?
Common places for trimming the fat financially are entertainment expenses and monthly fees for subscriptions you no longer use or need. I recommend going through three months worth of statements to get a clearer picture of where your money is going. Categorize every expense to determine how much you are spending in each category monthly. See if there are any totals that surprise you. If so, these are good places to start cutting expenses.
Maintain a Healthy Balance
We all know how important it is to eat right, get some exercise, drink lots of water, and even quiet our minds. But what does a healthy balance look like when it comes to your finances? This will be different for everybody, but for me, it’s about how I feel about my relationship with money. I feel pretty good about things when I’m somewhere in the middle between overspending and hanging onto every penny like it’s my last.
You may be surprised, but a healthy balance financially isn’t about the numbers in your bank account. It’s about how you feel in your gut. Of course, these two things do affect each other, but you want to strive to feel good about the decisions you make when it comes to your money. This includes everything from your job and the people you work with to the purchases you make.
If you’re ever unsure about whether something is the right move for you financially, give it some time. Sleep on it, as they say. I sure wish I would have done that when debating about whether to work with that client that didn’t pay me, but I learned an important lesson along the way.
Affirmations can help you feel better about your finances by reinforcing a positive mindset. The better we feel about money, the more we will attract. You can create affirmations unique to your situation. The more personal, the better they work, but here are some to get you started.
- Money flows easily to me every day.
- When I spend money it comes back to me three times over.
- I earn money by working with the best people.
How am I feeling about my financial situation (or just money, if you prefer) right now?
This question is meant to get you thinking about whether you need a money checkup. Don’t edit yourself as you write. If you’re angry that you don’t have the funds to pay off your credit card balance this month, get it out and onto the page. You will feel better once you do.
Where do I need to trim the financial “fat”?
Financial fat can be interpreted in many ways. For me, it represents excess spending. If other wording feels more aligned for you then go ahead and change it. The point is to think about any areas in your life where you are overspending and can make adjustments to cut back.
What does financial balance feel like to me?
It’s hard to maintain balance if you’re not sure what that looks like for you. Take some time and imagine you are financially balanced. Describe how you feel and what you are doing. If you’re not sure what this feels like for you, then take some time to write about the feelings you’re ready to let go of when it comes to money.
I hope this has given you something to think about. Money checkups are an important part of staying on top of your financial health. Do them regularly, especially if you are feeling like something is off for you.
As a thank you for taking this money journey with me, I have two gifts for you today. The first is my Prosperity Planner as a printable pdf you can hole-punch and put in a binder. This is 286 pages with the first 20 pages acting as a brief intro to my story and my TREE Method for forging a path to financial freedom. The rest of the book is a planner you can use to track your money as well as record your to-do lists and appointments.
If you aren’t interested in the whole book, you can grab my tracker templates that include printables for blank annual, monthly, and weekly calendars as well as an income and expense tracker. If you aren’t familiar with my TREE Method or my trackers, I recommend grabbing the complete book, and if you find it helpful, I’d appreciate a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
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Author bio: Michelle Cornish is the author of Prosperity Planner: Manage Your Personal Finances and Get Out of Debt, an undated planner where she shares more about her personal financial journey and her TREE Method for keeping her personal finances in check.