Is money management in any way related to your life? Or do you consider it something from the past, when you were younger and had a family to keep? I’ll explain why I consider money management to be of all ages.
How old are you when you have come to the end of your life? Some people freak out by this question. Others respond that they have never thought about it. Only a few name a number.
We all have a notion of what we want from live, haven’t we? We want to grow old and we want to be healthy. And as soon as you put a number on it, you can calculate whether you have enough money to get there.
Financial crisis of 2008
Both Tom and I were solo-entrepreneurs when the financial crisis of 2008 hit the world. We didn’t notice the effects right away, but gradually we had to use our savings to get by. You may have experienced it yourself: where money goes out your account and is not replenished, the deterioration is going rapidly.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had thought about it beforehand. We hadn’t. There was no plan B and at times I was desperate.
Being desperate is very bad for problem solving. People are not poor for being stupid or irresponsible. Poor people are occupied with other things, which consumes a great deal of their thinking capacities.
Or as The Correspondence puts it: Poverty isn’t a lack of character. It’s a lack of cash.
What makes you happy?
The turning point for us came when I learned to write down daily what I was grateful for. This didn’t brought me more money in the beginning, but it made me realise we weren’t doing as bad as we thought we were.
Being happy with what you have, makes life a lot easier.
The effect of showing gratitude by paying money
Writing down what I was grateful for was one way of expressing my gratitude. Another way was the plan to buy flowers for people I was grateful for. Old teachers, friends I had lost contact with, mentors, family, writers of books that made an impact.
Most lived far away, some were even dead. So I made a card in which I could slide a real 10€ banknote. Once a month I sent an anonymous card to someone on my list. The note said I was thankful for their lessons, but couldn’t send a real bouquet of flowers, hence the money. With that money they could buy a bouquet of their favorite flowers at a convenient time.
My parents were the exception. They were already dead then so I couldn’t send them a card. I bought flowers and went to the ‘field of ashes’ on the graveyard to lay them there.
If you want to develop an abundant mindset to show gratitude this way is an action I can highly recommend. 🙂
Do you have enough money?
During my entrepreneurship I kept my books. Very precisely. I knew what came in, what went out, what big purchases were coming up. I compared the results of several years and made budgets for the coming year.
It is really very strange that I didn’t do that for our private finances.
Once I started doing that and making budgets for the different parts of our lives, things got better. We started making plans again.
How much stuff do you need?
One of these plans was selling the house and moving to Spain. I had always believed we couldn’t do that because of a lack of money, but never actually calculated whether I was right.
Another plan was selling a lot of our stuff. How much stuff do we need in reality? It’s always less than you think. Laugh heartily about it with this video of George Carlin called ‘Stuff’.
It set off another period of living from our savings, but this time it was a calculated one.
If you want to dream and want to dream big – as you should – you have to do money management!
Oh and BTW, I am going to live to be a 110. So I’d better keep on managing my money 🙂