Day 4 of challenge: Create a new spending manifesto
How did the 24 hour exercise from yesterday go?
I developed this exercise to help me become aware of my emotions about money and to curb my compulsive spending.
In time, if you keep using this technique; checking in with your emotions and your values when making a purchasing decision, will be second nature and it'll become easier to change your spending habits in that moment.
Why does it sometimes feel like we're going round in circles when it comes to money?
And why does reduced spending not always lead to increased savings or investments?
A common theme that keeps coming up in the group is this idea of paying off debt, only to find yourself back in debt.
Or increasing your salary only to find yourself saving even less money.
What witchcraft is this?!
Maybe it's not witchcraft but being human...
According to the Lazarus theory of emotion, every emotion stems from a thought, which gives rise to an emotion, which then affects behaviour and other physiological responses.
This theory suggests that behaviour is merely a response to an emotion, which is a response to a thought, memory, spiritual belief or vow.
Most us have been taught to work on our financial behaviours - increase savings, decrease debt etc, which is great.
But this behaviour is caused by a bunch of other things (see the image above) so we end up treating the symptom and not the cause.
And if life has taught us anything it's that treating a symptom is a temporary fix, if you want a permanent change, you have to treat the cause.
We also have a different cause (story, belief etc) for each symptom (income, savings etc).
We may be great at earning money but not good at saving it, because we have different vows or beliefs about saving money versus earning money.
This is also why curbing spending may not necessarily lead to increased savings, because the spending was just a way for your mind to keep money out of your life and once you resolve that, your mind will find another way to decrease savings.
Each and everyone of us has a different cause because we have different families, ancestors, childhoods and ways of processing the world.
At this point, you're probably thinking, "Vangile I do affirmations, I pray like a million times a day and I write daily gratitude pages. Isn't that working on my thoughts and emotions? Why am I still just surviving and not thriving?"
Yes you are working on your thoughts!
But I want you to think of all the thoughts, memories, emotions and beliefs that cause us financial pain as wounds to our psyche. These wounds keep us in survival mode.
As you do all your positive thoughts and will yourself to feel grateful (when you feel like hell) you're putting a bandage on a dirty wound.
And the deeper the wound, the less effective the bandage will be. The bandage can work on a scar, no problem, but it won't work as well on deep wounds.
Unfortunately, most of us carry deep wounds around money because of our ancestral lineage (we carry our ancestors stories, emotions and behavioural tendencies in our DNA) and our family histories.
What you have to do is focus on cleaning the wound and then putting on the bandage.
I'll share more on how you can clean these wounds in tomorrow's live masterclass.
Now that you have a practical tool to help you with compulsive spending, let's create a new spending manifest/ budget that aligns to your values.
Step one: Reflecting on the emotions that drive your behaviour (5 mins)
Take a few minutes to reflect on what you learned from yesterday's exercise by answering question 1 - 4 on Day 4's challenge worksheet
DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHED WORKSHEET BELOW
Step two: Creating a new budget (10 mins)
The next step is to create a budget that's aligned to your values so you can really fall in love with your bank account.
To quote John C Maxwell, "A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went."
i. The rule of thumb is to save 10% of your income every month.
ii. If you're already saving, see if you can increase your savings by 5% every month.
iii. Go to Day'4 worksheet and complete question 4 - 6
Step 3: Share your insights/ questions in the comments section below