Course Manuals 1-12
Course Manual 1: Money Legacy
What’s Your Money Story?
Let’s face it: we all know what’s best for our finances: earn a lot of money and save a lot of money. That’s all. That is the great success secret.
It’s similar to losing weight: we all know to eat a lot of vegetables and exercise.
That’s all. It’s a very simple concept.
Despite this, 70% of American adults are overweight, and approximately 80% of Americans are in debt. Something is clearly preventing us from being our best, healthiest selves.
Sure, some of it stems from simple ignorance. We may be completely unaware that we should contribute to our 401k. It may not have occurred to us that buying a house with a down payment of only 3% is a bad idea.
We may not be aware that restaurants frequently slather their vegetables in butter, so our “healthy” option contains the same number of calories as the french fries.
But a lot of it is us mentally battling ourselves. And, it appears, we’re losing.
We’re aware that we shouldn’t eat the cake. But we make excuses for why it’s acceptable. We understand that we should not spend more than we earn. However, we learn to justify why some purchases are worthwhile.
What our subconscious truly thinks about money is reflected in our money story. Sure, everyone claims to want to be wealthy. However, as a child, perhaps all your parents did was fight over money. Every time you consider having money, your subconscious reminds you that money equals conflict, and you now subconsciously dislike holding onto it. You immediately spend it to resolve the conflict in your life.
Perhaps nothing was more important to your parents than impressing the neighbors. You discovered that money should not be saved, but rather spent to impress. Money equals self-worth.
If we want to change our money story, we must shift our money mindset.
“The only way you will ever permanently take control of your financial life is to dig deep and fix the root problem.” – Suze Orman- Financial Advisor
Case Study of a Money Story
How Susan Conquered Her Money Fear
Susan Whelan’s former self was hopeless with money, according to her. She recalls sitting on her father’s knee as a child and hearing him say, “Sometimes, Susan, the more money people have, the meaner they become.” Taking this statement to heart and witnessing her father’s financial stress and anxiety, whenever money came her way, she spent it as soon as she received it.
Later, after a significant trauma in high school, she was unable to pay her bills or save money for the future. Her father, she claims, was always there to assist her and pay off her debts.
After seeking help in this area. Susan discovered she had the ability to change her future and get on the path to Financial Freedom. She is no longer stressed about money and is well on her way to becoming debt-free. Even better, she is no longer afraid to discuss money with her father.
The Relationship Between Addiction And Money
Susan carried a great deal of sadness and shame as a result of the trauma she experienced as a child. For the majority of her life, she struggled with drug, alcohol, food, and poverty addictions.
At the same time, she combined her addictions with a desire for a better life for herself. She experimented with personal training, holistic body care, qigong, and other activities. However, she had an on-again, off-again relationship with these self-care techniques, just as she did with her addictions. She didn’t like her body and alternated between starving and binging.
She treated money in the same way, blowing through it as quickly as it came in. There were times when money came easily to her, and she even ran her own business for a while.
For example, in 2010, she and her partner went bankrupt, losing both their business and their home. What had happened to all the money? She had treated her business income the same way she had treated her personal income. She overspent and failed to save or run her business properly. She and her family were soon homeless. They joined a caravan and lived with friends while figuring out their financial situation.
Following a death in the family, they were left a run-down cottage in a small town of 400 people. Despite their family’s grief over the loss of a loved one, Susan and her family found that little cottage to be a lifesaver.
Overcoming Her Money Fears to Achieve Financial Independence
Susan had always felt sick and panicked whenever she thought about money or needed to check her bank accounts. Money was a monster to her, causing squabbles with her parents and siblings and instilling feelings of shame.
Finally, she decided she had to face her fears and learn about money. She was interested in learning how to budget, save, and spend wisely.
She worked with a number of financial experts who assisted her in confronting her financial anxiety and difficult emotions. Her other addictions became manageable once she accepted her negative feelings about money. Susan claims that she would not have been ready to begin the process if she had not gone through the process of dealing with her emotions.
Now she was ready to tackle her Cash Flow problems. But she realized she still didn’t know how to deal with money on a daily basis. She needed to learn how to actually manage her finances. She enrolled in a program to help her do just that.
She is now on track to reach her financial goals in eight years or less achieving a Financial Freedom she never even dreamed of just a few years ago.
Probably the best result though, is that Susan and her father can talk about money without the stress and anxiety that used to permeate their financial conversations.
“Any time my dad tried talking to me about money, it was just really, really too uncomfortable. He would end up having to get me out of debt, and it was just a whole toxic money cycle. So, there was all of that stuff. Now he can just say to me, ‘you’ve got this,’ you know, and it’s really cool. I talked to him about money the other day, and it was the best time in our lives, you know, that we were able to sit there and talk about it.”
Your Money Story
Understanding your money story is one of the most important things you can do to improve your financial situation. It’s critical to understand your current relationship with money—what you say about it, how you feel about it, what you believe about it, and how you use it. (We will be diving deep into your Relationship with Money in Course Manual 4:6)
Our thoughts are influenced by external factors, such as “the economy is bad” or “a person or situation is the problem.” Your thoughts are what shape your reality.
You were given your money story. You weren’t born into it; it chose you.
Think about how money was discussed in your home?
Have you ever noticed that children of successful parents are frequently (not always, but frequently) successful themselves, whereas children of poor parents are frequently poor?
This is due, in part (and not insignificantly), to the advantages bestowed upon them early in life. Rich kids have better school systems, tutors, colleges, clothes, and so on. However, it is also because wealthy parents are wealthy. They understand how to manage their money properly. They understand when to save, when to invest, and how to achieve success. They did it on their own! And they pass it on to their children. They instill in their children (and those around them) the values that they have instilled in themselves.
Parents who are poor, on the other hand, are poor. They have no idea how to become extremely successful. Money is a stressful and enigmatic subject, and these values are passed down to their children.
Your money story is what your subconscious tells you about money. It is your unconscious thoughts and feelings about money that you may or may not be aware of.
Perhaps you overheard your parents arguing frequently about money (money = bad).
Perhaps your parents frequently chastised wealthy people (money = bad). You may not have had the opportunity to select your story, but you do have the opportunity to do so now.
Begin by researching the patterns, beliefs, or behaviors you witnessed as a child that shaped your money legacy.
The ability to choose how we think about a situation is one of our last true liberties in life.
You have the ability to choose how you perceive any situation in your life. Your thoughts about a situation influence your feelings/emotions, which in turn influence your behaviors and actions in the world, resulting in the outcomes you have right now in your life.
Transforming Your Inheritance
To begin developing your money story, answer the following questions:
1. Is there a defining moment in your family’s financial history? A defining moment shapes our beliefs; we derive meaning from that experience.
2. If your family went through a catalytic event, such as losing family wealth, losing a job, living through the Depression, or going through a divorce that caused financial hardship, this would shape your beliefs about money.
3. Has your family experienced a period of sudden wealth or financial success?
4. What memories do you have of your parents discussing money?
5. Did they argue about money or did one parent have a different view on spending and saving than the other parent?
6. What was your earliest memory about money?
7. Do you have any unhappy memories around money from your childhood until now?
8. What emotions did your family associate with money?
9. How would you define the status of your family growing up? Were they considered rich, poor, or middle class?
10. So, what would you say overall is the money story you grew up with?
11. How has this shown up in your life?
12. What is the core underlying money belief within that story?
13. What was their positive intention (for themselves)?
14. What is there to appreciate or be grateful for?
15. What is there to forgive?
Creating Your New Family Money Legacy
Write down 5 statements you resonate with the most from the list below. Then write down 2 statements you resonate with the least.
The 7 statements would then need to be prioritized, writing them in on the following page and posting it where you can see it daily. These statements support the beliefs and actions that lead you towards creating the new, empowered money legacy you desire and deserve! (Get printable version of this Exercise in the Project Study Section)
Wealth is a mental state.
It’s all a matter of perception.
We may have money in the bank or in the stock market, but the universal thought is “I don’t have enough.” Do we really have the money we think we have now that we have electronic transactions, and our government just keeps printing more money?
We have a tendency to give money a lot of power and even give away our personal power to money. We define our success based on how much or how little money we make.
We have a “lack” mentality in our society. We can never have enough of the latest fashion, the hottest pair of boots, the next version of software, or the newest iPhone.
We are taught to consume, and advertising persuades us that we require more. What matters most to me at the end of our lives, I believe, is who we loved and how we lived with integrity and service. This country requires a more conscious economic system.
How to Change Your Money Story
Take action to bring about change. Set the goal of learning as much as possible about money. Take a money class, seek out a coach who uses inquiry, or ask a trusted friend to talk with you about what is holding you back.
Get clear on the money story you’re telling yourself and others. Recognize your money-related thoughts, beliefs, and fears, as well as what you’ve been carrying around since childhood (your money legacy). If the story isn’t empowering you, decide to change it.
To overcome fears and find the support you need to move forward, read Suze Orman’s books or take a class. Our attitudes toward money, as well as our emotional attachments to it, influence how we spend and manage it.
What does it take to create a new money story that serves your life and allows you to grow your business?
Determine what is preventing you from moving forward.
Ask a friend to assist you in clarifying your work, its value, and your salary. Know what you have and how much money you’ll need to cover your expenses.
Set savings goals and automate it so that even as little as $25 is saved each month. It will add up before you know it.
Today marks the beginning of the rest of your life. If you’re concerned about not having enough money to live on as you get older, start saving now.
Start a Prosperity Journal
Begin a “Prosperity Journal” to investigate your relationship with money. Write about what works for you, what feels good, and when and where you feel frustrated, powerless, or just not right. Make a list of what you are grateful for in this journal every morning. Make a list of everything you can think of every day. On one of her shows, Oprah stated that she said a prayer of gratitude every time she stepped down the elevator to the stage. She discusses how gratitude has always been an important part of her life. Begin practicing your gratitude!
Exercise 4:1: What’s Your Money Story?
Go around the room and have each of the participants share their money story. Use the following questions as prompts (you can write these on a dry erase board before you start).
1. Is there a defining moment in your family’s financial history?
2. So, what would you say overall is the money story you grew up with?
3. How has this shown up in your life?
4. What is there to forgive?
Course Manual 2: Expansion vs. Contraction
It’s no surprise that our money values, beliefs, and thoughts – our “money mindset” – have a profound impact on every aspect of our lives, including our professional ones.
When it comes to money you have either an Abundance Mindset with expansive thoughts of (abundance, peace, freedom) or a Scarcity Mindset with contractive thoughts such as (fear, stress and lack).
It is important to note that your money mindset has nothing to do with how much money you earn or have. There are wealthy people who have a scarcity mindset, believing that there isn’t enough money and that they will never have enough. And there are people with few possessions who feel blessed, abundant, and wealthy on a deep level.
The majority of us fall somewhere in the middle.
Just as our mind expands or contracts so does money.
Expansionary vs Contractionary Monetary Policy
In general, contractionary monetary policies and expansionary monetary policies involve changing the level of a country’s money supply. Expansionary monetary policy simply means expanding (increasing) the supply of money, whereas contractionary monetary policy means contracting (decreasing) the supply of a country’s currency.
Monetary Policy Expansion
When the Federal Open Market Committee in the United States wants to increase the money supply, it can do one of three things:
• Open Market Operations are the purchase of securities on the open market.
• Reduce the Federal Discount Rate.
• Reduced Reserve Requirements.
All of these have a direct impact on the interest rate. When the Fed purchases securities on the open market, the price of those securities rises. We saw in my Dividend Tax Cut article that bond prices and interest rates are inversely related. Because the Federal Discount Rate is an interest rate, lowering it effectively lowers interest rates. If, on the other hand, the Fed decides to lower reserve requirements, banks will have more money to invest. Because the price of investments such as bonds rises as a result, interest rates must fall. Whatever tool the Fed employs to expand the money supply, interest rates will fall and bond prices will rise.
Increases in the value of US bonds will have an impact on the currency market. Rising bond prices in the United States will prompt investors to sell those bonds in exchange for other bonds, such as Canadian bonds. As a result, an investor will sell his American bond, convert his American dollars to Canadian dollars, and then purchase a Canadian bond. This increases the supply of US dollars on the foreign exchange market.
Because the lower exchange rate makes American-made goods cheaper in Canada and Canadian-made goods more expensive in America, exports will rise while imports will fall, causing the trade balance to improve.
The cost of financing capital projects is lower when interest rates are low. All else being equal, lower interest rates lead to higher investment rates.
What We’ve Learned About Monetary Policy Expansion:
• Bond prices rise and interest rates fall as a result of expansionary monetary policy.
• Lower interest rates encourage more capital investment.
• Lower interest rates make domestic bonds less appealing, so domestic bond demand falls while foreign bond demand rises.
• The demand for domestic currency falls while the demand for foreign currency rises, causing the exchange rate to fall. (The domestic currency’s value is now lower in relation to foreign currencies.)
Monetary Policy Contraction:
• The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
• Open Market Operations are the sale of securities on the open market.
• Increase the Federal Discount Rate.
• Increase the Reserve Requirements
What We’ve Discovered So Far About Contractionary Monetary Policy:
• Bond prices fall and interest rates rise as a result of contractionary monetary policy.
• Higher interest rates result in lower capital investment.
• Higher interest rates make domestic bonds more appealing, so demand for domestic bonds increases while demand for foreign bonds decreases.
• The demand for domestic currency rises while the demand for foreign currency falls, causing the exchange rate to rise. (The domestic currency’s value has risen in relation to foreign currencies.)
• A higher exchange rate reduces exports, increases imports, and reduces the trade balance.
An Expansive or Contractive Mindset
Noun: The process of becoming smaller
Synonyms: Shrinking, reduction in size, shrinkage
Noun: The action of becoming larger and more extensive.
Synonyms: Growth, increase in size, enlargement, extension, augmentation, development, evolution
Investigating the State of Contraction
Most of us have experienced contraction at some point in our lives. Based on my own observations, it appears that we are constantly ebbing and flowing between contraction and expansion, and that one cannot exist without the presence of the other. Increasing our awareness of when and how we are living in our contracted state appears to be the catalyst that propels us forward into the transformative space of expansion.
Let us examine the various manifestations of the state of contraction in our daily lives to gain a better understanding of it:
• As a result of anxiety and fear
• a lack of self-esteem or self-love
• a lack of confidence
• Staying small in order to feel safe
• We do not want to leave our comfort zone and thus do not experience growth.
• Living a routine and unfulfilling life
• Are you afraid of change or making important decisions?
• Fear of standing up for oneself or speaking one’s truth
• Maintaining old habits and thought patterns (for example, “I’m not deserving/I’m not good enough”)
• Allowing your underlying beliefs to guide your life
• Giving up on yourself for the sake of others’ happiness
• You don’t want to look at what’s causing you to be stuck.
• Not being in touch with or trusting your true self
• Fear of appearing to be too big or too much for others
• Concerned about shining too brightly or making others uncomfortable
• Fearful of judgment from others, but also stuck in a loop of self-judgement
One of the most important, and possibly the most debilitating, reasons we are in a state of contraction is that it is what we know and where we find comfort. It may have served as a safety mechanism as a child, and as adults, we are still holding on to the underlying belief that “I need to be this way in order to survive.” Although, for the time being, it is having the opposite effect of what it was intended to have.
Other examples of contraction related specifically to money:
• Avoiding paying your bills – Do you ever find yourself putting off or avoiding paying the bills? – Quite often, it is not about paying the bills, it’s about your limiting beliefs showing up or your resistance around money or you are playing small because you’re shrinking in fear.
• Not having enough money in the bank – By not having enough money in the bank to pay the bills, you may find that you’re judging yourself or beating yourself up about it. Instead, create a plan and start paying off what you can each month until you get back on track again.
• Owing someone money that results in avoiding them because you are ashamed or embarrassed – It can be extremely uncomfortable if you owe a friend or a family member money. Even if you have every intention of paying them back as quickly as possible, you may be struggling just to get by, making it seem impossible to repay them. This can cause you to feel ashamed or embarrassed to even talk to them. I suggest that you have a conversation with them and let them know that you still intend to pay them back and commit to a plan to do so, – even if it’s just $100.00 a month until it’s paid off. -Most likely they will understand what you’re going through and except those or similar terms. This may just restore your relationship.
• When someone owes you money – When a friend or family member owes you money, this is an example of you giving your power away and letting this person take advantage of you. It is necessary to have defined boundaries set up from the get-go with everyone in your life. Stand in your power!
• No savings in the bank – If you have no money in savings, this is often related to deservability (not feeling that you deserve to be wealthy) or a reflection of being stuck in the cycle of lack and scarcity. A simple step you can take to change this is to make a point to start saving a portion of your income each month, even if it’s only 5%. This can really allow you to start feeling more in control and confident in your ability to generate or manifest money in your life. You can slowly start increasing the amount you save each month. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your savings account will start growing once you make the commitment to start saving. If having no money in your savings account is due to the lack of deservability you will need to work on this first.
Case Study on Contraction:
A women named Anita was working an event and she appeared to be very uncomfortable.
The initial reason was because she reported a chronic tight neck; however, there seemed to be more to it.
(Chronic pain typically is emotional.)
It was revealed through questioning that the emotion beneath the tightness was fear.
Anita had an underlying fear of not being able to support her children due to events in her childhood, despite being in a comfortable financial situation, it was discovered.
She had limiting beliefs about herself and found herself doubting her ability to succeed in the future.
This is an example of what contraction looks like.
Investigating the State of Expansion
Expansion is the polar opposite of contraction. It’s like taking a deep breath of fresh air, a sense of filling our lungs to break free from the ever-restricting state of contraction. Let us now consider the various ways in which Expansion can manifest itself in our daily lives:
• Having faith in your intuition
• Realizing your full potential
• Be opened to change and the growth that comes with it.
• Being willing to receive
• Being open to new experiences
• Believing in yourself, your journey, and your destination
• Clearer thinking about future goals and a clearer path to achieving them
• Self-transformation and self-realization are encouraged.
• Allowing your light to shine
• Accepting your true self
• valuing self-compassion and deep love
• Being Fearless
• Having a sense of liberation
• Opening oneself up to new ways of living and/or thinking, a sort of rebirth
The Expansion state is all about believing in yourself, your intuition, and being in the universal flow of life. A lovely place to live, but not always easy to get to. How do you go from Contraction to Expansion? By becoming aware of where and how they are contracting, believing in themselves, and finding the courage to keep moving forward.
Other ways to compare Expansion vs. Contraction
Another way to compare Contraction vs Expansion is to consider the various thoughts and beliefs associated with each state. Thoughts and beliefs associated with contraction have a heaviness to them, whereas those associated with expansion have a positive and uplifting lightness to them. When you read through the thoughts and beliefs that accompany each state, notice how you feel differently.
• I’m not worthy.
• I am not intelligent enough.
• I don’t think I deserve to be happy.
• I don’t belong here.
• Nobody comprehends what I am saying.
• I’m too afraid.
• I have flaws.
• I am frail.
• I am helpless.
• I’ll never be able to get out of this rut.
• I can’t_______________________ (sing, dance, play sports, write)
• There will never be enough money for me.
• I will never achieve success.
• I’ll never live a fulfilled or meaningful life.
To shift these thoughts and beliefs into a state of expansion, we must first bring our attention to what is keeping us stuck, what old beliefs they are clinging to, what fears they we unwilling to let go of, and what old stories are we replaying over and over that keep us small and comfortable.
The great news is, once you develop a plan to either make more money or to pay off your debt, you can start moving into expansion. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to be debt-free or financially successful to start feeling expansion, all you have to do is start working your plan.
• I am a Fantastic Human Being.
• I am powerful.
• I am strong.
• I am knowledgeable.
• I am deserving of happiness.
• I am a brave person.
• I overcame adversity.
• This moment will pass, as will this feeling.
• I am capable of realizing my ambitions.
• I have a prosperous life.
• I have faith in myself.
• I believe in my instincts.
• I am thankful.
• I am deserving of living a meaningful life.
• I am capable of completing difficult tasks.
• I am gifted.
• I am loved.
What Contraction Looks Like at Work
As professionals, we are constantly shifting between contracted and expanded states throughout the course of our workday. In my own experience, I have seen myself on some days full of confidence and ready to tackle the workday one task at a time, and on other days I have found myself doubting my abilities. Fear begins to creep in. Can I do it? Is it even possible that I’m any good at this? Who am I to think I can change people’s lives? When this contracted mindset tries to take over, awareness is essential. If we can recognize when it is attempting to settle into our thoughts, we can simply acknowledge what is happening and reframe our perspective into one of an expanded mindset.
We can practice this in a variety of ways, including journaling, visualizations, mirror work, mantras, and, once again, trusting ourselves and moving forward with courage into that beautiful state of expansion. The journey of self-work and self-realization that it entails is always worthwhile.
Exercise 4:2: Moving Into Expansion
Discussion Questions- Go through these questions as a group:
1. In what areas of your life have you witnessed yourself contract?
2. In what areas of your life have you witnessed yourself expand?
3. What helped you move forward from contraction into expansion?
Course Manual 3: Clear Clutter
Decluttering and getting organized around money is a powerful first step to changing the direction of your money life.
It FEEL GOOD TO BE ORGANIZED, especially when it comes to something as important as money. This training will assist you in BEING and FEELING organized. You’ll have more room in your wallet, you’ll be able to tie up loose ends, and you’ll begin to feel better. SPACE is created by decluttering. It’s nice to have some breathing room!
The impact of clutter in your life
Clutter appears to be relatively innocuous, doesn’t it? And, harmless or not, it appears impossible to handle for many of us when life moves at such a breakneck pace.
A cluttered home or office, on the other hand, equals a cluttered mind.
According to Psychology Today, clutter in our homes and workplaces makes us feel anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.
And Americans spend millions of dollars on medications and other solutions to alleviate their anxiety, helplessness, and overwhelm.
However, clutter is rarely recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives. Fortunately, unlike other more widely recognized sources of stress, clutter is one of the most easily remedied life stressors.
Dishes in the sink, clutter on every flat surface, family belongings and toys strewn about the house, closets stuffed with items we rarely use; this clutter not only makes our homes look bad, but it also makes us feel bad.
At least, that’s what UCLA researchers discovered after studying the relationship between 32 families and the objects in their homes. Clutter, it turns out, has a significant impact on our mood and self-esteem. Anthropologists, social scientists, and archaeologists from UCLA discovered:
• The more stuff a woman has, the more stressed she is.
• The more dishes that accumulate in the sink, the more stressed-out women become.
• Even families who want to reduce clutter are frequently emotionally paralyzed when it comes to sorting and pitching items. They can’t let go of sentimental attachments to objects or believe their possessions have hidden monetary value.
If stress and anxiety aren’t enough, dealing with clutter, moving it around, and looking for misplaced items in a disorganized home takes up a lot of time. According to studies, Americans spend an average of 2.5 days per year looking for things. Millennials are also shown to be twiddling their thumbs.
Furthermore, we spend $2.7 billion per year replacing items, and more than half of us are frequently late for work or school due to frustrating searches. Then, when we finally arrive and begin our day, our effectiveness is diminished for minutes, if not hours, as a result of the emotional state we are in as a result of these occurrences.
Consider all of the things you could do with that time and money.
A great place to start is to de-cutter your home.
This may seem overwhelming for some.
Cherry Dale, a financial coach with the Virginia Credit Union, compiled this list. She suggests that you don’t think of decluttering your home as a chore.
Consider it like putting money back in your pocket or helping others. While some of your items may be worn out and only fit for the trash can, there may be many others that you can sell to a consignment store, sell at a yard sale, or even donate to charity.
“As you’re donating or selling, you can apply what you’re making to your financial goals. To wrap it all into one thing. Declutter your house and improve your finances along the way,” Dale advised.
Dale also suggests that if you come across something sentimental, such as a doll you bought for your now-25-year-old daughter, take a picture of it. This can make it easier to let go.
Even if it’s no longer collecting dust in your closet, you’ll have a reminder. Similarly, for your finances, find a picture of what you are no longer spending money on and place it next to a picture of your financial goal. So, that’s what you’re saving this year.
A Clutter Test
One way to determine if your home or workspace is too cluttered is to consider how difficult it is to keep your home or office tidy. If you spend a lot of time straightening up your house on a regular basis, you probably have too much stuff.
Our closets, cabinets, and chests of drawers frequently house items we never use, while our most-used items end up on countertops, other surfaces, and the floor. It’s no surprise we can’t find them. This has a serious impact on mental clarity and productivity.
Are you organized, with enough space in your closets and drawers to store the items you actually use until you need them? Or are you guilty of stuffing your storage units to the brim rarely opening them and seeing what’s inside?
How to De-clutter Your Workstation
Examine your workstation thoroughly. To get a sense of the big picture, you may need to get up and walk a few feet away from your workstation.
While it is acceptable to use office supplies and keep a few personal items at your workstation, you do not want to be drowning in these items while working! Remember, your workspace is supposed to be a place where you can do your work… and isn’t a magnet for clutter.
How does your workstation look? What’s on top of, beneath, behind, and beside your workstation and chair? What office supplies and materials do you use on a daily basis? Which items should be kept elsewhere in your office? What items should be saved?
You should be able to identify a few items that should be removed, relocated, or recycled.
You might be surprised at how this simple exercise can transform a cluttered environment. Simply removing a box of old files from beneath your desk, recycling a large stack of old journals or magazines, or moving several reams of printer paper and assorted office supplies to your storage closet provides you with more space to type, write, review, and move around in general.
Make a De-cluttering Checklist
If you want to keep your home office in good shape, you should incorporate a series of regular decluttering tasks into your work routine.
Create a simple checklist to keep track of these tasks. Aim to clean these items on a weekly or monthly basis to prevent materials from piling up.
Looking for some personalized decluttering ideas? Make a mental note of the areas in your home office that tend to attract or accumulate clutter over time.
If your office appears to be a clutter magnet, schedule weekly decluttering sessions at the end of each workweek. You can remove items, for example, every Friday afternoon after lunch, so you have a neat and tidy space to look forward to the following week.
Here are some decluttering tasks to consider adding to your to-do list:
• Remove any personal or household items that have made their way into the home office.
• Declutter the top, bottom, and sides of your desk/workstation.
• Take out any old or expired paper or digital files.
• Discard any old project, program, or assignment materials.
• Confidential paperwork and materials should be shred.
• Clear out your email folders and accounts.
• Remove files and folders from your computer’s desktop.
There’s nothing quite like looking around your house and office and seeing it exactly the way you’ve wanted it to look for so long.
What would it be like to wake up every day with the peace of mind and soul that comes from having your home exactly the way you want it – where you have control over your belongings, not the other way around.
And it only gets better. Decluttering has the effect of opening door after door for you.
• Decluttering frees you from the shackles that have been holding you back.
• Decluttering ignites a fire of energy within you that you were unaware you possessed!
• The tension in your face and body will dissipate, and your confidence will resurface.
When you get your life in order, things start to fall into place in every aspect of your life!
Clutter and Your Money
When it comes to clean and organized homes, money mindset also plays a significant role. First, as UCLA discovered, many people have a difficult time getting rid of things because they place an unrealistic monetary value on their possessions.
Making space in your home and having empty drawers and closets allows wealth to come to you. This does not simply imply emptying them until you buy more. It’s the idea of not filling them back up after giving things away or having garage sales, because this communicates to the universe that you are open and ready to receive more money.
Whether it’s the universe or our own subconscious, when we don’t have room for anything else in our closets or lives, we aren’t as motivated or mentally prepared to go to the next financial level.
When we focus on developing our organizational habits and make empty spaces in our cupboards, closets, and drawers, this creates space for more money to come into our lives.
Your spaces will become cluttered if you have a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset keeps you cleaning your own house when you’d get a far better return hiring someone to do that work while you operate in your personal zone of genius.
It’s time to get organized and signal that you’re ready for financial independence.
“From personal experience, when I doubled down on my already extremely organized habits and made empty spaces in my cupboards, closets and drawers, within 6 months my business revenues were higher than ever, and I doubled my personal salary.” – Tobi Fairly
The Advantages of Getting Rid of Money Clutter
Before you become overwhelmed by the prospect of having to do more work, consider the benefits of decluttering or cleaning up your house, finances, garage, or anything else that could use a facelift! Going forward, as we discuss what we need to do to declutter or organize our financial lives, I want you to imagine what it will look like, feel like, sound like, smell like, or even taste like (LOL) when you’ve completed the task.
1. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as a result of your efforts.
2. The space or area you worked on will appear more organized.
3. There will be a freshness or cleanliness in the air that pervades the room.
4. Your body, soul, and spirit – yes, I said it – will experience a sense of lightness or weightlessness.
5. You will have renewed vigor to pursue your life goals.
6. Your stress level will drop significantly, and you will sleep better as a result!
7. You will discover hidden treasures – information that you have been looking for a long time.
8. You will be more productive and creative now that the mess is out of the way.
9. You save cash. You’ll almost certainly find expenses you can cut or accounts you didn’t realize you had!
10. Eventually, you’ll have order and control over a previously chaotic area of your life, such as money.
10 Steps to Declutter Your Finances
How financially organized would you say you are? Being financially organized is frequently regarded as a drudgery or as an activity that would detract from the joy of living. Being financially organized, on the other hand, is essential for success in money management. It would also reduce the amount of stress in your life. These financial decluttering tips will assist you in becoming financially organized and maintaining order (i.e., keeping the clutter out of) your finances.
1. Know where you keep your important documents.
Most people are often unprepared in this area and can waste a significant amount of time trying to locate important documents when they are required. Take the time to find any permanent documents, such as financial, legal, or other documents that are valid for more than a year. Wills, powers of attorney, insurance policies (life, health, disability, critical illness, home, car, or business related), mortgage agreements, title deeds, and other documents are examples. Non-financial documents, such as birth and/or baptism certificates, immunization records, educational certificates, passports, and so on, may also be included. Place these documents in a secure location and ensure that your spouse, executor of your will, and any other responsible and trusted person knows where and how to access them.
2. Create a filing system
No matter how electronic the world becomes, paper bills and other important documents will continue to be issued in hard copy. To keep the paper piles organized, make a folder for each of the following: Checking and savings accounts, retirement and investment accounts, credit card accounts, loans, personal lines of credit, tax returns, bills and receipts by vendor or month.
3. Make use of your computer
Your computer is an excellent location for filing e-bills and e-statements, which you can organize by organization or type of account. It is also the most convenient way to pay bills, save, and invest. To keep your finances in order, make good use of both.
4. Have a drop box
Often times we get the mail and just drop it on the first flat surface we come to when we get home. I am as guilty of this as anyone else. This is a hassle because I then have to clear the space when it’s time to have family meals. So why not have a drop box? Most homes have a designated place for their home office or even just a small desk space in a room where you can work. Wherever that is, having a location to go to and drop your mail helps reduce the clutter. At another time, you can open the mail and sort them.
Consider three simple categories for now: (1) Trash or Recycle – what’s not needed dump right away, (2) To Pay – keep upcoming bills in one location, and (3) To File – either do this right away or place in the “to file” slot for later.
5. Clear out the clutter in your wallet.
This can be a difficult task. Unwanted receipts can fill up our wallets at times. Sometimes we can find our wallets overflowing with papers! Most of us do, however, you will want to keep them in order to record your financial activity – you can track your current and future cash flows. You can keep your purse or wallet from becoming cluttered by removing receipts and placing them in a small box on your desk until you can record them (which by the way should be done on a weekly basis). Once you do this, you’ll discover that having a clutter-free wallet makes it easier to find the cash or card you need when you need it. Also, you want a nice place to keep your money to “honor it”- so if you need to, buy yourself a beautiful new wallet – your money deserves it!
6. Involve your family in the process.
You may believe that you must go it alone, but you do not. When you involve others, the work becomes lighter and more enjoyable to complete. Have a filing day, enlist the help of your children or spouse – have someone shred or destroy all the papers you no longer need, and someone else label and file bills and statements by organization, month, or whatever order you prefer. As a thank you for your assistance, prepare their favorite meal for dinner or plan a special family outing.
7. Establish financial objectives.
Make a decision about what you want to do with your money. How much money you want to save, donate, invest, spend, or borrow. Also, how much money do you make now? Is it enough, or do you need more? If you evaluate this and discover that your cash flow is frequently negative, review your spending and, where possible, reduce it, but also consider whether you need to find ways to increase your cash flow. Involve your family in goal setting; problems frequently arise due to a lack of communication. Setting spending limits and saving targets is a good place to start. If this is agreed upon, it will relieve the stress of trying to make ends meet.
8. Automate, automate, and automate some more.
If you use the technology available to you in this day and age, you can make your life a lot easier. Setting up standard weekly or monthly transactions can help you save time and stay organized by reducing the amount of time you spend managing your finances. Automation would eliminate the need to remember when certain financial transactions are required, as well as avoid unnecessary and unwelcome late payment fees. Consider first setting up transfers to your savings and investment accounts, and then payments to your mortgage, any other debt, and utilities. However, even with automation, it is still necessary to monitor your cash flow.
9. Conduct regular financial audits.
As I previously stated, it is a good practice to keep track of your financial activity on a weekly basis. This is something I do on a spreadsheet because it is my preferred method. You should think about getting a personal finance app to track your spending. The weekly review includes not only recording financial activity but also paying upcoming bills. Each month, you must also reconcile your bank accounts. This is more than just a check-off activity; it is a way of verifying the accuracy of what the bank has recorded. When there are discrepancies, they can be resolved quickly. Quarterly reviews are also required, and this is an excellent time to clear out any clutter that has accumulated. Take a snapshot of your finances – look at your net worth – once a year and compare it to the previous year. Have you made any financial strides? Did you spend more this year than the previous year(s)? These should be reviewed and discussed with your spouse as well as your financial advisor.
10. Have a good time saving money.
I believe you should save with a purpose in mind. You’ve been told to keep that emergency fund well-stocked, and that if it is ever depleted, it should be replenished as soon as possible. That can have a negative impact and add stress to the task of managing your money. Consider a container (such as a large bottle with a top opening) that can be kept in a secure location but is easily accessible. Empty your wallet of all loose change into that container at the end of each week. Encourage everyone in the family to participate.
These suggestions are intended to serve as a starting point and a guide for becoming financially organized.
Don’t let your financial situation stress you out. Keeping organized is essential if you want to begin mastering your finances.
“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . .. When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.” – Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty
Exercise 4:3: Action Time: Remove Clutter Exercise
Group discussion (Answer the following questions):
What seems to be a common clutter issue in your home office or work area?
What steps are you going to declutter items on a regular basis?
Course Manual 4: Forgive Past
Many of us want to have a bright, shining future: filled with hope and clarity and empowerment when it comes to our financial futures.
But something seems to be holding us back.
It is as if heavy chains are pulling us backwards, into our past, anchoring us to outdated money beliefs, shameful secrets, unresolved relationship dynamics, and even practical To Do’s that we haven’t completed.
As much as we desire a new future, we simply can’t move forward until we pause, looked into our past, and address the issues that are tying us to it.
Forgiveness… finish… and letting go are the topics at hand.
The real problem…
In many cases we already know what is holding them back:
“I haven’t paid my taxes in three years, and I’m dying of embarrassment.”
“My inheritance caused a schism in my family, and I can’t see my brother without arguing about money.”
Other issues can be more subtle, and don’t come to light until digging deeper into our past:
“That time when I was seven and stole money from my mother’s purse still haunts me.”
“Wow, I had no idea how much my church’s teaching that “money isn’t spiritual” had hampered my career!”
People admitted sheepishly, one by one, to these issues from their past. They usually assumed they were the only ones with a Big Dark Secret or unfinished business involving money, and they sighed with relief when they discovered that we all have “money stuff” from the past that needs to be completed, released, forgiven, and grieved.
As we delve deeper into our Money Story, you will most likely come across pieces that we are ready to let go of. Shame that hurts or blame that zaps our energy. We have loose ends that we desperately want to tie off. We’ve outgrown our money beliefs.
On one level, this is about finishing things: making that phone call, mailing that letter, and so on.
But what if it’s something subtler and more internal? So, how do we let go? How can we let go of the old baggage that’s still hanging around with us so we can get current with our Money Story and move forward?
This is the delicate territory of forgiveness, completing, and letting go. We come full circle here, back to Money Shame… and let it go. We transform our shame gradually, baby step by baby step, with as much mindfulness and courage as we can muster. We mourn, forgive, finish, and let go.
On the other side of this transformation, we are hard-wired for wholeness. We are irresistibly drawn to it. When we summon the courage and compassion to forgive within your financial relationship, you will realize this profoundly empowering truth: Your past does not have to equal your future.
“Practicing forgiveness means letting go of self-righteous anger, blame, and resentment. That’s hard. The combination of self-righteous anger, blame, and resentment is one of my favorites. Umm. Umm. Umm. Drink it up! Unfortunately, I think it’s toxic and eats you alive from the inside. It might go down like a milkshake, but it burns up your insides like battery acid.” ~ Brené Brown
Forgiveness always has two sides: the letting go and the moving forward. Looking back and taking a step forward. Creating and releasing.
It may appear paradoxical, but I’ve seen it time and again: when we look back at our past pain, honor it, and let it go, we can move forward in new, more liberated ways.
We let go of old money beliefs — and choose which new beliefs we will carry forward with us into the future. We not only let go of old wounds, but we also discover unexpectedly wonderful gifts.
A word of caution: forgiveness is difficult work. It’s an adventure. Non-linear, fluid, deeply personal, frequently mysterious, and undertaken by a brave few. But the rewards are enormous, my friend.
I’m not just referring to the ability to mail a letter or file a tax return. I’m referring to deep, soul-level healing. Energy reserves have been liberated. Compassion for yourself and others has greatly increased.
Almost everyone has felt financial shame at some point in their lives. It’s the sense of embarrassment that comes from having too much or too little money. Money shame can paralyze you and cause problems with your financial decisions.
In its most basic form, shame is the feeling of being unworthy, unlovable, and not good enough. Shame symbolizes isolation, rejection, and excruciating physical pain.
Some of us experience shame simply by hearing the word “shame.”
Shame is a huge topic, especially in the field of counseling.
Shame has an impact on our minds, brains, bodies, relationships, and spirits.
Shame is a painful feeling that is felt viscerally and physically, but it is often unspoken.
You will frequently feel shame as your shoulders collapse, your head hangs low, your chest hollows out, or your sense of self shrinks within your body.
Why Is It Necessary to Understand Shame?
I enjoy the topic of shame because it has helped me understand myself over time. The study of shame has given me a better understanding of my client’s perplexing, contradictory, and, yes, even immoral thoughts and actions that society and family find repulsive.
Shame is a major topic. It’s also a difficult subject to broach.
To reduce shame, however, you must approach it with openness, curiosity, love, and compassion.
Shame does not have to be a way of life for you.
I’m not saying you should deny your experiences with shame, but rather recognize when you