Think About Your Money In A New Way To Get Out of Debt!
Everyone has heard that to get out of debt they need to earn more and spend less, and keep earning more and spending less as a permanent life style. If this is common knowledge, why is it that millions of people who are making middle class incomes cannot seem to get and stay out of debt? The conventional thinking suggests that a vast majority of Americans are making just enough that they “should” be able to tighten their belts, cut down on luxuries and work methodically out of debt and stay out of debt. Anyone who has ever tried to work their way out of debt knows that it is not that easy. Especially with lay-offs, rising gas prices and all of the other challenges and curve balls that life seems to throw us.
So what is the key? Why is it that some people are able to do this while others struggle, vowing year after year that this year things will be different without ever actually managing to make a meaningful change in their financial situation? They key to financial freedom lies as much in how we think and feel about money as in how we spend it or earn it.
Learn to think of money in terms of energy and value instead of as something people exchange for goods, services or hard work. Getting out of debt and generating wealth permanently requires completely changing our way of thinking about money. The first change we need to make is to think about money in terms of energy and value instead of in terms of hard work and effort.
Hard Work Won’t Get You Out Of Debt
Many people, especially creative people and social mavericks have a strong association between money and hard work. The sad fact however is that they are always working hard and rarely getting ahead. This feeling of working hard for little reward can also lead to overspending and an attitude of mindless consumerism that has us always reaching to buy the latest toy, but never feeling satisfied for long when we get it.
The combination of exhaustion from overwork and the vague dissatisfaction with our lives that comes from chasing a lifestyle that does not truly feed our souls results in diminished personal energy and creativity. Low energy keeps the cycle of debt going. We have less spark and value to offer the world, and we have less creative vision to see opportunities when they are presented to us. In addition we begin to spend more than we really can just to keep going and for “little treats” to try to replenish ourselves.
Understanding That Money Follows Energy and Value Reduces Debt
To break the cycle we need to understand and act on the fact that money truly follows energy not effort. Or, put another way it is the value we share or receive that sets the monetary price of our earning and spending. For example, one painting may be considered a masterpiece and could easily sell for millions while another painting can hardly sell for $10.00. This is not necessarily because one artist worked harder to paint the painting than the other, but because the people purchasing the paintings get more enjoyment, value and energy out of one than the other. Simply put one is more exciting to look at in the opinion of the people doing the purchasing.
In terms of spending, this principle is even more helpful when trying to get out of debt. When we need to cut back expenses, most people start with internal judgments about what they “should” be spending or not spending. This is process that in and of itself tends to drain personal energy and make following through on any debt reduction plan more difficult. A better way is to ask yourself if you are getting the really getting the right amount of energy and value out of your purchases.
Get More Value
Perhaps you stopped of for a $5.00 coffee this morning and it really picked you up and made your day. If so, telling yourself to cut back your spending by not getting coffee in the mornings may work for a few days but in a few weeks your subconscious will kick in with resistance and you will be buying as much, if not more expensive coffee. If that is the case you need to start your spending reduction with the things you purchase out of habit, obligation, laziness, or avoidance, that do not in fact give you as much or more energy back as you put into them with your purchase. Maybe it is the morning coffee, maybe it is an expensive gift for your brother in law every year, and maybe it is your car payment. It is not important is not what it is. It is important to really look at what is giving you the most value and focus your spending based on that.
While it might not seem like it at first, if you think about the concept of value and energy, you will start to see places in your own budget where you can make significant spending changes without feeling too deprived. (For more ideas on how to do this check out the book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominquez or visit www.mycreativeprosperity.com. )
Preserve Your Energy
When we start thinking of money as energy we realize that it can not be either created or destroyed, but it can be harnessed, directed, misused, misdirected, or drained. When we use our energy wisely we attract more energy to ourselves. It allows us to start asking ourselves how we can harness and direct our own personal energy and get rid of our own personal energy drains. This allows us to provide more value to your employers or customers with less effort. What this means is we start attracting more opportunities for easily and ethically earning more money. It will also allow you to more quickly see if you are getting the true value out of your spending. So in fact we do start earning more and spending less, but we do so naturally and without self discipline or self deprivation.
Experiment with a More Profitable Way of Thinking
Try these ideas out, even if they seem like wishful thinking or metaphysical mumbo jumbo to you right now. You will find yourself making changes in your spending and savings, as well as asking for raises and/or finding better work arrangements without extra stress or effort. It will naturally and easily flow out of the fact that you are now looking at the world of money with fresh eyes. You will find that it is fun and easy, and most importantly for staying out of debt: more profitable.
Please feel free to write us with any questions, and stay tuned for our upcoming articles on Getting Rid of Your Personal Debt Magnets and The Four Questions To Ask Whenever You Spend Money where we will take the ideas introduced in this article as step farther.
Mari Geasair has been there! She has been an entrepreneur for over 18 years and has owned five successful businesses of her own. In addition, as a coach and facilitator, she has worked as a hands-on partner with hundreds of small business owners and self-employed individuals. She currently specializes in helping entreprenuers and creative people find more success by radically chanigng their relationship to moeny. Check out her site at http://www.mycreativeprosperity.com and be sure to find out about how YOU can change your financial life by joining a Creative Prospeity 2006 teleclass.