Let’s admit it. Managing your money every day can be a drag.
There, I said it.
Tracking your income. Monitoring your expenses. Making sure you don’t go over budget and reworking everything if you do. Keeping enough cash in your rainy-day fund. Investing for the future.
There’s a lot to do! And if you close your eyes and blink everything might come unraveled.
And you’ll have to start all over again.
That’s the gist of the conversation I had recently with my client “Carol.” Carol said she wants to put up an “Out to Lunch” sign on her finances for a few weeks and come back later. She said she’s lacking the motivation that inspired her three months ago to take charge of her money and design a life she loves.
Which makes total sense.
And it’s the same with any new practice, whether it’s a plan for healthier eating, a new exercise regime, writing a book, launching a business, or taking charge of your money.
“Motivation is what gets you started,” says Jim Rohn. “Habit is what keeps you going.”
Nevertheless, when you’re in the trenches, covered with dust and sweat, good habits alone might not be enough to keep you in the process. People fall off the wagon all the time.
So how can you keep yourself going when the going gets tough? Add in some EXTRA motivation and loving care.
Here are two possibilities that I covered with Carol. I think they’ll add pizzazz to your money management and improve your money mindset.
Stay in the money game using these two hacks
1. Mad Money.
If you’re a busy mom like Carol and me, you might get the feeling that all the money goes to taking care of the kids – ballet, piano, soccer, school supplies, bicycles, birthday parties…the list goes on. And even if you don’t have kids or your children have grown up and established homes of their own, you might feel like there’s no wiggle room in your budget. You keep saying you’ll do something fun if there’s money left at the end of the month.
But here’s the thing.
When it comes to time, Parkinson’s law says “work expands to fill the time available for its completion” (just ask me about that one! I know all about it ☹).
Money is the same way: expenses expand to deplete the income available (and maybe even more). So, you can’t have a wait and see policy with your fun money.
Instead, create a Mad Money category in your monthly Spending Plan at the beginning of every month. This is money that you get to spend on whatever you want – clothes, coffee, facials, gifts, appreciations, donations, whatever. There’s no follow-up, no justifying your spending, no checking in, no nothing. Use the cash as you please. Or hold on to it and roll it into the next month. Then you’ll have even more mad money to play with.
Carol loved this idea. We carved out $50 a month for her. She plans to go to the ATM at the beginning of every month, withdraw $50 in cash, and keep it in an envelope in her purse.
One of the wonderful benefits of Mad Money is that you become conscious and discerning about your spending. You start thinking about what you really, really want and weigh up if you’re getting good value for money.
- What happens when you fall out of infatuation with managing your money better
- Motivation for building wealth – what does it take?
2. Vision Board.
I have a little confession to make. Until now, I had never created a vision board. I had heard and read about them. And I understood the amazing benefits you’re supposed to get out of them (and I could talk about that with my coaching clients). But, I’m going to be honest with you, they kind of looked like grade school arts and crafts projects to me. So I never did it.
So let’s back up a moment and talk about what a vision board is and what are the benefits.
A vision board, also called a dream board, “is a tangible representation of your vision for the future,” says Jack Canfield. Creating a visual image of your dreams and goals stimulates your mind and your emotions, which then inspires you to work (harder) toward your money goals. Hang or place your vision board in a prominent place where you’ll see it several times a day and stimulate your mind to want to achieve your dreams.
Get started by taking a heavy piece of cardboard. Next, you need some pictures and glue. You can cut out pictures from magazines and download them from the internet. You might even add feathers or glitter to your board.
Now let’s say, for example, that you would really love to go to Antarctica to see the emperor penguins. You would stick pictures of penguins and icebergs on your board. You might write the work Antarctica in gold lettering on your board. You can also add pictures of famous explorers who’ve done exactly what you want to do. And maybe some snow gear to keep you warm.
For better money management, create a board that represents the feelings you want to feel when you get out of debt and when you’ve created enough of a money cushion to retire early. Some ideas would be jumping for joy, fireworks, and confetti. You might also add a peaceful lotus flower, a candle burning incense, or a relaxing holiday by the beach. PLUS the numbers you want to see in your bank account and on your credit card statements.
If people inspire you, try adding pictures of successful investors, like Warrant Buffet, or a successful money coach and influencer, like Denise Duffield Thomas.
Carol absolutely loved the idea of creating a vision board. And I got excited about the idea, too.
So, I created my own simple dream board in Canva.
I think it’s just the beginning.
In the video below, I’m sharing my board with you plus how you can use a vision board to help you grow your money.
My son came into the room just after finished recording and he loved the idea. Tune into this 5-minute video to find out why.
Summing it all up
After the initial enthusiasm wears off, taking better care of your money can lose its luster and appeal. Help yourself to stay in the money game using these two hacks: Financial motivation with a Mad Money fund and mindset stimulation with a Vision Board. These two money hacks can help you stay the course and achieve your money goals better, stronger and faster.
For more information on creating a board, take a look at these two posts:
The reason vision boards work and how to make one (Huffington Post)
3 Steps to creating your first vision board (Fourteen Feathers)
And if you’re in need of some one-on-one support to help you reach your money goals, contact me for a free 30-minute Get Acquainted Call. I’d love to see how I can support you.