Fact: in general, the majority of a person’s life is spent working.
What work looks like varies from person to person. A policeman’s hours are not the same as a social worker’s, and a social worker’s are not the same as a scientist’s. The requirements and demands of every profession and area cover a wide range. But they all show the same thing: we work hard to earn our living.
Now, money is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can accomplish great things. However, the obsession can spin out of control. When money starts to own you—as opposed to the other way around—you have to stop and rethink your daily pattern and your life philosophy.
But how can we do that? How can we spend our money better?
This past Sunday, I took myself away on a twenty-eight hour women’s retreat that focused on deep relaxation and all things tranquil. The retreat was by the Dead Sea. It was organized by my Facebook (and now real life) friend Devorah Harow, owner of Beit Roga Center for Healthier Living.
At the retreat, I learned to honor myself, my body and my soul. I practiced healthy eating, did yoga on the beach, tried deep breathing exercises, experimented with Jacuzzis and salt water cleansing, and even treated myself to a Cranio Balance session with Leba Klavan.
This is the first time I have honored myself in this way, but it certainly won’t be the last.
The challenge of every day is that, in this noisy and busy world packed with myriads of external stimuli, we have difficulty finding the time or space to get in touch with ourselves. We are not going to our quiet place and tuning in to see what we truly need as individuals. As a result of this lack of introspection, we spend our hard earned money haphazardly on items and experiences that do not satisfy nor nourish our souls. This leaves our emotional and spiritual cores feeling drained, depleted, and undernourished.
Think about it this way. Did you ever have a lot of cake and cookies but no solid food? The desserts are delicious and give you quick energy. But then you crash and your body is worse for it.
Therefore, it’s so important to take time out and touch base with yourself so you can identify exactly what solid foods your soul needs.
Here are five steps to changing your life and taking control of your finances so that you can live in a soul-nourishing way.
Step one is deciding you’re going to own your finances and change your money story. This step doesn’t require any tangible actions. But it does require a change of heart and attitude, which can be just as difficult, if not more so. Sit down and tell yourself that you are going to change. It even helps if you share this sentiment with friends and/or family members who can keep you accountable and lend you support.
Step two is committing to the habit of tracking your expenses. This looks different for everyone. Some may use an Excel sheet. Others may use something more techie like YNAB (You Need a Budget) or an app for their phone. And once you come up with a method that works for you, stick to it. Be diligent about it, especially in the beginning.
Step three is identifying your values. A lot of people think they know their belief systems and values, but everything is so much clearer if you stop and think about it more intentionally. Take some time out and assess what your values are: your family, your community, G-d. It helps to write them out in a clear list.
If you need guidance in identifying or coming up with your values, consult Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Even if you don’t agree with everything, it’s a good way to start brainstorming. The pyramid divides needs and desires into categories such as “aesthetic needs” and “safety needs”. At the top is self-actualization and transcendence. That’s the goal you work toward, and the other needs are steps to accomplishing that. Your values will fall somewhere on this pyramid. Again, the chart may not fit with everyone. Some people may not value aesthetics as much as cognitive needs. Use Maslow’s hierarchy as a starter and not necessarily a template for life. Adjust and change (or even throw out!) as needed.
Step four is questioning your expenses. Are they all in alignment with your values? (Now your list will come in handy!) Are you satisfying your deep inner needs for safety, security, spirituality, health, and connectedness? Highlight the expenses that don’t make sense with your values.
Step five—and the last step—is the hardest. Take the highlighted expenses that don’t align with your values and commit to making changes. For example, if one of your values is spending more time with family, then eliminate expenses on transitory pleasures like fast food. Experiment by baking home-made pizza as a family.
Choice and change happen slowly, a little at a time. And that is completely okay. Focus on progress, not perfection. Take one day at a time rather than being overwhelmed by the big picture. As a money coach, I see how people’s creative juices start flowing when they lean in to progress and think on the positive!
And here’s a bonus tip that can really help. Some people need more support than others, which is why it’s a good idea to share your financial plan with friends and family who can cheer you on and help you keep up the momentum. However, if you’re really serious about changing your life, then a money coach is a great investment.
It sounds contradictory, right? Spending money on a money coach to get your finances in order? Almost as contradictory as having the Dead Sea—in which no life grows—revitalize and rejuvenate my skin.
But if this area is one of your values, then a money coach is a great move. I have worked as a money coach for a while and I know that I can help you make different choices. This way you can take care of yourself, and feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
To explore how we can work together let’s get started with a free 45-minute Rejuvenate Your Finances Coaching Call. We’ll talk through the basics of your financial situation, then I’ll set you up with a simple set of actions you can put into practice. Together, we’ll put you in touch with your money and get you started on the road to rejuvenation.
To request your free 45-minute Rejuvenate Your Finances Coaching Call, contact me now.