Just imagine if you wrote a letter to money, would it look something like this…
I hate you! Why do you alway allude me!? Why am I embarrassed or panicked at the mention of your name. Why do I always feel anxiety and negativity when I talk about you to others? Why did you end my parent’s marriage? Why did you end my marriage? Why do you have me, my family, my friends and my community wrapped around your finger? Why do I spend my every waking moment trying to get you, and the rest of my time trying to convince others I don’t need you? Why are you ruining my life? Why can’t I afford to choose? Why is it more money more problems?
Thank you for always being there to fund my various wants and needs! Thank you for being there to help cushion the fall when the unexpected happened. Thank you for the boost and the prizes. Thank you for the status and the fame. Please don’t ever leave me!
It may sound crazy, the notion of writing a letter to an inanimate object, but it ‘s really just the idea you’re writing to. The ideas you have about money. Writing a letter to money can really help you learn about yourself and the relationships around you as it relates to finance. I often ask my clients to write a letter to money as their first activity on the journey to financial education and freedom. As adults there are certain things we are just expected to be good at; we take pause when asking questions about money because– “why don’t we know this already?” The answer is clear, and it is made clearer when we really open up take a good look inside and confront those deep emotions we may feel when it comes to money.
Writing a letter takes thought and if you take it seriously and be honest with yourself you can uncover so many things you never thought about before; maybe even an incident with from the past that has shaped your relationship with money. To help you get started here are some guiding question to help you open up and make this exercise meaningful. You do not have to answer all or any of these questions. These are simply to help guide your head and your heart, to get down to the heart of the matter. After reflecting just set a timer and write for 5-10 minutes. Write everything you can think of, don’t worry about grammar or spelling, this is just for you!
- Am I setting a good example for my children?
- Do I have any financial goals?
- If money was not an issue what would I be doing?
- What’s keeping me from doing what I love?
- What am I happy about financially?
- Am I proud of my financial situation? Why? Why not?
- How do I feel when I buy something I want?
- How do I feel when I can’t buy something?
- How do I feel when there is an emergency and I have to spend unexpected money?
- Do I ever feel like I can’t keep up?
Writing is also therapeutic and cleansing. Once you’ve finished writing, read it, reflect, cry, scream, yell, rip it, burn it. Do what ever you feel is appropriate. The final thing you should do is forgive yourself, your parents, your family, your friends, and resolve to start a new relationship with money.
If you have any questions, need more guidance about next steps, or just want to share your letter writing experience please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for reading hope this helps!
“Mommy I know what I am gonna to do with all my birthday money! I’m gonna save it all! I’m not gonna to spend it, I’m gonna to put it in my piggy bank!” My newly 8 year old son was so excited, he had decided to do the responsible thing with his money! He wasn’t going to spend it all on his stomach or buy a toy that would be lost or broken in a week he was going to save it! Until forever! ” That’s great Miles, I can see you are starting to mature and think about money in a different way,” I said smiling at him dismissively. He must have notices the obtuseness in my eyes, because he immediately replied “Is there something else I can do with my money, something smarter, something that would make me richer.” He had one hundred dollars so according to him he was all ready rich. At this I smiled, genuinely. My son was actually looking to make his money grow, he was looking to make smart money decisions , me was looking to me to guide him to wealth and not a hand-out. “Have a seat Mr.Miles (I call him that when his done something brilliant) there is much to discuss, today’s lesson… Inflation.
Inflation the adult definition according to Investopedia inflation is a sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services in a county, and is measured as an annual percentage change. Under conditions of inflation, the prices of things rise over time.
Inflation for the 8 year old – “Okay Mr. Miles do you remember the last time we took you to Chuck E. Cheese, and your father and I had been shock at how the price for everything had gone up? Well that’s inflation. Inflation guarantees the price of goods and services will increase or the value of a dollar (purchasing power) will decrease over time.
There’s an example, say you have $5 to buy ice cream. If you buy ice cream today you can buy 3 scoops, but if you buy your ice cream tomorrow you can only buy 2 scoops and if you wait a week you can only buy on scoop. The same $5 gets you less over time. The long you hold on to your money the less you will be able to buy. With inflation the saver loses because their purchasing power decreases. ”
Miles aways ask the really important questions, he doesn’t waste time! “So what can I do with my money so it doesn’t lose purchasing power while I save it for something big?” At this my smile broaden and Miles poked his chest out; he knew he had asked a great question.
“Well Mr. Miles, in order to avoid inflation, I would suggest you either invest in a company with Cap Growth Rate of 8% or higher or you can put in in any interest baring account, but make sure the interest rate matches or exceeds the rate of inflation.” Miles thought for a moment then looked at me and said, “If I do that I will eventually be able to use my $5 to buy and ice cream shop!” To which I replied “I like the way you think Mr. Miles!”
There is a difference between being productive and being busy. Here are 5 practical and simple things you can do to be more productive.
I was playing Soda Crush (a guilty pleasure of mine) and I lost! I was so upset because I used all my cheats for this level and I was on my last life. I looked on the top corned of my screen and I realized my goal was to save the gummy bear, I was trying to break all the ice cubes. I could only be mad at myself because I could have won if I had known the goal.
It seems so simple I know but, knowing your goal and knowing your why is the best way to keep your fire ignited and stay productive. Once your have made a decision to do something break it into doable steps. This will not only help you to stay productive it will also help you beat procrastination! When setting your goals start with the WHY, then move to WHEN, then WHERE, and finally HOW! If you need help with setting and mapping your goals here’s a link to a free goal mapping worksheet.
2. Work in Spurts
My brain is always going a mile a minute (sometimes I think it’s because I’m a genius other times I’m sure it’s ADD) however, I often find myself starting on something then jumping to a new task within a few minutes. This led to a bunch of unfinished projects and ultimately, me being depressed because I was not getting anything done. A friend of mine suggested I work in 15 minute spurts, and it changed my life! So of course I had to take it a step further; I found an app called Forest. This app is the best app on the plant, once I downloaded it my productivity soured. All you have to do is set your timer and if you work uninterrupted for the amount of time you set you get a tree, to help build your forest. If not your tree dies… so sad. Not only can you build a forest on your phone but if you earn enough points you can use it to plant an actual tree, and build a real forest!
3. Audio Books
Reading is my favorite past-time, however reading can be very time consuming. I mean it’s very hard to do anything, and read. I have found another way to fill my need for knowledge and a great story! I listen to audio books while I am cleaning or driving so I can still get my literary fix. I just hit play and let the story tell itself. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing better than a physical book, but when you are short on time Audio books are definitely the way to go.
Pro Tip *You can find many audio books free on YouTube!*
4. Reward Yourself- Leisure is Important
What is better motivation than a prize? Well maybe not a prize all the time, but maybe a small token of appreciation to yourself. We all have big goals, at least I would like to think we all do. Big goals can often overwhelm; especial when your dream is a movement and the movement may take a lifetime to fulfill. Breaking your goal into smaller step and then rewarding yourself along the way is a great way to stay productive and, you guessed it, defeat procrastination. Also you will always be your biggest cheerleader, GO YOU, GO YOU! A reward could be something as simple as me time, your favorite dessert or binge watching your favorite show. Or as large a vacation or a car or a house, the reward should fit you and bring you to your happy place.
5. Write or Workout (Yoga works for me!)
When ever you feel stuck just write! Write to your feelings, write to your goals, write to your future self, write to your fears, write to your frustrations. If your mind is racing Mind Map, get those ides thoughts and feeling on paper and out of your head. If you choose to mind map those ideas can help to plot your next course of action. Tons people have so many thing going on in their head at once that it’s hard to be productive, the jumbled mind manifest into a jumbled mess in their lives; writing changes that. Even if it just gives you space in your mind, the relief is inspiring enough to get you started in some direction.
Exercise is also a get way to spark productivity. Getting your body moving gets your mind moving. Just take a minute to stretch! Do some jumping jacks, it can free your mind, and relieve stress that could be keeping you from being productive.
1. Yolo – You Only Live Once
- Facts – Social Security is no longer a back up plan for people of retirement age. With the shifts in technology and how the younger generation earns, the Social Security pot is dwindling.
- Opinion – What have you got to lose? Why not build a portfolio that could set your family up for life once you go. A dollar invested now will be worth so much more than a dollar invested 5, 10, or 15 years from now.
2. Little People Are Watching You
- Facts – Only 50% of adults live above the means for their parents. This means your children I most likely to follow your financial footsteps; if they see you working for money they will likely work for money. If your children sees your money working for you they will follow suit. Also 75% of parents have to help their adult children
- Opinion – I have been on both sides of the fence. I was working for money, stressed out and barely maintaining. My children saw that! They saw me languishing in the mundane of not living but surviving. Then I got wise and flipped the script. I started letting my money work for me, and my kids noticed the difference in my demeanor and the time I got to spend with them. This was the best lesson I could ever teach them. The lesson they could only learn through first-hand experience. I have put a system in place through investing in assets, and teaching my children how to do the same. I will not have to support my children when they are adults because I have set an example of wealth building and financial education.
3. Passive Income is the New “I Got My Life Together!”
- Facts – There are only 24 hours in a day. You have the same 24 hours as everyone else.
- Opinion – Working harder or longer is not the answer to your money problems. The key to amassing wealth is to make your money work for you! The great thing about money is it never sleeps! Money can work for you even when you are not working for yourself. Investing is a great way to start letting your money work for you!
4. Investing leads to Intelligent Consumerism
- Fact – People who invest are more likely to consume with intelligence and less out of emotion.
- Opinion- Every dollar I have spent since becoming financially educated has been well thought out- – I no long shopping out of emotion. None of my spending is reactionary. Investing has led me to set and plan financial goals. Because building assets is now my goal I have become a discriminating consumer, an intelligent consumer!
5. It’s Easy!
- Facts- There are so many investment sites and apps there is no reason not to invest. Owning shares of a company have never been easier! Here are some Apps and Sites you can check out to get you started! Robinhood (If you sign up using this link you will get a free share!) and Acorns (This one will give you $5.00 towards you investments.)
- Opinion- Um why do more Americans own cats than stocks? Not saying you have to double as a day trader, but what used to seem off limits and out of reach is now at your finger tips. The opportunities are yours to miss.
Practice makes perfect and comfort causes death. Comfort is the leading cause in the death of ideas, the death of growth, the death of forward momentum and progress, and the death of filled destiny and happiness! Comfort is a disease that tricks the mind into stagnation.
Okay fine, I’m beginning a bit dramatic but think about it! When was the last time you thought or said I would… but I’m comfortable?
Why is comfort the enemy to progress? Well mainly because many people associate comfort with happiness, they are two very different thing. You could be on a job you hate; you could walk in every day and be unhappy. But it pays your bills and keeps food on the tables so you continue to go all the while resenting the people around you because of the job security. You are not happy but you are comfortable, and afraid to follow your passion because there is not a guaranteed check (comfort) attached.
For the sake of redundancy and really driving the point home here’s another example…
Imagine you have just come home after along days work and seeing your favorite chair. Without a second thought you run over and hop in, your body totally relaxes, and you are utterly content. After sitting for about a minute you realize to your butt and legs feel wet, you jump up and there is a giant wet spot on the cushion; someone spilled a glass of sweet tea in your chair while you were at work. What do you do? Do you sit in your chair that is ultra comfortable and provides your aching back with support, or do my make an adjustment because sitting in any wet chair is not a pleasurable experience?
So how do you keep your dreams for falling victim to comfort? Easy, trade comfort for happiness, step outside of your comfort zone. That’s right I’m asking you to make yourself uncomfortable. Nothing motivates better than being uncomfortable! Our mind seeks comfort, so making yourself uncomfortable will force you to take risk and try things you never tried, seek opportunity, and tap into your talent and passions to create opportunity!
Be the mommy mogul you are meant to be!
Night after night I lie in my bed tired but I can’t sleep. I would review all the things I could have done in a day, but didn’t. I would lie there feeling unaccomplished and really let down. As a mom, a wife, a teacher, and a business owner I would always feel like I was behind, and just not doing enough. Even the days some would deem really productive, I felt were lacking.
Finally, I got tired of the overwhelming feeling that I was wasting my days and I decided to create a way to hold myself accountable. I grabbed a small notebook of my shelf and crated what turned out to be a really effective system for me. It’s bullet journal meets, goal tracking, meets habit forming! I have also found a way to tap into my competitive side. Since it’s creation I have been sleeping like a baby!
I decided to challenge myself, and you all too! What better way to start the new year than this, map your goals identify the small steps and make the small steps habits to achieve your goals, then challenge yourself to 100 days of productivity?
There is what it looks like on the outside! It’s small so I can take it anywhere and it’s pretty so I don’t mind taking it out and showing if off…”Look what I did!”
After, I wrote down my whys, I completed a time line.
Oh the next two pages I wrote down I wrote down my big goals, and the small steps I would have to take daily to accomplish them.
So then, in true bookish fashion, of course, I made a reading log. My goal to read a book a week!
So that’s it, the pages that follow are simply a bubble system that helps me manage my time and keeps me on track… Now it’s your turn quick before the beginning of the year create your productivity journal and join me on the 100 days of productivity challenge!