And the bottom line is, it’s easier to become you, the most robust version, when you’re not freaked out about money all the time.
I admit when I bought this book, I kind of did so like one would a diet book.
“This is going to be the book to solve all my money problems and I’ll be a millionaire in mere months”
Like diet fads, financial fads don’t exist. In order to fully get what I needed to out of this book, that was the first pill I needed to swallow.
A lot of the detail in the book related to perception, lack mentality and validation can also be easily applied to how we approach dieting and weightloss as well.
Going into this book I knew a fair about about the Dave Ramsay style of doing things: save p a $1000 emergency fund, pay off debt starting with the smallest and work your way up to the biggest, save for retirement, don’t use credit cards, etc etc. Why didn’t I buy his book and actually read it and start using the envelope system?
Mainly because I didn’t agree with some comments I read on his on Twitter regarding the ACA. His comments were (to me) very, very un-Christ-like, and so I made the conscious decision not to support him.
I didn’t want to like this book. I really didn’t. I wanted a book that was going to tell me how to do it, not one that highlighted my flaws, told me where to improve and, as a result, would improve my spending.
So, if you aren’t willing to peel back some layers, this probably isn’t the book for you.
If you don’t mind confronting some of your “ugly” then (and we all have ugly) then you’ll probably find this book really quite helpful.
Being happy is not about having your finances all squared away or having certain things in your life.
A huge takeaway for me was how a lack mentality can affect spending habits. As an example, a few months ago I would receive an email from lululemon on Tuesday showing all the new products for the week. My lack mentality would set in I need that because what if they never have anything like it again and then I’ll die (or something to that effect) and I’d spend unbudgeted money on ______ item.
I was completely responsible for my lackadaisical approach to my finances……
Since I’ve actively been practicing a mentality of abundance, when I receive the emails I’ll skim them (c’mon, you know I can’t just delete them!) but I can recognize a want from a need. Right before my marathon I considered purchasing some colder weather running gear. Then I thought about it and realized my plan was to take three weeks off from running right after. So if I were to buy something at the end of September, or beginning of October, I likely wouldn’t wear it until the beginning of November at the earliest. So, did I need to make a purchase for something I wouldn’t use for at least a month?
Money is about what we value. We pay for what we value. We pay attention to what we value. This is an issue of valuing yourself.
Nope. Absolutely not. A lack mentality would have told me that I’d lose out on my chance to buy winter running gear, but I know better. I so often don’t buy something and then forget about it, or realize that my life is just as complete and full without it.
Money is like fertilizer. It makes whatever it touches grow.
The second big (really big!) takeaway from me is why we spend money. Kate Northrup talks about how she spend money on things like travel and courses as a way to feel a certain way and look a certain way. How many times in our lives do we make a purchase because of how we want to be perceived?
If I wear designer jeans I’ll look successful.
I need this designer handbag because I need to look professional and put together.
And so on……
When I read that, I knew that was part of my problem. I was spending because I wanted to appear a certain way on the outside, when my real problem was on the inside.
There is nothing in this book that will transform you overnight, but in realizing where I was falling short, and what spending was serving me and what wasn’t (there’s an awesome exercise in the book wherein you print off you bank and credit card statements. You then review your spending and put a mark next to items that don’t make you feel good. After categorizing these items you can then see what you’re spending money on that you think you need, but it turns out, it’s just making you feel worse) I’m now better able to consciously and intentionally evaluate my spending before it happens.
There were some parts of the book that I wasn’t truly a fan of. Kate was able to pay off her debt by selling her condo that her mom had purchased her (and was paying her mortgage on) and she doesn’t work daily because of her work with USNA. Not everyone is able to sell large ticket items to pay off debt, and not everyone is a fan of mass marketing schemes (aka – pyramid schemes), myself included.
This was more of a journey for me and while I didn’t always agree with everything in the book, I did feel it to be a fresh take on finances compared to the debt snowball approach that is so often crammed down our throats.