Rolling around in my brain today: sometimes I worry about money. A bill comes in or I’m talking with my husband about stuff on the horizon. Even if it’s exciting “I want to do this!!” kind of stuff, old money stories can pop up: That’s too expensive. There isn’t enough. We don’t have the money for that. We can’t afford that. And on and on.
Yesterday I was feeling irritated over a purchase and a thought struck me: my views and actions in the money realm echo where I’ve been with weight, body image, and food — black and white, focused on details (receipt tracking and calorie counting), living in a land of “should”, and ending up feeling out of control (and kind of like a failure). It was interesting as I pondered.
While it sometimes I still encounter a bump on the road, I am incredibly appreciative of where I am now on the weight, body image, and food end. I generally feel good, I don’t worry about what I eat (and haven’t counted calories in years), and it’s become much easier to know and choose what leaves me feeling good. So much less brain power and energy is spent here, freeing up a lot of space to focus on other stuff. I want to feel this way about money.
Now to be fair and acknowledge progress (which sometimes I forget to do), I’ve been making lots of change on the money end — I am heading in the direction I want to go.
My husband and I talk much more and more openly about anything money-related — this has been huge (and probably similar to when I finally admitted to myself that I’d struggled with eating disorders and started to talk with safe people about them). We’re also trying out a different format for regularly reviewing our finances. Rather than going through everything we’ve spent, we’re taking a look at the bigger picture — income, expenses, liabilities, and assets. Similar to ditching calorie counting (which helped for a little bit in the short term but ended up causing more damage for me in the long term) and shifting to focusing on what left my body and mind feeling actually good, I’m thinking a broader focus on finances will help me with my individual money actions, making more intentional decisions.
And probably the biggest thing — we’ve been saving first before paying the bills (thank you Rich Dad Poor Dad for the idea of paying ourselves first). Besides seeing our savings grow more than it has in a while, I think it’s been a tangible action saying I’m valuing myself/we’re valuing ourselves first and foremost. Really, this is huge and I’m thinking similar to when I started to take time in the morning first thing for myself, to do some exercise, stretching, and other stuff to fill up my own tank before heading into the day. While it did take time before I saw a difference in my body, I started to notice a change in my mood quickly (much crappier on days I skipped my morning time), as well as that it was easier to make decisions in alignment with taking care of myself when I’d started the day doing so.
Okay, so in typing this all out, I see I’m making progress. And perhaps a useful next step would be to remind myself a little more about the progress I’m making. When I was changing up stuff on the weight and body image end, the kind reminders of all the stuff I was doing was more motivating than beating myself up about what I wasn’t doing.
What’s in your head today? (And I saw this message when looking through photos and liked it, so sharing it today too.)