February 2013 Knowledge Newsletter–Sharon Cheney

Dear Friends,

Many people are concerned with money issues. The current downturn in the economy does not mean we cannot create abundance and joy in our lives. But in order to do so we need to understand our relationship to money and overcome any beliefs that may be impeding us.

Our Relationship to Money

Surprisingly our family of origin is often the source of our ideas about money. The family values we learnt in childhood usually remain with us throughout our lives. For example, did your family tell you that money was the root of all evil suggesting that if you made a lot of money your moral values would go astray? Did your family distinguish between people who had money and those who didn’t as if they were two different species? Do you feel you are a disappointment or a failure if you don’t earn a lot? Did your family tell you that unless you were financially successful, you would never be anyone of importance even if you were a supportive partner, a good friend and loving parent? Take a moment to examine your family’s values and notice if they are still impacting you today.

Money is an extension of the feelings we hold about ourselves. If you do not love yourself, you land up spending too much, having too much debt, being unable to save, being vague about the finances you do possess, undercharging for your work, hating to deal with money, and not wanting to be responsible for managing your finances. How you deal with money is the same as how you deal with life.

Craving money is rooted in the craving for love which starts in childhood. People who crave money will never have enough no matter how much they own until they learn to love themselves. Feeling angry is related to feeling betrayed, violated or disappointed in childhood. People who are angry pay their bills late, hate paying taxes, are annoyed at those who earn more than they do and are generally pissed off at themselves for the state of their finances.

People, who feel shame keep bouncing checks, are ashamed about their debt, don’t know where their money goes and are embarrassed by their low income. People who feel abandoned tend to owe people money as they believe that this way they will never be forgotten by those to whom they are indebted. They often feel they were taken advantage of in a divorce or in other financial situations.

People who feel unloved and unnoticed will desire attention. They spend beyond their means to get attention from others. Some people use money to control others and act out their passive aggressive feelings. People who want to get rescued may suffer from deprivation in order to look needy. Other people have a mentality of “them and us.” They want to have more money and yet feel resentful towards those who do. Whenever they compare themselves to rich people, they see themselves as inadequate.

All behavior serves a purpose whether we are conscious of this or not. Sometimes we allow ourselves to go into debt because we don’t want to examine our feelings and their relationship to money and so we stay in denial instead. Many of us are afraid to talk about money because it is really like talking about our issues. Some do not want to expose themselves because they fear criticism and judgment. It is almost impossible to create abundance if you have a poor relationship with money.

It would help if you change the statement in your head to “I need more loving people rather than I need more money” because our relationship to money is attached to our relationship to people. Since the issues from our childhood are usually running our life and money management, perhaps it is wise to put your adult in charge of your finances and not your rebellious teenager who says “Don’t tell me what to do. I can do whatever I want.”

Becoming aware of your beliefs and changing them will change how you perceive yourself and your financial outlook. Financial success requires that you be willing to stop acting out habitual emotions through your money habits because you will only continue to create more of the same problems. The goal is to not to have more money but more satisfaction from what you have.

You must realize that more money does not necessarily bring more happiness. Many believe if they had more money they would be happier. More money can buy more stuff but is more stuff really going to change the way you feel inside? Does having more in your bank account change how you feel about yourself?

Contrary to popular belief, statistics show that people with lots of money are not happier. In fact, they worry more about money than those who are don’t have much because they have much more to lose such as their status in society, their lifestyles, and the power and influence money brings. Money does not bring security although it does offer us more choices. You will only feel secure when you feel secure in yourself.

We often give our power away to rich people and project attributes onto them that they do not actually possess. Rich people have as many problems as poor people if not more, but all we can see is how much money they have. Ever notice if rich people have integrity, are honest, show concern for their employees or are a nice person? Ever wonder how they got rich? Many people who have made a lot of money were not always honest in their business dealings. Is this who you want to emulate – a person who takes advantage of others to make a buck and who has no moral conscience? Is all you see is how much they have without looking at who they really are and how they treat others?

Many people suffer from poverty consciousness and believe there will never have abundance in their lives. There is enough abundance in this world for everyone but you need to be open to receiving. Remember our thoughts create our reality so maybe a change in your thinking would be a good plan. Change your repetitive belief that you will never have enough to “I have all the abundance I need and want.” and see how that makes you feel.

What is money really? It is only pieces of paper or numbers that are transferred physically or electronically. There is no energy in a money transaction until it passes between two or more people thereby causing a relationship to form. In reality, a check for $100 does not feel different or weigh more than a check for a $1000 dollars. It is the feelings we project onto the amount that makes the difference.

Many people fantasize about winning the lotto or inheriting a large sum of money. Sudden money often goes as fast as it arrives because a person who never had money has no idea how to manage money and usually just keeps spending until it is all gone.

There are many books and websites with a Get Rich Quick philosophy. They claim to have the secret to making lots of money if you do what they did to get rich. They tell you “If I can do it, so can you.” This is not really true or we would have many more millionaires, but it is good marketing and a way to get you to buy their product. The reason people do not succeed using this strategy is because poor people do not hold the same beliefs about money. They do not believe they are capable of making money and if they don’t believe that, they will never be rich.

Some people are afraid of wealth because they are not comfortable with the idea of being wealthy and they often think they would be unable to manage it. Dreaming about being rich is like the Cinderella fairy tale where she believes once Prince Charming takes her to the castle, her troubles are over. If you are not knowledgeable or comfortable with managing your money, get a financial planner who will help you manage your money and/or pay down your debt.

The book Live Better on Less provides guidelines on how to get more pleasure from life while spending less. You can have security and happiness without spending a lot of money. Happiness is really an inside job and has nothing to do with how much you own or earn. Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you were really happy. Did it have anything to do with how much money you had or did it have more to do with your relationships and how you felt about yourself?

Here are some tricks to having more money. Make a list of all your assets. You might be surprised that when you take everything you own into consideration, you may discover you have more than you think. Being aware of your net worth will not only help you to feel better but may possibly provide assets that you can use to for leverage.

Count your money regularly as money loves to be counted. Do you remember the Disney image of Scrooge counting his gold coins in his money chest and how gleeful he was doing it? You would be amazed at how many people don’t have clue about what they have. All they see is the lack of and not the real value of their assets. The better you are counting and keeping track of your money, the better you will be at making more because your level of trust in yourself will increase. Also keeping a record of where you spend your money can help you to budget realistically and make decisions based on facts rather than hopes.

If you want to make more money, then set realistic goals. Don’t expect to go from earning $30,000 per year to $200,000 a year in one year. It is more realistic to set a goal of making ten to fifteen percent more a year and maintain that goal for the next five years. Saving money is the same as setting a goal to lose weight, stop drinking, or exercising more. We need to be consistent and keep a record of our progress to determine our success or failure.

Most entrepreneurs succeed because they were willing to take a risk but risk taking is not for everyone. You need to assess your comfort level and that includes coping with your fears if things don’t go as planned… Having your own business and owning your own home is not for everyone although many people see that as an accomplishment of the American dream. Some people feel more secure with a salaried job that they can count on. If you are such a person, then the only way up is to increase your skill level through education or training so you can make more money.