You have been there many times.
You get to the end of the month and suddenly you find an abundance of cash still in your bank account.
Don’t you just hate that?
Yes, it is usually the other way around. So, what happened?
We can all use more money. I don’t know anyone who would refuse an increase in cash flow. As the cost of living seems to be climbing everyday, it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet. However, that extra cash flow won’t happen unless there is an increase in action on your part, trading your time for more cash.
Money management is 100% a mindset.
Mindsets are discussed in my workshop: The Foundations of Self-Discovery (click here to learn more)
In the meantime, here are 10 discussion points to evoke some thinking in the area of why you may not have money.
1 – You like nice things
We all love nice things. Unfortunately, society sets us up with this paradigm that when you have nice things, it is a statement to the world that you are doing well financially.
Success today seems to be defined by what you have. Status is important to some and a driving force in purchases. We may feel the effects of peer pressure to buy ‘that specific item’.
It’s fine to have nice things, don’t get me wrong, however make it a goal, not a ‘I must have this immediately’.
2 – No patience
It was not so long ago, people saved for what they wanted. Can you imagine they actually saved for a car or even a house! It was called delayed gratification. It was called delayed gratification, as opposed to instant gratification that is our current status quo. I know what you are thinking, that was then, this is now. Today it’s different.
You’re right! We now have credit! Why wait, when we can buy and use it now. The phrases “use other people’s money,” “you only live once, so you better have it now.” Never know what might happen tomorrow. If you listen to commercials, 99,9% are now telling you ‘don’t delay, buy it now.
Ask yourself this question. How essential is that item if I had to save for it first?
The answer might surprise you. I know when I applied it, items became less critical and vital. I am able to find workarounds or found I wanted it for all the wrong reasons. Remember, money management is a mindset filled with justifications.
If you have to use credit, find the best rate and set a limit in your budget. Keep that limit and promise to yourself that you will.
3 – Hunter Gather
Oh, I am so guilty of this at times. Shopping to me, is like I’m on a hunt. I have no idea what I am are looking for, BUT when I do find ‘it’, into the cart it goes. It being that item that suddenly catches my eye and begs me to make it it’s owner. I have many boxed items in my garage that were really good deals and I bought them, believing that “someday” I will need them. Sigh, sad but true.
A friend of mine has these questions that he asks himself when he sees something to purchase.
- Is it something I always wanted?
- Do I need it now?
- Is on sale?
- Can I afford it?
If he answers all four questions with a yes, he goes ahead with the purchase. It works for him, it has worked for me, it might work for you too.
4 – Keeping up with the Jones
It happens, and you might not like to admit it, but let’s tell the truth. you get a little envious when someone close to you gets something new, or posts about that vacation that you always wanted to go on. The urge is there. It’s a natural reaction to always to seek greener pastures, to want something better than we currently have now. It’s part of the reason we have indoor plumbing and central heating.
Allow yourself to be envious and then just let it pass. You don’t have to act upon your emotions. Again, make it a goal.
5 – There is a sucker born every minute
P.T. Barnum was not too off in this quote. Advertisers make big money coming up with the right words and phrases to grab those well-earned dollars from you. They don’t care if you have the money or not, time is limited, and you need to get it now before the price goes up, there is a limited number of these of “I have to have it” items.
Be the observer. Study how advertising works on you. Observing the emotions inside you that are triggered when you watch or hear commercials. Being the observer allows you to step away from the tripper and make a conscious choice.
Ask those four questions earlier.
A program I love to listen to is “Under the Influence” with Terry O’Reilly. Terry gets right to the heart of how marketers and advertisers tilt and sway our thoughts towards certain purchases or thinking. Very interesting!
6 – There is a price to pay for being a social butterfly
The last thing I want you to be is a hermit, although, at times, I wonder if that wouldn’t be so bad for me. Going out with friends can be costly. Just to go out to the movies it is a 50 bill! When did pop and popcorn get to be so expensive?
Entertain at home, or have a game night once in a while to break it up. Make it a potluck, like a bring some appies type event to help keep the costs down.
Best game hands down for four – Settlers of Catan
Most times it’s not the places you choose to go, it’s about the company you choose to keep. There are many less costly options that include spending quality time with the special people in your life.
7 – Those kids
We had four girls. I guess we still do, but they are much older now, and looking after their own kids. It was not cheap. The thrift stores became our mainstays for keeping those little darlings clothed. Loved relatives and friends provided much needed hand-me-downs. They survived, and your kids will survive too, with even if they have less than hip fashions.
Peer pressure is not easy to fight, and you can beat it. It takes a conscious choice to do the right thing, not the easy thing. Just don’t give in too easily.
8 – Addictions
It’s a harsh word, and when most people use it, they are generally referring to the addictions that make the news. Drugs, drinking, and smoking are all well-known costly habits that eat at your money pile. There are other addictions that we don’t think of as being wrong or not too bad, like having lattes or mochas at your favourite coffee shop every morning, noon and on the way home. Eating lunch at fast food rather than a lunch from home.
Think about those regular little habits that you do everyday that nickel and dime (more like a dollar) your money away. If you just said, “yes, but” I would suggest that you might have an issue. What you are in effect really doing is justifying the expense, and that’s fine, but you can’t then complain when you don’t have enough money because you’ve made the conscious decision to spend it.
It’s a mindset. I went from smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, to quitting cold turkey the next day. What amazed me is that in spite of complaining that I was broke, I always had enough money for cigarettes. Mindset!
Try to stop doing what you know you probably shouldn’t be doing, and then see what the monkey brain says about that. It doesn’t seem like such an easy choice to make now, does it?
9 – No goals – no budget
There is a phenomenon in business that produces a change in something. You measure or monitor it. It’s simple as that.
In Peter Drucker’s book, “The Practice of Management,” he is often quoted, “What gets measured, gets managed.” That book was written in 1959 and it is as true today as it was back then. I have experienced this over, and over again, in my careers, and in life in general.
As a Change Practitioner, that is what I do a lot. I observe and monitor what people or organizations want to change. Want to manage your money, start recording how you spend it.
Recording your expenditures makes you mindful of your spending habits (practice). Do nothing else but monitor, and when you begin to be more aware of what is happening, you will very naturally start to work towards your intention – to spend less and make more.
You can also do this with weight loss. Tim Ferris, in his book “Four Hour Body,” writes about a man who lost 10 pounds of weight merely by being aware and recording it every day. He became mindful of what he was putting into his body, and started to make conscious positive choices in food selection and the amounts of food consumed.
What gets measured, gets managed.
10 – I don’t make enough money
Want the real answer to your money problems?
Here it is!
Follow that rule, and you won’t go wrong; in fact, it would be impossible to be unsuccessful at saving more money.
Notice that it’s not just spend less or make more. It is spend less AND make more.
There is a Christian prayer, the one that starts with, “Our Father…” that has this beautiful line, “Give us this day our daily bread.” I love that line because, to me, it says we are only given what we really need. It’s our egos and minds that put us into financial trouble by trying to justify more than what we actually need or can realistically afford.
Like I’ve stated several times, it is a mindset.
If you are someone who is struggling with money or just want to understand how to create a new mindset that works, then you will find real value in my workshop that takes place in January 2020. Check it out by clicking the button.
Readers are leaders and here are a couple of books I recommend on creating that money mindset:
Think and Grow Rich (2016) by Napoleon Hill ( The single greatest guide to achieving success ever written, featuring a new foreword by television star and entrepreneur Steve Harvey!)
The Wealthy Barber Returns (2011) by David Chilton (You might remember him from his earlier book and his time on Dragon’s Den. Dave Chilton offers his unique perspectives on the world of money and its management)
The SCIENCE of GETTING RICH for the 21st CENTURY is an accessible, inclusive-language version of the 1910 classic by Wallace D. Wattles. The original, a product of its time, was written almost exclusively for and about men. Gender-bias has been deleted in this new edition, so that it can be read by all with equal enjoyment and application. $1.30 for the Kindle version
RICK RUPPENTHAL is a professional Personal and Leadership Transformational Coach and a Certified Change Practitioner. As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Rick has held positions in leadership, education, as a coach and a mentor. Through those experiences, understanding, and adaptability, Rick has dedicated his life to a continual journey of self-discovery, adventure, and guiding others on their own journey of being their best self.