Everyone has a drug of choice. It’s the way you self-medicate. A way you try to fix what is wrong or missing. A way to fill an empty hole inside that everyone has. Your drug of choice could be food, alcohol, sex, surfing the internet and even exercise. For many, it’s spending money. Buying things, experiences, people…whatever it takes to fill that empty hole.
Spending was my drug, and it could have happened any number of places. I attempted to fill my empty hole by spending $80,000 on coaching. It actually started off great. I made a decision to join a program and I learned a lot. In fact, I would make that decision again. It kicked off my business.
And then, things changed…well, I changed. I started to use it as a drug – to fill the void of my own dwindling confidence, to buy an image of what I thought I should be. I stopped trusting myself.
I was trying to buy salvation. I lost myself…and found myself in the process.
This conversation I began last week sparked a shitstorm. People I’ve known for a few years have stopped communicating with me. Others have responded to me with various feedback, including the many reasons why this conversation is both confrontational and offensive. Many of my colleagues are taking my message personally.
I have a message for them and for you, which is that the conversation I started has nothing to with any particular industry. This conversation is about MONEY – how you are spending it, where you are spending it and what you are telling yourself about it.
I sharing my personal story. Everyone has a version of this story. People who deny having a version of this story are fooling themselves. My $80,00 lesson is someone else’s $5,000 lesson is someone else’s shoe collection, food addiction or fitness obsession.
On some level, it’s time you recognized that when you spend money, the circumstances are creating a model for you. I was never taught a model for spending. I doubt you were either. So what do we do? We adopt a spending model that fits with the circumstances in which we spend money. Here are a few examples…
- In Network Marketing, you are taught to fully invest in the products or services you are going to sell. The model taught to you is spend…and then you will earn.
- In the military, you are taught that you will be well looked after in retirement by your pension. The model taught to you is spend what you earn, no need to save.
- In many households, parents put the kids first, whatever the cost. So the model taught to you is use credit to keep up with the commitments, and it will all work out.
In the absence of a clear personal model, your framework for spending money is created by the circumstances in which you spend your money. This is true in ANY industry in which you spend your money. Is it ugly? Yes. And it is true.
I am bringing forward a new model. A new blueprint that is independent from any industry. This model is based on you. It is about you, for you, by you. When you build your new money model, you make new decisions. Sometimes those decisions move you towards something. Often they move you away from something. Either way, they create big change.
“Make the decision, and then make the decision right.”
~ Suzanne Evans
What I love about this quote are the possibilities in interpretation. It can mean any number of things including:
- Make a decision and stick to it come hell or high water
- Make a decision and adjust it to be right for others
- Make a decision and adjust it to be right for you
- Make a new decision, correcting the initial decision
Whatever your interpretation is, making a decision “right” means aligning that decision with your values. Declaring it. Taking action. Making arrangements as required.
A new money model invites you to make new decisions. Create new truths. Examine consequences of unconscious money patterns. Explore opportunities to do things differently.
A new money model invites you to choose what is right for you. If you’re interested in that, I welcome you to the conversation.
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Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money. Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but are wondering where it all went at the end of the month. She helps her clients to get clear on their money life challenges and opportunities, matching their money to their goals. They build a plan, confidence and peace of mind around their money.
Certified Money Coach and Certified Financial Planner, Karen brings over 15 years of finance and business experience to her clients. Coach, speaker, author and change catalyst for those ready to create a positive and empowered money life, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on how to make friends with your money. www.karencollacutt.com.