For the longest time, I unknowingly operated from a place of lack. I never realized what a horrible relationship I had with money. I was cheap, stressed out about my monthly mortgage payments, paying off endless school loans and the dreaded credit card bill. Towards the end of the month, I noticed I was testy, impatient and overall not fun to be around. Yet, I wanted to have more money because I thought it would solve all the stress in my life. I hated looking at my bank account and eventually, I would just ignore it. Just like with any relationship though, if you don’t pay attention to it, it will fall apart. And so, this was my torrid affair with money.
When I saw someone else who had something that I desired, immediately, I was flooded with feelings of jealousy and judgement. Yes, I used to be one of those women who would comment with “Oh she just got lucky” or “I would never spend my money on that.” But the only reason I would say such things was to make myself feel better because I didn’t have the wealth they did.
My relationship with money and desire for abundance
It was such a tug of war relationship. I hated money, but I wanted it. I resented people who had it, but I desired more of it in my own life. When I would get a bonus or a tax refund, it went straight into savings. None of if was spent on things or experiences. This is what I didn’t understand. While it is smart to save money, it is also necessary to spend it on things that make us happy like trips with the people we love, purchasing nice things for our family and friends and being generous with it when it comes to improving our community or our world.
One day my husband got caught in the crossfire of my stress zone and he asked me “Why are you stressed out all the time? You know, there is no point in worrying about things you cannot control.” It got me thinking … why DID I stress out about it all the time? I realized that it was a money story that I learned from my parents.
Let me tell you a story…
When I was a poor graduate student at NYU, I would walk around SOHO and see young people, like me, with Chanel or Gucci handbags hanging off their arms like decoration on a Christmas tree. I barely had money to even afford to go shopping at Kmart. My boyfriend and I would take the train to Chinatown and pay $1 for 4 pork dumplings. We were on a tight budget!
Actually, I was broke as a joke.
I convinced myself that it was silly to spend my money on material things and that I didn’t want to have luxurious items. But really, deep down, I did want it.
I decided to go to Chinatown and make a BIG purchase on a $30 Louis Vuitton knock off. It looked so real, no one questioned its authenticity. For the first time in my life, I felt “rich”. Having this fake Louis Vuitton gave me a taste of wealth. The funny thing is, I felt really guilty for having it.
I associated having “expensive” things with being greedy, but I also connected it with some level of worthiness.
That purse made me feel like I was extra special. I could live among the rich while living off ramen noodles. I grew up with parents who had big hearts. They always made sure that part of their paychecks was donated to the poor. My parents preached to us about how it was our obligation and job to take care of others because we were blessed with so much. Here I was, a selfish person spending my grocery money on a fake purse to make myself look and feel rich.
It took me 10 years to realize that spending money on luxury items didn’t make me less of a human being. More importantly, money isn’t associated with a person’s worth. It doesn’t change who I am, and if I want nice things, I now give myself permission to purchase it and enjoy it. After all, wealthy people are just normal people with extra money to spend. Those designer high-end stores were meant for normal people just like you and me, not just for royalty!
The truth behind it
Many people think that when they make more money, it will change their financial situation. What you don’t realize is that it’s not about the almighty dollar. There’s something else going on below the surface – fear, worry, insecurity, limiting beliefs.
For example, when we’re broke, we are afraid we won’t be able to make money. And then when we do make money, we fear losing it or returning to that place of not having enough. That’s why it’s essential to understand what’s going on for you when it comes to your money stories.
Below are some common money stories.
Can you relate?
I can never save money.
I never have enough.
I’m really bad with money.
I ignore my money issues and hope they will disappear.
I am embarrassed and ashamed of my debt.
That’s so expensive.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
You should live within your means.
You don’t need to be rich.
Credit card debt is bad.
Money is the root of all evil.
What would you say your money stories are? How would you describe your relationship with money?
What did you learn about money from your parents? What did or didn’t they say about money?
Most people don’t even realize that they have money blocks or negative stories that prevents them from creating their dream life.
What do you believe about your ability to be wealthy? Is that benefiting you or keeping you in a place of scarcity?
I have always focused on just being grateful for what I have. But, just being grateful made it extremely difficult to align with my desires. I want you to try something. I want you to just set your gratitude aside for 10 minutes and think about what it is that you really want. I am giving you permission to want more.
Whatever you want out of life, believe that you can achieve it. You are worthy, and are deserving of your heart’s desire. Don’t drown in fear and procrastination. You are supported and the Universe has your back. Take courageous steps to live your ideal life, build your business and make an impact. Now is your chance. It’s time to take a leap forward in the direction of your dreams.