From my personal experience, money can be a source of stress. I sometimes see people getting uneasy when it comes to money. Dealing with it by avoiding the topic altogether or scolding it a dirty thing. I did that for a looooong time as well!
But if you think about it, money can be such a beautiful thing. It allows you to trade with others in the farthest corners of the world; you can attach a unified value to something, and if you use it right, you can make a huge positive impact in the world.
I wasn’t always thinking this way. To be honest, I didn’t like money, and I am was really bad at money management. How do I know that? Well, I could see it on my bank account. However, I was willing to change. But, before I come to that, I want to tell you a little bit about myself that relates to my relationship with money.
In 1984, East Germany
Self-made billionaire Harv Ekker sais that you probably learned managing money in the very first years of your life, from your parents, friends and the society you grow up in. I was born in former East Germany in 1984. Back then, the wall was still standing. Life was very different. People lived in a country where all basic needs were covered. But beyond that, there wasn’t much luxury. If you wanted a new car, you had to wait for it for a couple of years. Vacation meant going camping in East Germany or bordering communist countries like Poland or Czechoslovakia. If something broke, you did everything possible to repair it, because chances were high that a new item wasn’t available.
But not all was bad in former East Germany: People took care of each other. Consumerism and wastefulness as we know it today didn’t exist. People lived more sustainably than today. However, still, it was a life of scarcity.
When the wall fell in 1989, I was just five years old. It was a moment of great joy, but also uncertainty about the future. Most of my family had spent their whole life behind that wall. They were captured but somehow also protected by its thick stones.
Even though the wall was down, it seems we kept living a life of scarcity. Even though most people started making a good income, lived in a nice house and had everything they needed, the feeling of scarcity never left. Money was always a matter of concern. There was just never enough. Not that people were greedy. Quite the opposite was true. They just got used to the feeling of scarcity in the years they lived behind that wall. And so had I.
The ups and downs of my bank account
A couple of years ago, I went to Australia to work and travel. One of my jobs was working as a cook and deckhand on a shrimp boat for four months. The job earned well. When I came back on land, I had more money than ever before. Unfortunately, four months, 3500 km, a crashed scooter, two diving courses and lots of fun later, all the money was gone again. This was a pattern I had done before. Saving money like crazy and then spending it all on traveling, clothes, furniture or whatever else imaginable. Always just having enough. Sometimes it felt like standing on a beach on a stormy day, with your legs halfway under water. Bigger and smaller waves are coming. Some you can handle well, but others almost bring you out of balance. You never know what to expect next.
Luckily, I got some help to work on my money management skills.
The flow of money
Harv Ekker also says that your relationship with money is like a relationship with a friend. To attract money in your life, you need to like it. A friend you don’t like won’t stay around as a friend for long, right? Depending on how good or bad your relationship with money is, you can easily see the number on your bank account. Ouch! That hurts, doesn’t it?
How to handle money in a healthy way
I did a test, and it turned out that I wasn’t very fond of wealthy people. How can I become wealthy if I unconsciously dislike wealthy people? Not possible, right? I knew, the first thing I needed to do was change my belief system about money. It means that I had to stop hating and avoiding money and become a person that deals with and embraces it.
So, what can you do to stop thinking bad about wealthy people? I recommend reading about successful people that are also ‘good’ people. Think, for example, of Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Reading books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (link to the free PDF I found online) can also be a good start. The book was written in 1937 and is a bestseller with over 70 million sold copies. The book conveys the stories and experiences of more than 500 men of great wealth that began with nothing except thoughts, ideas, and organized plans.
If you life in the Netherlands and would like to get a real boost, you can follow Harv Ekkers Milionaire Mind Intensive from 15th to 17th July 2016 in Hilversum. But be warned, it might be pretty … well, american! I read his book and watched a couple of his webinars. These trainings can be pretty intense, but are certainly useful to achieve results in a short period of time. So if you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, go get a ticket! I will be there myself by the way.
The second thing I started doing two weeks ago is implementing a money management system. I now work with several bank accounts that have all a different purpose. Each bank account gets a certain percentage of my income (after tax). This is how it looks:
- 50% of my income goes into my Necessity Account. This is for all monthly spending to sustain my lifestyle, e.g. rent, phone, food.
- 10% of my income goes into a Financial Freedom Account. The money in this account will be invested to create a passive income and to become financially free.
- 10% goes into my Long-Term Savings account. This money is saved for larger investments or repair costs if something breaks.
- 10% ends up in the Education Account and will eventually pay for courses, coaching or books for self-development.
- 10% of my income goes into the Give Account. This account is for presents or donations. The most important thing about the Give Account is that it needs to be empty at the end of each month.
- Last but not least, we want to have fun and that is why 10% of my net income will go into the Fun Account. This money must also be spent at the end of each month. Its purpose is to use it for things I wouldn’t normally buy It’s a treat and makes the whole money management system much more fun. J
I did not invent this system, but heard and read about it by two of my coaches. I will try it out for the upcoming three months and will let you know if and how it worked for me. So stay tuned!
I am curious about how you handle money! Do you already work with a money management system? What is your relationship with money? Do you find it difficult to deal with money or is it something that comes naturally to you? Leave me your answer in the comment box below!
Image by Stocksnap