Do you feel like you've hit a plateau with your finances? Are your struggles with money never-ending, and do you find yourself obsessing over them instead of focusing on the bigger picture?
If so, then it may be time to take an honest look at how to start building real financial security that will stick around. Yes, we all know that we should save money. We all know that we need to have a pension, save for a rainy day and look into that whole investing thing. And yes, these are high-priority items that you need to do to manage your money like an adult.
However, before you even start to think about any of the above, before you set goals, go on a zero-spend diet, and set off chasing the lifestyle of a Ferrari-driving and spend-thrift trust fund baby. Then read a little more...
Whatever you want from life, let's get the fundamentals down first...
You need to take two crucial steps to get ahead with money and get ahead with no turning back, the sustainable, steady and forward-moving path. The sort of path you take where it doesn't matter what the world's latest crisis is, you are all set. You are good and ready to go.
These two things are different from the usual budgeting and finance speak. They are much more fundamental than that.
I'm talking about self-acceptance AND honesty.
Yes, you heard me right.
And here's why…
Why self-acceptance is so important.
Understanding and accepting yourself is key when it comes to getting ahead financially. Without this understanding, no hard work can fix the structural issues that dictate our money situation.
Self-acceptance cannot be bought.
Money is a large part of our day-to-day lives. It's unavoidable. Money is an easy temptation for many of us struggling to practice self-acceptance. For example, spending money to buy items and experiences that you believe will finally make you feel accepted by others may be tempting.
However, this behaviour only exacerbates the underlying problem; money cannot purchase the self-acceptance many people strive for. That is where the trouble starts.
Self-acceptance can not, by definition, come from other people. It has to come from within.
Money problems can be a symptom of a lack of self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance is an integral part of living a balanced and healthy life. Without it, many people are at risk of suffering from low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression. It can also contribute to money-related issues such as spending money on products or services to become "perfect", which can quickly turn into money being wasted needlessly when no tangible benefits are seen.
Engaging in negative thinking about ourselves and how we see ourselves can also lead to loneliness, which may, in turn, lead to financial hardship as money is spent that could be better used elsewhere. This is a common spending trigger and can cause us to spend without thinking and increase financial pressure.
Taking the time to practice self-acceptance is essential for avoiding these financial pitfalls by helping you find contentment within yourself instead of searching externally for it.
Without the practice of self-acceptance, money struggles can become a real issue. From not participating in activities that could be money-making opportunities out of fear or lack of self-confidence, to spending money lavishly when trying to replace those feelings with material things, unhealthy self-esteem can affect money management. Beyond money issues, it can have a detrimental impact on overall mental and physical health – leading to stress and burnout.
Therefore, it's important to shift focus away from external pressures or others' opinions and concentrate instead on inner-self fulfilment - in other words, self-acceptance.
Now let's take an honest look at honesty...
How honesty helps you create real financial security
Creating financial security can take time, but the process becomes much smoother when honesty is prioritised, whether it's tracking expenses or filling out money-related paperwork. Being honest with yourself and where your money is going will help you reach that financial security faster.
Honesty in our cashflow
This is especially powerful when it comes to tracking expenses and looking at where our money is going. Of course, it is all well and good to have guestimates in the earlier stages of budgeting, especially if it is a new skill that you are working on. However, the aim here is to get honest with yourself as much as possible as early as possible. This way, you can objectively look at where your money is going and make better decisions about it.
When you do this, not only does money become easier to manage, but it also means money won't disappear, and you have no idea where it has gone.
Honesty in life
On a slightly deeper level, honesty can lead to far more money than dishonesty. People who are considered trustworthy and reliable tend to have greater money opportunities: better job promotions, investments, loans, business partnerships, and even money-saving schemes. Think about it, would you give your repeat custom to someone who was honest or dishonest? And who would you recommend to friends and family?
Honesty is also the foundation for building financial security because it builds confidence in yourself and your ability to be good with money. It also builds goodwill with others, paving the way for successful money deals and agreements and, most of all, trust. In addition, being honest when it comes to money matters, and being truthful reduces stress in your life since there is no guilt or fear of being caught.
The added win
Those who demonstrate honesty can usually shake off money mistakes more quickly than those who don't. Dwelling on mistakes is a costly thing for our confidence and our grit to stay the course.
Honesty and self-acceptance are key to achieving money success over the long term. They may not seem like the most obvious money skills to practice at the outset. However, they are the foundations on which everything else stands.
Taking small steps towards honesty and self-acceptance can be game-changing in achieving major money goals. Not to mention those small and medium ones, too. They are stepping stones along the way to building real money that sticks around. Celebrating successes as they happen keeps the momentum going, bringing us ever closer to our long-term money-safe zone. When mistakes are made, lean into them as growth opportunities and leverage what you've learned. So that better results may come down the road. With a mix of determination and self-acceptance and honesty, you are hedging your bets when it comes to winning the game of money.
I'll be sharing more money-saving tips and money mindset tips with you soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, make sure you are subscribed to the Smart Money Times Newsletter and get your hands on my new ebook From Out of Control to Cruise Control, 20 Simple Things to Completely Transform Your Money Life.
Disclaimer: This is information – not financial advice or recommendation The content and materials featured or linked to on mrssmartmoney.com are for your information and education only and are not attended to address your particular personal requirements.