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Life Makeover for the Year 2010

Week 36 – Financial Self-Esteem: Raise the bar

September 5, 2010

Greetings!

This week I’ll be heading to Toronto for our next Movers & Shakers workshop.  If you’re interested in bringing your message to a larger audience, writing a book, or using social media to be of greater service in the world, check out the program description here.

Have a wonderful week…

Love,
Cheryl

p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.

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Topic of the Week

Financial Self-Esteem

 

While cleaning out old files last week I came across an article from Money Magazine about the secrets of achieving your money dreams (even on a modest income). The article focused on the strategies of people who had created a net worth of one million dollars or more. The common denominator in each success story was the commitment to pay careful attention to how they spent and invested their money.  As a result, every person had acquired a high level of financial self-esteem – the key to creating and sustaining wealth.

High financial self-esteem is the result of handling your money with wisdom and maturity. When you develop good money habits, use these skills to care for the wealth you already have, and maintain the discipline to live within your means, you increase your level of financial self-respect and confidence. This opens the door to more.

You’ll know that your financial self-esteem needs a boost by the number of times you answer “true” to the statements below. The higher the number, the greater the need for new behaviors that will make you feel better about yourself and money.  Here we go…

I charge less for my services than I know I deserve.
I feel guilty or bad about how I spend money.
My checkbook is never balanced properly.
I buy gifts for others even though I can’t afford them.
I have a tendency to pay my bills late.
I’m too embarrassed to let anyone see my financial situation.
I rarely contribute to charitable organizations.
I add to my debt without knowing how I’ll pay it back.
I have trouble asking for money owed to me.
I blame others for my financial troubles (parents, banks, credit card companies, etc.).

If you scored high, please don’t beat yourself up.  Most people struggle with money, especially in the last couple of years during these tough economic times.  However, even prior to the financial downturn, our online community surveys showed that “stress related to money” was a burden most people carried.  This means that there are a whole lot of people reading this newsletter who feel badly about how they handle their money.  And here’s the problem with that scenario: chronic shame or guilt about finances only creates a state of poor thinking and this type of thinking is like a magnet for more financial trouble.

So, to turn your financial future around, you’ll need to raise your financial self-esteem.  This means focusing your energy and attention on the new behaviors that will set you up to think wealthy thoughts.  Over the years I’ve learned that when we feel good about how we handle money, we naturally trust (and allow) ourselves to receive more.  This frees us up to embrace the abundance we rightfully deserve.

In order to improve your financial health, you’ll need to slowly and systematically add the good habits of fiscal discipline.  And the way to get started is by answering the following question:

“What’s the one thing you know you need to do to improve your financial health that you keep putting off?”

Notice the first answer that comes to mind (it’s usually the action we most want to avoid and the one that most needs our attention ☺.  If your answer is “I don’t know,” then find a professional who can assess your overall financial situation and make suggestions about where to begin. Since most of us never received basic training about money, there’s a good chance that not knowing where to begin may be stopping you from moving forward. Contact your accountant or financial planner for guidance and direction.

Maybe you do know what needs to change. If so, taking action is your key to raising your financial self-esteem. For example, you might need to increase your fees, contact creditors about a debt repayment plan, hire a bookkeeper to get your accounts balanced, or find a smart financial planner who can help you create an investment plan that’s right for you and your family.

Although you might be tempted to put your head in the sand hoping that your financial troubles will go away, don’t do it. Get on track by completing the “Take Action Challenge” below and watch how quickly things turn around!


Take Action Challenge

Start by taking action on the answer to the question above.  You might need to stop using a credit card you can’t pay off, get your taxes in order, set your bills up on an auto-payment plan, or renegotiate a loan.  Be brave enough to tackle the tough steps first!

This week’s video comes from our webmaster, Terry, and it’s filled with amazing dance moves (and incredible editing).  You can find it here.  Thanks, Terry!

Life Makeover For The Year 2010 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please email: cheryl@cherylrichardson.com. © Copyright 1999-2010. Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.