Just Start with These Three Habits
There are three essential habits to cultivate for peaceful money management. Surely, there are many more you can cultivate, too. We don’t think we know everything! And we are eager to learn. Are you?
Cultivate these three habits and you’ll have a much easier time cultivating any other healthy money habits that give you peace of mind regarding the ebb and flow of your money–your money management. Look to cultivate these in yourself and consider cultivating them in others who look up to you, such as your children. We are always modeling.
Habit 1: Financial Resilience
What does “resilience” actually look like? “Resilience” is the ability to recover from change. Both positive and negative change take time to bounce back from. You know this if you’ve ever gotten married.
How quickly do we recover after we are bent out of shape financially?
I want to emphasize that this is the measure of our financial resilience, not how much money you have or hoard.)
How do you know what allows you to bounce back financially? It’s important first to cultivate the habit of financial resilience:
- First of all, understand that there is such a thing as financial resilience and that it doesn’t have anything to do with how much money you have but with what you do with what you have. Simply knowing financial resilience exists will help develop it in you.
- Second, make it part of your personal care practices to write down each month how much money you owe, how much you are owed, and how much you have left. Yes, this means you have to write down what you spent and receive every time you spend or receive money. This is cultivating a habit. I do it, and it is amazing, a practice I am so grateful for. Thank you West Beth.
- Third, use your self-knowledge to develop wiser spending, donating, investing, savings, and earning practices.
Habit #2: Financial Familiarity
If you cultivate Habit #1, you are consequently cultivating a higher-level habit I’ll call “financial familiarity.” Financial familiarity means you are close and personal with the flow of money into and out of your life.
Why is this a big deal? Why don’t we all just automatically do this? Because, as it says in the article that indirectly inspired* this post, we are not taught financial familiarity in school.
But why not? Because…there is a deeper reason most of us remain financially unfamiliar:
Financial familiarity implies deeply looking at our money system.
Our financial system makes people wrong for being “poor” and celebrates others who are “rich,” by totally arbitrary definitions. It makes poor people wrong and rich people right without any moral, ethical, or spiritual reason for their goodness or badness. That’s because goodness and badness pertain to behaviors, not people. People are born perfect.
Habit #3: Emotional Resilience
When you look deeply at money, you may or may not like what you see. The fact is that you can be peaceful regardless of whether you like what you see.
You do not need to wait until you like everything you see: you can cultivate acceptance.
Acceptance comes from telling ourselves the truth. Peace comes with acceptance. Over time, sustained peace becomes an expectation of peace. This is resilience and it will become your healthiest peaceful money management tool in your toolbox if you let it. I can personally vouch for this.
Here are three ways to cultivate emotional resilience around money:
- First, understand that emotional resilience around money exists. It’s important to note that emotional resilience also has nothing to do with how much money you have. Simply knowing emotional resilience around money exists will help develop it as a habit in you.
- Second, make it a part of your personal care practices to write down how you feel about how much money you owe, are owed, and have left as you did in Habit #1. Furthermore, deepen this by doing it with a money buddy.
- Third, pay gentle, regular attention to decisions you make to spend or not spend, earn or not earn, that you know are not rational.
Not rational does not mean wrong.
- You don’t need to report on everything. If you will choose one non-rational money decision to explore in your writing, you will find it is already attached to and brings up much more.
Let Us Help You
If we can write this post, we understand these habits. There’s no better proof than the pudding itself. We’ve been there, and done this, and continue to cultivate these habits in ourselves and our community. We invite you to contact us to find out how little it will cost you in fact to work with us. This is so because most of the work, as you can see above, is yours to do. But we are a vital support to many, and you might really get a lot from our loving help.
This post is a response to dear blog subscriber J, who last week asked, “Can you please write a blog about habits to instill financial/emotional resilience around money in our kids? Since you are my money guru I’m curious about your take.” J referred to a blog post by another financial writer. She found parts of it objectionable, and we both found things we liked in it as well.
My main critiques of the other writer’s article are twofold: (1) He blames poor people for their poverty, without a critique of the financial system that allows for the possibility to become impoverished, when that is not a necessity feature of a financial system. (2) He attributes causality to correlation, which is a common mistake we make when we analyze a situation. Analysis shows us two things that arise together. As a result, we tend to assume one causes the other when it may very well not. (3) He does not address the painful emotions deeply attached to so many of his money examples. Avoiding painful emotions is a way to ensure we keep attaching them. In contrast, addressing them helps us resolve, integrate, and heal them. If we filter it, we can use much of what he said powerfully.