When you sit down to pay bills, how do you REALLY feel?
Are you anxious and worried you will not have enough cash in your bank account to pay everything this month? Are you frustrated that there does not seem to be enough money left over at the end of each month to save for what’s important to you (new car, down payment for a home, a vacation this year)?
Or do you feel calm and relaxed, knowing there is an abundance of cash in your account to meet all your needs, PLUS enough for you to enjoy living and make progress towards your goals?
Let me paint you a picture of how clients feel when they first come to see me:
They do not understand where their money goes each month and there never seems to be enough left over for what is important to them;
They feel their spending is out of control, but they do not know how to rein it in;
They are beyond frustrated that they are not as far along financially as they want to be or feel they ‘should’ be;
They are overwhelmed with the amount of financial advice available and trying to process it all so they can make smart financial decisions.
If this is you, know that you’re not alone…the truth is most of us are not taught how to intentionally and powerfully manage our personal cash flow, and so we flounder around, going at it alone, trying to figure out what strategies and advise to follow, often putting off really important financial decisions in the process.
This is where I ask that you have some grace with yourself. It is absolutely possible to manage your personal cash flow in a way that feels abundant and joyful (not stressful and frustrating). Today, I want to share with you 4 powerful steps to do just that!
But first, I’m often asked what I mean when I talk about ‘Aligned Abundance’. To me this means being intentional with your money flow, aligning your income, spending and saving with what’s important to you - your values, your priorities and your goals so that you can live joyfully and abundantly!
If you would like to experience more joy and abundance with your money, here are 4 powerful steps you can begin to take right now!
#1. Gain awareness of the money you have coming in and going out each month without judging or criticizing yourself or your financial situation. Awareness brings clarity and gives you access to insights and ideas that you would not otherwise have!
This awareness includes knowing the key components of your money flow:
Income - What are your sources of income? Do you receive them before or after taxes and deductions? What is your average monthly income you receive? If you have joint finances with a partner, include their amounts as well.
Spending – What are your main spending categories each month? Housing, transportation, insurance, daily living, Food, Hobbies, & Entertainment, Kids & Pets…How much are you spending, on average each month in each category (remember no judgement here this is about awareness!)
Peace of Mind Funds – Do you have short term cash savings set aside for unplanned events, such as your hot water tank springs a leak or you need to take an unpaid leave from work. If so, how much do you have set aside? How many months of essential living costs does your savings cover? Does this bring you peace of mind or would you prefer it to be larger? Be honest with yourself here.
If you do not have any short term savings (yet!), this is great awareness and an area you will want to come back to later on
Debt Repayments – What outstanding debts are you making regular payments towards? What amount(s) do you pay each month?
Savings Contributions – Making monthly contributions to your retirement savings through your employer's plan or through your business? How much are you contributing each month? What else are you saving up for? What amounts are you contributing on a monthly basis?
#2. Check that your Spending is Aligned and Intentional
Once you have amazing awareness of where you are currently spending your money, you can take the next powerful step in going through your current spending to see if it is aligned with what is most important to you and brings you massive amounts of joy!
First let’s talk about ‘unintentional spending’ versus ‘intentional spending.’
Unintentional spending: Where are you spending money on services or subscriptions that you no longer use or don’t align with what matters to you (aka: what you value)? Examples: magazine or online newspaper subscriptions you no longer read; old app subscriptions you no longer use…
Intentional spending: Where are you spending money in a way that makes you feel joyful, happy and abundant? Examples: buying food that supports your health and wellbeing; buying clothes that are made locally and make you feel amazing and support local businesses; spending money on vacations to locations that inspire you!
Spending intentionally allows you to let go of any guilt you may feel about some of your spending preferences because they align with what’s most important to you (and your family if you have one!)
#3. Identify Money Leaks & Free up some cash
What is a money leak? A money leak is: unintentional spending that is not aligned with your financial goals and what is important to you. By eliminating money leaks you free up more cash for what does matter!
This is one of my favourite exercises to do with clients. When you have clear awareness of where your money is going it is easy to find these money leaks…
Subscriptions you no longer use, for magazines, technology, duplicate subscriptions to the same streaming site, etc.
Services you pay a monthly fee for that no longer resonate with you, tech support for your laptop, gym membership you don’t use, etc.
Once you have identified your money leaks, cancel those services and subscriptions ASAP and then funnel that cash towards spending and goals that bring you joy!
#4. Finding Gratitude for the Money in your Life
When was the last time you took a moment to appreciate and show gratitude for the amazing things and experiences money allows you to do, be and and experience?
Think about your mortgage or rent and how that money allows you to have a wonderful home for you and your family.
Think about your utilities that help keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, as well as the ability to access hot and cold water on demand.
Think about your local grocery store where you have an abundance of options to choose from to nourish you and your family.
Think about your car payment that allows you the freedom to travel when and where you want to!
Or being able to support your favourite local coffee shop, whose staff always put a smile on your face and who make the most delicious liquid creations!
There are so many amazing things that money allows us to experience and enjoy. So I want to ask you:
What are you most grateful for that money allows you to enjoy?
The next time you pay for anything, rent, groceries, a new sweater, I want you to pause and truly appreciate what your money allows you to enjoy and experience.
Embrace these 4 steps to experience greater joy and abundance with your money flow!
Did this resonate with you? If so, I would love to know!