I have suffered from money anxiety for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I was totally fixated on money. At the age of 10, I faithfully kept a ledger. I kid you not. Forty years later, I was still breaking into a cold sweat each time I sat down to pay bills.
There is no logical reason for this, at all. Even as a single mother of 3 wee ones on government assistance, I always seemed to have enough. Yet, money, or rather lack thereof, has consistently haunted me. Worse yet, it has influenced my life decisions causing me additional stress.
Well, there is nothing like buying your dream home while still owning your other home to push money fears to the brink. Eighteen months later, still owning both homes? ERMAGAWD!
I had a decision to make. I could fall off the ledge and becoming permanently incapacitated by fear, or I could finally deal with my lack mentality. The first half century wasn’t fun in this regard, so I decided to go with deal with it.
The first thing I did was set up a tracking sheet, with one fundamental difference from past attempts. Instead of calling it a Budget, or Expense Tracking, I labelled my spreadsheet Abundance Tracking. The psychological impact of this simple change was mind blowing! Now I open up this spreadsheet to see how much money I have, not what I don’t have.
Next, I set up monthly automated payments for everything. Even if I am not billed monthly. For example, I am only billed every other month for hydro, but I transfer a payment to my account monthly. By setting up every bill this month, I don’t have to sit down and pay any bills, which used to involve at least 1 glass of wine to calm my nerves.
Chipping Away at Debt
Having figured out what I needed for my bills, I then set up weekly automated payments towards our debt. I can breathe easier knowing that each week I am getting closer to being debt free (except the mortgage which I have always accepted as a fact of life).
Proactive Savings for the Annual Expenses
Finally, I added up all the annual expenses (like property taxes), divided by 52, and set up a weekly transfer to my savings account. As each expense comes up, the money will be there.
Due to the dual home ownership, there is nothing left over for Just Because Savings. When the old house does sell, I will automate a savings plan as well.
No dread, no cold sweats, no glasses of wine to calm my nerves. After forty plus years, I have finally kicked money anxiety to the curb.
Now I track abundance.