Few of us are really happy talking about money, and that’s partly because we’re not that happy thinking about money. I do sometimes picture myself winning the lottery and waste minutes thinking about what I’d spend the money on, but when it comes to my real-life finances, I’d rather think about anything else.
This discomfort with money though does us no favours. It stops us asking for the salary we deserve at work, it stops us being responsible for our financial security and it also stops us taking the financial risks we need to take to live life on our own terms. We bounce around between feeling flush and feeling broke, feeling we’re worth more than we’re getting while simultaneously feeling uncomfortable asking for more.
We’ve heard so much about the gender pay gap, but there’s also a pay gap between women. Some of our more confident sisters are earning more simply because they’ve dealt with their hang ups about money. If you notice yourself feeling unfriendly thoughts about those who get paid more than you for the same kind of work, you may have some work to do of your own.
It’s time to recalibrate your relationship with money so you can stop the unhealthy inner dialogue that gets in the way of you enjoying what you have.
Value, not sacrifice
You don’t get paid big bucks just because you do something you hate, and you don’t deserve less just because you do something you love. Your salary reflects the value attributed to that role and the contribution you make. Although a wage is often called compensation it isn’t actually a compensation for the sacrifice you’ve made.
If you want to change your relationship with money, particularly your income, you have to start thinking about your worth. What is the value of what you do? What are you actually paid to deliver and what is that worth? Of course, some of this is determined by society so while you might think a nurse has more worth than a banker, our culture has different ideas! Within your industry or field of expertise, what is your contribution worth compared to the contribution others are making? If you want more money, calculate the value of what you contribute. Asking for a pay rise or raising your prices to your clients isn’t about you being greedy, it’s about recognising the worth of the service you provide and giving that worth monetary value.
No knight in shining armour
Most of us were brought up on fairy tales and at some level we believe a knight in shining armour is going to come and rescue us.
However, as adult women we have to take responsibility for our own financial affairs. If you delegate that side of life to your partner or a family member, take back control. You are going to rescue yourself! Know your numbers…
· How much does it cost you to live the lifestyle you have today?
· How much money do you make after tax?
· Does it add up?
· Where do you waste money and what can you do differently to be money-wise?
It feels great to find cheaper home insurance or a better deal on utility bills and there’s no consequence for your standard of living. It also feels fantastic to know you can buy those shoes or go mad at the bookshop without worrying that your card will be rejected at the till.
Being poor doesn’t help anyone
It’s quite common to feel bad about making money. Rich people aren’t always paragons of virtue and many of us fear that making more money will turn us in to bad people who have forgotten where they came from and who turn their backs on real friends.
We are afraid to charge clients what we’re worth or talk big money with our employer because we don’t want to seem obsessed with cash. Being poor, struggling to make ends meet, running up large debts or living a life that’s tougher than it needs to be doesn’t help anyone. Other people aren’t better off because you’re poor.
Making what you’re worth means you can give back. You can give time, money, emotional support. You can mentor. You can volunteer. You don’t have to become greedy and self-centred. When your needs are met, you’re far more likely to have something to give to others than if day to day life is a financial struggle.
Thank you… And more please
There are people worse off than you. One of the ways we limit ourselves when it comes to money is that we feel we should be grateful for what we’ve got. Who are we to ask for more?
In our relatively rich western world, we are pretty well off. We also know that money can’t buy happiness. Above a certain level there is no evidence that people are happier the more money they have, however, money gives you choices. It allows you to have experiences that aren’t available when you live hand to mouth, and it allows you to give back, which enhances your sense of wellbeing.
We have to question where guilt about money gets us.
· Does guilt make the world a better place?
· Does it make us happier or more fulfilled?
· Does it help us find our true calling and make a living doing what we love?
· Does it help us be a better friend, parent or employee?
Probably not. When a belief doesn’t serve you it’s time to replace it with a belief that does.
What new belief about money would enhance not only your life but the lives of others? For me, it is gratitude for what I have AND an understanding that I can be trusted with more without losing my integrity. What beliefs about money are getting in your way, what new beliefs could take their place, and what would be possible for you if your hang ups about money no longer held you back?
Blaire Palmer is founder of A Brilliant Gamble, which runs courses for people who want to make big changes in their lives, do work they love for a living and have a lifestyle that really works for them. Check out her podcastand join her Corporate Escapees Facebook Group