The Money/Happiness debate continues. Just today, USAToday http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-05-happiness-apa-money_N.htm asked the age old question, yet again: Does money bring happiness? Well, I’m here to resolve this issue, once and for all! (drum roll, please).
Money does NOT make you happier. But poverty doesn’t either. What DOES make you happier?: taking control of your money, instead of allowing your money to control you!
Let me give you an example. Here was a woman (a successful attorney), who for the last three years, felt helpless, hopeless, and (obviously) very unhappy as her life, and her debt, spiraled out of control.
Then, last month, she called me for coaching. We’ve only had 3 sessions so far. And most of our time was spent dealing with her resistance (“I’m NOT going to change my lifestyle,” she told me firmly) and getting her out of denial (“OMG, I’m spending way more than I earn!!”).
Finally, last week, she sprang into action. I share her latest email with you because its proof positive how much happier life can be when you take charge of your finances.
“I have been working diligently to shave my monthly expenses and I am having a blast!” she wrote.
Of course, it wasn’t easy, she admits. “One thing I will say: it’s a lot of work and takes a lot of discipline to save money, and was much easier to stay in debt – which is how the system is designed. But I like the power I feel now much better. Saving money is actually making me feel very sexy, and probably the sexiest thing I have ever done!”
You’ve got to admit—she’s one happy camper!!! How did she do it? With this 7 Step Formula. She:
- Opened a savings account: “$10 per month is automatically transferred from checking,”
- Cut spending: “I shaved $1400 from my monthly expenses.”
- Stopped using cards, even her debit card: “I was using my debit card the way people use their credit cards and it was getting me into trouble. I cut it up.”
- Negotiated with creditors: “I am working liking crazy with my credit card companies” to decrease rates.
- Created a spending plan: “I figured out how much money I needed this month by category and have gotten out the appropriate amount of cash, put paper clips and sticky notes to each allotted amount, and that is all I can spend.”
- Stuck to her budget no matter what, even during a major move: “In the past I would have just gotten out my credit card, charged the move and said I would deal with it later. Now I am planning, looking at all of the expenses and figuring out the best steps and ways to save money.”
- Followed the coincidences (which always occur when you start taking charge): “On top of this, I just landed a HUGE new client in Santa Fe, NM – out of the blue, of course.”
Ultimately, this woman created her own happiness by making 2 crucial changes: she changed her behavior along with her attitude.
Getting out of debt, she told me, has become “such a fun game. It’s amazing to see where my money goes! Wow – to be conscious is incredible. Thanks Barbara – I am loving this!”
Don’t YOU want what she’s having??
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