With the recent Commission of Audit Report suggesting tough action because we are living beyond our means, the budget’s reflection of this and its subsequent domination in the news and social media over the last week or so – it seems only fitting to blog about money and how we can take responsibility for our personal finances in tough times.
My go-to money guru is one of Forbes top 10 most influential celebrities, personal finance advisor, author, TV host and motivational speaker – Suze Orman – AKA the Money Lady.
Prior to earning her Money Lady title, she was a penniless waitress and struggled through her own financial crisis,
‘I lost everything and I was lying through my teeth and I didn’t let anybody know about it. It wasn’t until I stood in my truth and told everybody that I had $250,000 in credit card debt that everything turned around for me…‘ (Suze Orman).
Living in denial and neglecting to get real about our financial state of affairs is a major problem.
‘A survey published last year by financial internet portal artog.com found more than a quarter of Australians have four or more credit cards and almost half did not know what the interest rate was.’
‘A new study from Veda Advantage shows over two million Australians are struggling to repay debts.’
‘In another recent study, less than 25 percent of women feel they are “very well prepared” to handle financial matters.’
Suze has many tips for getting out of debt, managing and saving money but she suggests that money problems are only symptoms of deeper underlying emotional, psychological and spiritual crises.
This is certainly reflected in some of our modern day money dilemmas:
- Shopping addictions and impulsive/ overspending on things we can’t really afford
- Debt spiralling out of control due to credit card over use and addictions (e.g. drinking and gambling)
- Being too restrictive and stingy with money; often a reflection of being restrictive and stingy with ourselves in other areas of life
- Putting money and things before people and relationships
- Confusing money with esteem, worth and power
- Using money and things to fill deeper underlying emptiness or our longing for love, security, freedom etc.
According to Orman, it largely comes down to inner security, self-worth and making the most of what we already have:
“Money does not make you powerful or powerless. We all have a choice about how we relate to money. Feeling empowered comes from a solid sense of self and an inner security. We spend more than when we feel less than. I began watching how I was using money and how I was feeling when I made money choices. When I learned to give myself—and my money—the love and respect we both deserved, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted. I was no longer racing to keep up; I was so happy being right where I was. Being me. I stopped spending money I didn’t have and started living within my means. I had found my power. I was clear on who I was, what I wanted, and what I thought. No more letting the external world define me—I defined me. And it was only when that happened that I was able to dig out of debt and build the lasting net worth I now have.
If you have credit card debt and no savings, and you feel miserable, don’t attribute your woes to not having enough money; instead see the lessons your money is trying to teach you. Is it possible you have yet to find your self-worth?
When I sit down to help someone with their financial life, what we always end up focusing on is their interior life. There are no money problems. There are people problems. Success is not how many zeroes your bank account has. It’s about making the most of the life you have. ”
To feel secure and empowered, Suze recommends cultivating the following 8 qualities:
Some other qualities I would also add are:
Generosity of Spirit and
If you need some help cultivating these spiritual qualities, try this Evocative Word Exercise.
You can also find some great resources on my Wealth, Finances & Money Pinterest page.
Part 2: Money – 7 Top Tips from Suze Orman for Managing Your Money.
Sydney counsellor, soul-centred life-coach and psychotherapist Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
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