Now that I have come to terms with the reality of having a problem with my finances, I intend to do something about it. This is going to be tough but I need to tackle the challenge. Have no fear of what I may uncover or the bad habits I’ll surely come to realise I have.
This is the third part of a 10-part series. It’s starts here me the realisation that I have started my savings and investment journey quite late in life.
Unpacking before we pack. Let’s agree on what we are taking with us.
Hi there, Journey-Man here again!
Before we start, we must look at what we have packed for the journey.
I know that I am keen to attack my problems and start the journey, but I realised that I already have a heavy bag on my back and I don’t remember packing it. I have a bag full of ‘stuff’ that I have picked up along the way and I started to realise that what I already have in my bag is part of the problem. My bag is heavy and it is stopping me from doing the best that I can with the resources that I have.
So, for example, this week I wanted to come to terms with what I earn, what I spend and what my debts are. It may sound strange but I realised very quickly this week that I don’t even know what debts I have. I get paid and my debit orders run! Somehow I seem to make it through to zero every month but that must be a coincidence!
I know my situation is not acceptable; I wouldn’t allow this level of chaos in any other area of my life, so I must ask myself, ‘Why have I done this with my finances?’
The instinctive answer that keeps coming back is ‘fear’. At some point in my life I became convinced that I probably was not going to make it and that it is better to stumble along, just making ends meet each month. It became the norm to ignore the financial issues and to pretend that everything happening was inevitable. I have realised this week that my bag is full of fear, and I am learning that fear is heavy!
Where did this Fear come from?
When I was younger I was positive and enthusiastic when it came to generating income. I started businesses and I managed businesses. They didn’t all fail dismally but none of them have survived. The dreams that I had as a young man faded and reality set in – I had dreamed that I would set up and run a successful business which would make me extremely wealthy! That really is what I had imagined.
Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. And slowly, as I made my way through my thirties and forties, I moved back to working for other people, taking home a salary and convincing myself that this was the best that I could expect. That journey has created in me an unintended and uninvited fear. I became so used to fear that I packed it in my bag and have been carrying it for years.
But I am Journey-Man and I won’t allow fear to hold me back anymore!
So, although I acknowledge my mistakes I am not going to carry them with me anymore. Before I start heading out on this new journey I will unpack my bag and leave behind everything that has held me back; including fear.
As tough as it is I will no longer make decisions based on fear.
Will you unpack with me?
If you are a Late-Starter, have you considered the things holding you back? Your bags may be filled with other things that you have picked up along the way.
May I suggest that you take a hard look at where you are and try to work out how you arrived here. Not to dig up the past and hurt yourself, but rather, that you would free yourself and forgive yourself. And possibly forgive those people that may have held you back, hurt you or robbed you. Make sure that you aren’t taking anything along that should stay behind.
Can I suggest that you have a good look at your baggage before we leave?
Let me encourage you to get rid of your negative attitudes towards money. Try to empty your bag now, before we leave this place?
Rather than fear, let’s fill the bag with expectation, joy, excitement and energy.
Do it now!
Spend the time now really take an honest look at your finances and your relationship with money. Don’t rush into the next post, ready to change habits when you don’t even understand your current habits.
Some things to do or questions to ask yourself:
- Take a look at the post Your Money or Your Life.
- Think about how your parents managed money, and how that has influenced your views on money and wealth.
- Take a look at spending patterns and ry to understand the emotions behind some of your decisions.
- Think about your fears. Are they rational? Can you do something to help you be less fearful?
- Decide what you want from this journey.
- Set yourself a small goal for the week.
Until next time!