How to Solve Your Love-Hate Issue with Money
by Chellie Campbell
People have funny relationships with money – studies have shown a majority of people believe money is a bad and corrupting influence. But at the same time, they want to have millions of dollars to relieve their fear of financial insecurity! With that kind of ambivalence, it’s hard to make money and hold on to it. It’s been estimated that about 70% of lottery winners are broke within 5 years. Part of the problem is psychological, and part of it is just plain ignorance of sound money management principles.
Years ago, I read a book on lottery winners and noticed that there seemed to be three things that all the lotto winners did – they bought a new car, took a trip (usually to Hawaii), and they all said the money “wasn’t going to change them.” Now, if you thought having money was a powerful force for good, wouldn’t you say, “Hey, this is really going to change me – I’m going to be a better person now!?”
Rob Anderson of Louisville, Kentucky, purchased a lotto ticket by mistake – he wanted 3 separate Quick Picks but the clerk printed out 3 Quick Picks on the same ticket. So he kept that ticket and bought 3 more individual tickets to give as gifts. Guess what? One of the numbers on the ticket he kept due to the mistake won him the Powerball Lottery of $128.6 million! When asked what he was going to do with the money, he said he was going to buy a new car and was thinking about taking a trip to Hawaii. (What did I tell you?) But the first thing he said was, “We’re really grounded people. My wife taught me well, so to speak, to hang on to that dollar and see how far it gets you. We’ll still clip coupons and still look for the clearance rack.”
In other words, it “wasn’t going to change him.” See what I mean?
For all the instant millionaires who go on spending sprees and give away all their money, there are others who save diligently, invest prudently, and never spend a dime.
In December of 2013, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about an elderly widow who showed up at a small law firm looking for assistance. She needed help managing her money. When an attorney asked her what she thought she was worth, she said perhaps $40,000. She was quiet and unassuming and had been a first-grade teacher for 35 years.
When she passed away in 2011, she left over $5 million to 15 charities. She had so many assets and papers, it took the law firm two years to unravel it all. The article mentioned she had a Quaker Oats can in a closet that contained savings bonds from the 1940s and 1950s which turned out to be worth $183,000.
We can avoid these two extremes. We can lighten up about money and believe in the good things it can do for us. It can be a powerful force for good just as easily as a bad influence.
Here’s how to solve your love-hate issue with money:
- Make a list of all the things you can do with extra money that will be good for you, your family, your friends, and the world.
- Say positive money affirmations every day like, “People love to give me money!,” “I am rich and wonderful” and “All my clients praise me and pay me!” They help you stay focused on what you want instead of what you don’t want. I believe in this practice so much, I wrote a book The Wealthy Spirit filled with them.
- Write down your million-dollar budget. When you make your million, where will you spend it? Remember that it will probably cost you more money to have a bigger business with more space, employees, advertising, etc. Every dollar you spend is a gift to someone and is enriching others.
- Design your business plan to generate the money you want. You have to either serve a lot of people for a small price or just a few people for a large price. Which one suits you?
- Take positive action. You can’t wait for your ship to come if you never send one out. Or, as God said to the man in the story who kept praying to win the lottery – “Buy a ticket!”
Remember, you can’t help the poor and starving if you are the poor and starving.
I meet so many fabulous entrepreneurs who are so eager to help people and change the world with their wonderful work. But if they don’t master how to get paid – and paid well – for their time and energy, they are going to end up broke.
I learned that the hard way myself. When I set out to be a professional actress, I notice I chose “starving actor” rather than “rich famous movie star.” It took me many years to figure out that I needed to change my mind-set as well as my actions if I wanted my prosperity to improve.
Women are especially prone to this problem. I think it’s because we possess some innate gene or tendency that makes women excellent givers because we need to have that ability to be able to care for children. It’s a survival mechanism. It makes us fabulous at customer service. But maybe not so great at sales, earning six-figure paychecks, or promoting ourselves, eh? We have to learn some new tools to be able to do these things if we want to make a good living.
And no, it doesn’t mean you have to be pushy, money-grabbing, or arrogant either. That’s the real fear behind our reluctance to toot our own horns, isn’t it? So we can happily refer people to our friend’s business or say others are worth their higher prices, but our client rosters stay thin and filled with people paying discounted rates.
Charge enough so that you have plenty of money for all your needs, some of your wants, and extra to donate to others less fortunate than yourself.
Chellie Campbell is the author of bestselling books The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy. She is widely quoted in major media including Redbook, Good Housekeeping and more than 50 popular books. She has been treating Money Disorders — Spending Bulimia and Income Anorexia — in her Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops for over 25 years. www.chellie.com.