Five steps to financial freedom

Making life changes can be pretty scary for lots of reasons. As soon as we contemplate stepping outside our comfort zones into unfamiliar territory, it’s only natural that many of us decide to retreat right back to where we started.

Woman in a boat that's tethered by a rope on a clOne of the biggest obstacles facing us is money. How will I afford to live to a decent standard? What if I run out of money? If only I could make enough to pay the bills and follow my heart doing what I really love. How will I cope if I get into debt?

These are some of the statements I hear in my line of work as a mentor and transformational coach. But all these hows and what ifs have nothing to do with the here and now. They are all imagined, future-based fears – as are most of our worries and terrors.

Fighting the fears

The dread of not having enough money is enough to give anyone the collie wobbles. But if you have a deep desire or a longing in your heart for change, you have to find ways past the fears around money that keep you stuck in the rut. How would I know? Because I have been there, done it, worn the tee shirt and then felt the fear and did it anyway.

I gave up my teaching job to follow a vague dream of making a difference even though I was recently widowed and had no clue as to what I was doing or how I would make ends meet.

It wasn’t always easy and yet feeling fulfilled and growing to like and accept myself mostly overruled the other insecurities. Sometimes I only just made the amount I needed, never mind what I wanted, yet I never stopped investing in myself and pushing just a bit further to create my own personal transformation. It truly is an ongoing journey.

So with all this in mind, here are my five top tips to stop money holding you back:

  • Own up to the truth of your money situation. How much do you actually have? Where is it? How do you spend your pennies? Are you careful or do you spend now and deal with the consequences later? What are your outgoings?
  • How many financial commitments do you have? It’s really important that you have clarity about your outgoings before you can plan for other eventualities. Your past decisions are directly affecting your present financial circumstances and, let’s face it, problems and unexpected expenses happen to everyone (however much they have in the bank). So when you plan, build in a rainy day fund too.
  • Be clear on just how much you’re going to need to create your dream. This is an essential step. What investments do you want/need to make in yourself? What are the practicalities? Make an extensive list of everything it’s going to cost to get you there. Once you and the universe know where you want to go it will move you forward. The Law of Attraction says ‘Ask and it is given’ – but first you have to know what you’re putting in a request for.
  • Decluttering your life will bring you more financial freedom. What are the important things? How much have you spent recently that is less than essential? The more you can differentiate, the more you will become aware of what is really important. And remember this takes time. You have to sit on your own shoulder and become aware of your habits before you can move on.
  • Try writing a money autobiography. Mine would read ‘I was poor, then I was a bit better off, then I wasn’t, and now I’m a happy bunny’. A bit flippant maybe, but it’s much better than the deluge of negativity I could get into if I were to be totally real about it.
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We all have hand-me-down beliefs – those deeply ingrained ‘truths’ we live by, even though many of them aren’t our own.

By doing a bit of self searching, being completely honest with yourself and realising the buts and the what ifs have no place in your present, you can become much more aware of your relationship with money.

From here, you can make sensible decisions based around your own personal circumstances, rather than letting potential pitfalls get in your way.

It’s time to take the next step in your life with clarity and determination…