5 Ways to save money during the down times
Creativity is not always about being an artist, creativity is described as "the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness". Inventiveness can be found in all ways including being resourceful and creative with money.
Financial challenges are something we deal with often. Sometimes we make choices to give up our job or start new things and other times we are thrown into unexpected redundancy,divorce, periods of financial unease or crisis. How do you cope through those times to remain positive and release the stress that it will all be ok? Stay present to stop worrying about your future situation. How can you focus differently?.
TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVITY
When I started my coaching business in France I decided to jump right in and give up my job. A dumb idea perhaps, a non calculated risk perhaps. I thought I would get customers pretty quickly (I had already run a successful juice business). My reasoning was that I had already been coaching friends and acquaintances, so it wouldn't take me long to get more customers. Big mistake. Friends and colleagues usually help you out as you experiment, but don't often become your best customers!!
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are.
Does money follow joy?
Looking back I would most probably not advise others to do the same unless they have enough money or a very supportive partner to help them through the first 1-2 years. I had neither, only resilience, courage and a will to not give up (although I wanted to many times). I could have gone and got another job but I was stubborn and wanted to prove my theory that money follows joy and that if you follow the joy and make that your priority the money will arrive. (A great theory that takes a while to integrate)
Become comfortable with uncertainty
I became an expert at getting by with very little whilst I built up my business. One of the biggest lessons I learnt, you don't have to have lots of money to start a business, just be creative. Its all about the mindset and saving money in alternative ways. What I am not an artist, I am not creative I hear you say!! That is not true, we are all creative beings (creativity comes from right brain thinking, often being unrational, letting go of structure occasionally to just flow. We can all learn to do that, and when we release the stress or trying so hard we find solutions
I found the following things very helpful. Although they may seem simple and logical we very often forget to do them. So here are my best 5 tips, both logical and unlogical:
1.Reduce insignificant insurances and bills by relooking at what you are paying for and being aware of who has the reigns on your money resources. How often do you sit down and relook at your insurance policies, your telephone contract, car insurance or internet expenses? Sometimes we get complacent taking them out when we have the money, getting used to paying them automatically every month via transfer and then forgetting about them, and we may not really need them.
Check what you are paying for, or reduce the policy, most insurance policies have different levels and the basic may be enough. Same with the internet and telephone, there are so many companies vying for your business they are giving such good deals. Look around and you may save at least 30/40$ a month on them. Look at what you are willing to give up, and your priorities, or even things such as a smaller car.
Don't forget even the daily coffee adds up, one a day at $5 is $1820 savings a year, how about reducing it to 3 times a week or taking your own!!Also don’t forget to look at who is controlling the reigns on your money, are you supporting people or things (exs, young adults or wrong investments) that are draining your money. And how can you take back control. No is always a good answer. No teaches people how to be reponsible for themselves instead of always relying on you.
2. Gather up your gold!!I realised that I had a lot of old jewellery lying around that I hadn't warn for years. Gold is a commodity and at the time the value of gold was really good so I decided to sell what I no longer used, that just hung around. There are plenty of jewellery shops you can go to that weigh the gold and give you the current market value. If you don't have gold or silver to sell, perhaps there are other items of value in the house that you can sell, things you keep for one day and that day never comes. Money is not the only answer but it makes a difference" - Barrack Obama
3. Work on your money beliefs to be able to receive in delicious and delightful ways
Many of our money beliefs come from our childhood and how we saw our parents or important people in our life deal with it. We often think that money has to come from a job or that we have to "earn" it to receive it, and that we actually have to have money to buy things instead of being given them or asking for them. Not all things that are valuable have to be paid for. What I mean by that is to understand your mindset and beliefs about what's possible.
When I began to open my mind about how I could get money instead of working for it and receive things instead of paying for them, all of a sudden I got a refund for something such as tax, I received a gift of money from family, people would invite me to dinner and pay for me. I exchanged services for something I needed and found there were so many things out there for free that I had never discovered. I found free networking events, free business support, free masterclasses on facebook, about business planning about everything I needed to start. I boosted both my visibility and business sense to start attracting clients all without paying a cent (or maybe just petrol, but if you have a bike you can even save on that.Writing a receiving journal is also very useful.
Find your millionaires mindset
As the saying says, what you focus on is what you get. If you focus on what you are receiving and grateful for it, you tend to get more!!!I also read books to increase my knowledge of how others did it. What did other successful people do, how did they change their mindset. A few books that helped were
"The secret of a millionaires mind by and books by Napolean Hill.
However don't just read them, act on them, knowledge and action brings results.
Deal with the emotional stresses
4. Work on the emotions and stress that come up through play, calm & laughter.
Money can bring up a lot of stress and difficult emotions, especially in times when we are transitioning to new things and we don't have the financial security or a consistent client base yet, or even a support network. It can create a lack mentality. You make decisions from fear and lack, take clients that don't suit you and make pressurised decisions that you wouldn't if you felt that you had options.
We always have options but we forget that when money is tight. I have a myriad of tools that I use on myself and with my clients for stress but a few different ideas include learning to meditate and use mindfulness. It floods the system with destressing hormones and begins to balance them for both motivation and calm. You begin to get more in touch with what you need.
Try out my mindfulness meditation:
Join online support networks to share your struggles. I use breathing techniques and EFT tapping - Emotional Freedom technique that is a way to release stressful emotions through the body.
Most of all I went out and had some fun, continued to socialise and do exercise, surfing was my release. Fun and play are researched to allow us to increase our dopamine levels, serotonin and endorphins that are known as the happy pills,be present and help you unwind, forget your worries and release the stress. You certainly don't need money to go out and laugh and have fun.
5.Ask the universe, ask for help, visualize and pray
I am such a terrible culprit for trying to do things alone. I had a belief that it is weak to ask for help and support. Believing that it was weak to show I didn't know everything and couldn't run a business by myself,or that I had all the answers. That is so wrong, an attitude of the ego, which holds you back. If you get out and ask for help people are often willing to give you advice or referrals or print things for you or do some graphic design for free.
There are crowdfunding websites if you need an injection of investment. The universe can also help you if you pray and ask empowering questions. The brain functions in mysterious ways and when you start asking how can I or what would it take to…. the brain begins to come up with inspired ideas and thoughts.
You let yourself be open and you then find you bump into people and books or answers to what you need. Its all about energy. The energy you are putting out and the way you feel. Learning how to do that and to see and feel and visualize what you would like to see can be very beneficial to understanding the possibilities.
Play the what if game…..the brain loves that one. e.g What if I was to get a new client next week, what if I could earn money doing what I love, what if....... and you find new ideas
The above are are simple techniques that perhaps need more depth and consideration and things to learn. I run mindful money solutions workshops together with a financial solutions coach to begin teaching many of the techniques. Contact me to find out more about our weekends or to work with me privately through a mindful money program.