It's funny, a long time ago now, I heard Martin Lewis (of moneysavingexpert.com) speak on the radio and he said (I'm paraphrasing) "everyone knows when Christmas is, it is the same time every year. And yet people come to January with a huge credit card bill and a hard month because they failed to prepare for this event that comes every year!" He was very funny about it and his advice was to save a little bit of money every month for Christmas. I heard this advice in 2004 and have diligently followed it ever since, putting aside some money into an account for Christmas. But that is the only event of the year I was prepared for. I didn't even think that I could apply that technique to other yearly bills. I just carried on living with my monthly income.
Recently I decided I'd had enough. That there must be a way to get through a whole month without running out of money. I started reading... and reading.... and reading. There is a lot of information out there on wealth, prosperity, get rich quick, abundance, budgeting, tithing...
The idea of get rich quick appealed to me to start with but as I read what was out there I realised two things:
Firstly that I wouldn't have had a clue what to do with a lot of money apart from spend it all on luxury items like meals out, holidays, adventures, until it was gone and I could go back to normality of having a monthly income just in a more comfortable setting - like owning my own home and having had lots of lovely holidays!
Secondly there wasn't a lot I could actually do to help myself become rich quickly. I would need to buy lottery tickets and imagine imagine imagine winning and believe it could be true for me and really really really want it to be true. Hmm. I'd already realised I wasn't sure I wanted it to be true for me in that way.
It isn't always pretty. In fact, some of the new ideas I have been learning are down right painful to implement. But change I must. For the two joyous children I have been blessed with. For my marriage to my kind, generous, loving, caring husband. For my future self - that courageous, bold, generous, compassionate woman I strive to be. And dare I also suggest for the world too. The world needs wonderful custodians of money.
So I thought I would write this post as a marker. A flag to mark where I have been so that as I grow and change and progress I can come back and say "yes, it is working.". I promise to share the tools I am using to transform myself into a beautiful butterfly as I work out which ones work for me. I know that I cannot be the only person who needs to learn these things. I hope one day to help inspire others to become good stewards of money in their own ways.
As a first step I will say ask for help. CAP and Step Change have both been helpful in starting us on our journey to financial recovery, to being wonderful custodians of money. We have a long way to go yet but I am SO excited to go on this journey. And I am so grateful to be brave and share it with you.