A vision of financial freedom

A vision of financial freedom

God has been whispering to me about financial freedom. What it means to me & what I need to do to start flexing my financial freedom muscles. I’ve had to dig deep, do some research & remember that I have the ability inside of me. You do too! I thought I’ll put together some thoughts & remind myself as I embark on this evolution journey to running free in financial freedom.

My first experience with financial detoxing

Financial freedom is a choice. It is a conscious, ‘I’m going to do this’ choice. I remember a few times when I made the intentional decision to make better financial choices. The first time was when I bought my first house, my first home. I remember that I was only 21 years old & according to the budget, I would have R300 left to spend on food in my new home. My husband & I had just started our first actual jobs & we didn’t have much spare cash but we did it anyway! The next time was when I bought my second property, an investment property. I was 23. I was also pregnant with my first child & I needed to significantly tighten my belt (not around my ever expanding belly) to get through that time with financial freedom. We could not afford any luxuries. Luxuries included any new clothes, any eating out, any socials… nada!

 

Stepping up 

The next & probably most significant time was when I decided that I wanted to leave my corporate job to pursue my purpose. This one was a challenge because I had worked for 10 years within that company. My job was demanding & I had managed to make significant impact over that time. I earned a wack of a salary. I had become accustomed to a good life. I have never been brand conscious, I was always a frugal shopper BUT I had become accustomed to having enough & being able to afford the life I felt I had earned. When God told me that I would & could survive without my R45k salary, I was hysterical. I remember wrestling with Him. He insisted that I would be fine & asked me to start putting the salary away completely. I could not mentally wrap my head around that so I started by saving just R3000 a month towards my dream. After 3 months of steadily increasing my savings, I started putting away almost my entire monthly earnings. This was in preparation to begin to trust that He would take care of me, that I would be okay without the huge salary…. And I was. Things turned out better than I thought they would. In fact, the thing I learned through this particular exercise was that I actually needed much less (financially) than what I thought & I had been wasting money frivolously spending & not having much to show for it. Have you ever had such an experience? Where you make a decision & then you are shocked at what is possible!? I am not saying that my life has not changed significantly, because it has… but what I am saying is that sometimes one can do with much less than what we think we can & if we are intentional about it… we will surprise ourselves. 

To spend or not to spend

I suppose the crux of the matter is the decision to spend or not to spend. To be clear on what is being spent, what needs to be spent & what DOES NOT need to be spent. You see…. I am not talking from a point of ‘pulling this out of thin air’…. I am talking about this from experience. I have had nothing (R300 left for food etc while paying my first bond), I have had plenty (My R45k salary). I have made decisions to grow & tightened my financial belt…. A few times. I have been able to spend thousands & I have been unable to spend anything at all. I may not always have a fat wallet but have always had the ability to make a decision. We all do. Once we realise that we HAVE the power to make changes & we actually DECIDE…. We would be shocked at what actually IS possible. I remembered that while doing this exercise & it has been the most freeing experience ever! The below steps are a great starting point to doing a financial detox. I have used my basic strategies to Vision completion template for this. I default to this easy to use process every single time. I have just mixed it up a little for this challenge.

 Feel free to use this as a guide & also to download the attached templates to help you prettify the exercise of unpacking your own finances. I have also included an amazing PDF to assist you on paving the road to your own financial freedom.

Personal budget excel template

Financial freedom PDF planner

  • Create a Vision

The brain will not necessarily choose to make a change unless it knows what the benefit will be. Changes around money are sometimes hard to effect because some of the challenges around it may be generational. You always hear people talking about a poverty mindset & their relationship with money. Reminder- We get to CHOOSE what relationships we nurture & what those relationships look like. We teach people how to treat us & what our boundaries are… so lets get our relationship with money working like a passionate love affair.

Creating a Vision is simple. Its not complicated. Decide what you would do if you had nothing stopping you, preventing you, distracting you, discouraging you. What would your relationship with  money look like.

Maybe we can start this one by speaking it consciously. I am grateful & thankful that my relationship with money flows with grace & ease. I am overjoyed now that I live in abundance, with a plentiful mindset that produces balance & harvest in every single area of my life. Money flows into my life & I use my wisdom to allocate my abundance. How does that sound? Maybe pop yours down in the comments & lets speak life over your Vision!

  • Give yourself a timeline

This isn’t usually a defined step. Usually it is part of the Vision but for the purposes of this exercise…I thought lets just add a timeframe to keep us accountable. By when would you like for this relationship to be flourishing? When you are building a human relationship, you decide how much time you will allocate to it to nurture it. Lets do the same in this case? Habits take 21 days to build… so if we aim to have our ‘courtship’ on track after 30 days (1 month) then we can start really enjoying our newfound love fest after 1 month of intense getting to know each other? Sound good?

The PDF template that I have included has all sorts of areas you can look at during that month so you can get going & practice.

This is also like a bit of a detox, we talking boundaries, awareness, what you love about this relationship, what you dont… ALLES! Detox diets get rid of toxins in the body and develop the habits that will keep you on track for a healthier life. The same principle applies to a financial detox! 

  • Plan to celebrate!

Normally when I am coaching for Vision , we work with a 7 step process. Step 7 is usually Celebrate. We are going to make celebration part of the plan this time as we go along because it would be great to see how much you are actually saving. This was what I did in 2016 when I was prompted to start saving my salary & that salary actually paid for me to launch my new venture with grace & ease.

Create a temporary (or permanent) little sub account. Transer your ‘extra’ cash…. From the areas that you are saving in to this account. This way you can track as you go along how much you have saved. For example… if you know that you drink waaayyyyy too much coffee, make a different choice in this month & transfer the money you would have spent on coffee into this kitty. Instead of having a cup of take away coffee daily, have 2 per week & save the other R90. Thats R360 for the month. That could be a date night depending where you go! 

  • Start where you are (current reality)

Each time I have had to do this exercise, the starting point has been to look at what my current reality is. What is the current reality of my financial situation? Lets also really unpack the emotions around it. How does it feel, how does it make you feel? How does all of this compare to your Vision. What will shift for you if if are able to achieve that Vision? How does that make you feel?

To start looking at your actual current reality, you can look at your bank statements & get an idea of what you are spending on at the moment. An easy way to create order in this analysis is to divide up your expenses between NEEDS & WANTS.

At the top your needs, the bills you have to pay. The stuff you can’t really do without. The groceries, the rent/ the bond, the rates, water & electricity. The car payments (if you have those), fuel, paying off your credit card etc. Detail these in a list, putting down how much you spend currently. Ive included a few different templates so you are welcome to look at what is available & use what works for you.

The next section would be the wants, the nice to haves. The self care stuff. The hair appointments, the nails, the salon visits (if these are applicable to you) I have always been a frugal spender in all of these areas. The ‘dates’ The time you spend treating yourself & your bae. The coffee dates with your tribe. The cash spend you are using to ‘look fine’. The extras that make up the nice to haves.

Once you have divied this up…. You can then begin to look at where you are spending exorbitantly. For example… I am not super organised. Because of this, I will often spend unnecessary money when grocery shopping. The analysis of my grocery bill always shows me that I can save in this area if I plan better. I can cut my grocery bill in half with just better planning. The result is also more healthy meals & less take aways on my WANTS bill. I have included a meal planner template & some other extra sheets to help us with planning in this area.

  • Explore options & decide, decide, decide

Once you have detailed all your wants & needs, you can have a look at what seems to be jumping out at you. For example… are you spending thousands of rands on random items of clothing when you already have a literal CLOSET for of clothes. Could it be that you are binge spending & is this a result of confidence or self esteem challenges? How can you rework that? Could we maybe put the brakes on this spending & literally try to figure out your personal style. Maybe you could do a closet audit & look at ways to maximise your current closet collection. Maybe you could get some help to redefine your personal style & create your highest self image. There are some great stylists out there that could look at assisting you with this. Once thats done you can decide what the HIGHEST VERSION of your dream self looks & feels like. You could rework your closet accordingly & then show up as her? For all you know you may not need half of the clothing you currently have. Also… you may not need to spend another cent on clothing for the next year. How much savings is that!? Oh my hat you could get yourself a car! I did this exercise a few weeks ago & realised I could make a FORTUNE selling off the clothing that I ma not wearing + I don’t need to buy clothing for the next decade possibly lol.

So the just of this step is to look at everything that you are currently spending money on & see how & where you can cut it back, rework it, turn it on its head & even flip it fast. If YOU did a closet audit, like I did & you sold the clothing you don’t wear, donate some of it to charity, rework your current capsule collection etc… what could you actually achieve? Okay now do that with every area of expense. Put together some SMART actionable steps & lets get moving!

  • Create the plan & implement it!

For each area, do steps 1-5 (if possible) & put together some SMART goals to make this a reality. SMART goals are:

-simple: tiny/ bite size & easy to action uncomplicated & not too stressful

-measurable: trackable, checkable

-achievable: manageable & relatable

-relevant: it must be applicable to your vision & must make an impact

-time bound: allocate yourself a plan & a timeframe. For example if you need to figure out how to maintain your nails for the month without seeing the nailtech weekly in order to save R600… then give yourself some space to do that. I don’t have nails but I did in my corporate job & they were very very important to me back then.

Once you have developed a plan of action, get yourself an accountability partner & get to it!

 

  • Monitor progress & adjust as you go 

Yaaaas qweeeen! Track yo’self! I trust that you are going to surprise yourself! You are wildly capable & amazing. 

I remember going through this process a few times & being absolutely blown away by the fact that it was easier to do than I thought it would be!  DO NOT underestimate the massive power that lies in little choices, decisions, goals, actions & shifts done consistently over time.

I am not saying that you need to throw the baby out with the bath water… I am saying just decide & make some moves! While it may seem overwhelming at first, it is doable & once you see the results… you can begin to forge some new healthier habits & build a rock solid relationship with money!

*Do you have any tips on how to do a financial detox? Let us know in the comments below.* 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial professional.  I am just a girl who has done some stuff & seen amazing results. I am sharing what I’ve learned and gathered from my own unique personal experience. Please consider contacting a professional if you require more intense assistance & especially before making any significant financial purchases or decisions. Use your wisdom in all that you do!

 

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