The season is upon us, flu-season that is. No matter where you go or who you talk to the topic is prevalent and foremost on everyone’s mind. It seems we all want to know how to prevent getting it and if by some stroke of ill fortune, you contract the nasty thing, then how do you get rid of it, fast?!
Although the topic has been well researched and studied endlessly, there is still a strong cultural belief that if you take enough precautions the dreaded thing will pass you by this time. However, ask anyone who has gotten the flu even after insuring they got a flu shot, and as an added measure took all the key supplements to build immunity. There is no guarantee of getting through the season without the sniffles, fever, and cough. Some get it, some don’t, and it seems that has been happening since the beginning of time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you do nothing. I’m not even here to talk about the flu specifically. I have no magic answer or pill to prevent it and in fact my topic has been, and continues to be, money and related behaviors around it. It was, however, the flu season that got me to thinking about how it relates to money and money issues. The two have much in common after all.
The major thing they have in common is that there is no guarantee. No matter how much you safeguard money, do all the things the financial guru’s guarantee will keep you safe, or balance your portfolio perfectly, there is no assurance that something won’t happen to your financial nest and comfort. As with the flu, misfortune can happen to any of us… some have it happen, some don’t, since the beginning of time.
Before you click off in disgust thinking I am here as some sort of ‘doomsdayer,’ please know my role has always been to look at financial discomforts and find a way to bring comfort instead. It is not my role, or desire, to discourage anyone around financial matters. In fact, my entire practice has been to help clients unravel their money confusion and put order and calm into place instead.
So let’s take the many examples out there in the health arena to help us stack the deck in our favor in our money arena. Just as with the flu, we can take many measures and steps to insure we stay healthy and if not, to at least shorten the time of discomfort. This is true with money discomforts as well.
Here are a few preventative flu methods to apply to your money…
Wash your hands frequently – An easy enough solution when it comes to health matters, but how does this apply to money? Learn to be in touch with your money picture more frequently. Money is something that moves all the time and ignoring it does not make the issue go away nor make it behave itself. Frequency of touch and awareness is far smarter to keep those negative germs, your money beliefs, at bay. Paying attention more frequently is far more effective than turning from or ignoring them.
Drink lots of water – Think of water as an essential nutrient of life – you cannot sustain life for long without it. Although you may be able to sustain life without money, it is a rare individual who has done so successfully since it is an essential element for healthy, prosperous living. Money, like water, is energy as well. It ebbs and flows like the waves of the ocean or the fluids being circulated in your body. It is meant to be circulated, so drink up, let it flow naturally. Let it move into your life and comfortably out. That is the natural energy and flow of money.
Eat multicolored, whole foods – to stay healthy you must eat a rainbow of colorful foods. We have gotten used to eating mostly beige foods since they are quick, cheap and convenient, yet as most of us know, nutrient poor. This is true for the way you spend money too. Often you buy cheap because you can afford it or you buy because it is discounted even if you don’t need or really want it. Stores just have to label something “on sale” for most people to purchase without truly assessing whether it is a smart, healthy, or helpful thing to buy. You are far better off to buy quality and plan your purchases accordingly and if by a stroke of luck the item is on sale when you buy, then fabulous.
Take helpful supplements or medications – just as with a virus, there are many money tools and apps you can use to assist you in warding off impending monetary illness. Tracking tools, saving devices, online platforms to organize and manage your monies in a healthy way. There is also help available (such as a financial counselor) to assist if by chance you come down with a monetary illness, such as over-spending or incurring unhealthy debt, to lessen the trauma of it once contracted.
Give it a rest – as with a cold or flu, rest is the one thing suggested as a preventative measure, not just a curative one. That is true for your money too. Are you giving certain spending approaches a rest periodically? Especially the use of credit or debt. How about a day, week or longer moratorium on spending? Maybe you have enough gadgets for now and you can let your money take a rest in that area?
Extreme self care – the best advice for illness is extreme self care. In fact, it’s even smarter to do prior to becoming ill. That is true for money as well. It simply does better if truly cared for it with respect and kindness; it ebbs and flows naturally, easily, and in a helpful manner. Ignore it, treat it badly, be disrespectful towards it and you’ll suddenly find that money becomes quite difficult to manage.
Any or all of the measures suggested above are helpful in managing your health, both in your body and your money life. But let me caution you… even with the best intention and self care, uncomfortable or unfortunate things do happen. In that case, do not criticize yourself, or others, that somehow they didn’t take good enough care. Do not scold or wag your finger in shame and say, “If only you had done it right, you wouldn’t be unhealthy.”
That simply is not true. Money, like health, is tricky and no one thing insures wealth or abundance. Instead, do your best, ask for help if you don’t understand something, and forgive yourself (and others) if you just happen to contract an unhealthy or uncomfortable money illness. There is a cure after all.