I think this is key not just in your finances but in life generally. There is so much vying for our attention. All. The. Time.
Additionally, everyone has opinions so “if you don’t know what you stand for you’ll fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton
Are you a natural spender or a natural saver? It’s fine whatever your bent is but if we want to get better in life, we need to know what we are working with. I like to push myself out of my comfort zone so I try to embrace things that are different than my natural tendencies.
For example, I’m pretty extroverted and love to be with people and/or in crowds. I can easily fill my downtime with tons and tons of social activities. However, it takes intentionality to schedule in Deanna downtime time. Furthermore, I’ve had to learn to like being alone. It’s not normal for me.
I think God has a sense of humor as he’s given me a job that’s mostly introverted. Sure I get to meet with clients but mostly I’m working at a computer. Ten years ago I could have never imagined doing that but I’ve gotten pretty good at the introverted nature of my job.
Are you a natural spender? Do you want to save more? Try some of these suggestions:
- Automate your savings – that way you won’t have the money to spend.
- Don’t keep a lot of cash (or credit cards) on you unless you plan on making an intentional purchase. This way even when the temptation comes, you won’t have the means to give in. Additionally, you’ll need to remove your credit cards from Apple pay if you have an iPhone. 😉
Are you a natural saver and you want to learn to be more spontaneous? These are for you:
- Buy one frivolous thing a week. It’s doesn’t have to be crazy; it could be something simple like one luxury item at the grocery store.
- Really think about saying yes when you are invited to something that you hadn’t budgeted for. If you are a natural saver, you probably are doing well with your finances and can stand to give in now and then.
This goes back to what Alexander Hamilton said above ⇑. I say get a belief structure and stand your moral ground; otherwise, you’ll be like chaff in the wind blowing to and fro. For me, the Bible is my foundation and where I go to for my answers. Pretty much any challenge I’m faced with can be resolved and/or reconciled by some words in the best selling book of all time.
Moreover, know where your beliefs come from and why you choose them.
People may try to pull you in many directions. Unfortunately, people also may try to tear you down and/or bully you. Stand up for yourself, stand up for your beliefs, and stand up for others. IMHO the keys to doing this are:
- Question everything
- Do your own research
- Think for yourself
- Run things through your belief structure
Numbers 1 & 2 kind of go together in that we need to learn the facts. Don’t just take other people’s words as the gospel. Fact check and verify everything. Ask questions. Listen. Read. Evaluate.
Point #3 sounds nice but is hard in a world with the internet. We have so many different voices coming at us from the socials, blogs, media, etc. But if you do steps 1 & 2, naturally you’ll find yourself at #3. Just be sure you take some quiet time to tune out the voices and reflect. I have been doing this a lot lately by turning most notifications off on my phone. It’s rather quite lovely.
Lastly, if you have a belief structure, you should always run things through it. When the going gets tough and the pressure is on, you can lean on your beliefs. A house built upon the rock is not easily moved, but one built on sand will sink. I think of my beliefs as the solid rock on which I stand.
Build Others Up
I love people. Surprise, right? It kinda comes with the territory of being an extrovert. I truly enjoy meeting all kinds of people who are different than me. I love to hear stories and find people’s journies fascinating. Mostly, I think people are awesome and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
However, even for this rose-colored glasses-wearing gal, I face adversity from time to time. Occasionally people don’t like me. That would kill me as a younger girl because I was so insecure and needed everyone to like me. Naturally, when that didn’t occur, I crumbled. Additionally, I spent a lot of time in my youth being a chameleon so I could be all things to all people. Let me tell you, that’s just not possible.
It’s totally fine if people don’t like me and it’s totally fine if people don’t like you. A wise woman once told me if I aim to please God, not people, I cannot go wrong. It’s my hope that people respect me even if they disagree with me; however, I am not responsible for the actions or reactions of others. The only person I can control is looking right back at me in the mirror. Every. Darn. Day.
We can disrespectfully disagree with each other.
Who’s My Audience?
So let’s talk about this blog. Naturally, I find myself asking who is my audience? Who am I really writing to? When I started blogging I wanted to inspire others with my story (still do). Additionally, I wanted to track my journey to financial independence and interact with other people in the community who are working towards the same goal.
While I haven’t yet achieved financial independence, I have accomplished connections, inspiring others and sharing my journey. But I’m left wanting.
I’m discovering what I find most fulfilling is speaking/teaching to a very specific audience. That audience is women in recovery and in particular ones who are gaining control of their finances. As I go further down the road with blogging, I am finding my voice and now I am finding my audience.
Moreover, I’m finding what I don’t need. I don’t need to be a popular kid. Certainly, I don’t need to be everything to all people. I just need to find my tribe.
I’ve started teaching financial literacy to women in recovery and just this week I accepted a role with a recovery center to do more of that. Sometimes I do one-on-one work with women. Occasionally, I’m teaching to a large group of women. Most importantly, I do it face-to-face with the ladies. I envision this turning into large classrooms of women where I get to employ differentiated instruction to the ladies possessing varying levels of financial literacy.
How fun is that?? It’s my purpose so it’s a lot of fun to me.
So with that, I know my audience! I’d like these ladies to have my website as a resource. Furthermore, I’d like to reach women in recovery all over the world with my site. Anyone can read & comment on my blog but I am writing specifically to the ladies in recovery who are gaining financial literacy and ultimately will become savvy financial investors!
I’m thinking about this but haven’t made a decision yet. I’d love your thoughts and feedback here, though ultimately it’s my decision. I love my palm tree logo, tagline, and cute name, Ms. Fiology. Though, I’m wondering if a website that clearly states its audience is in order.
Previously, I considered a rebrand but feared I’d lose some of the ground I’ve gained. However, now I am realizing I don’t want to base any decision on fear.
I’m throwing some names around and highly considering it but I am still waffling back and forth so please feel free to weigh in and give me your input. Leave me a comment and/or send me an email.
This week I was fortunate to be featured by two different guys who’ve achieved financial independence and run very successful websites. It’s always an honor when a member of the community offers their platform to write a guest post.
Sam runs a website called, Financial Samurai and he reached out to me in the winter when I linked to him in my post about switching to a traditional IRA. He heard my interview on the ChooseFI podcast and gave me some encouragement. Additionally, he made an offer to write a guest post for him. Sam didn’t just make the offer but he encouraged & challenged me. I’ve gotten to know him via interactions on the Financial Samurai forums as well as through email.
Saturday Sam ran my post on Financial Samurai, What Drug and Alcohol Addiction Has Taught Me About Risk & Reward.
My second feature was on The Retirement Manifesto Blog. I’ve met Fritz, also virtually, via comments on each other’s posts, on the socials, and via email. We actually almost met in person when he & his wife were visiting Ohio but the timing wasn’t quite right. Anyway, Fritz also has been a great encourager. I’m truly blessed when I get to glean from others who’ve achieved the things I’m striving for.
Tuesday my article on the Retirement Manifesto blog went live, From Addiction to Feeling Like the Wealthiest Woman Alive.
If you read them, let me know your thoughts.
Just because you are bent a certain way doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. Challenge yourself to be better, question assumptions, and dig deep.
Being true to one’s self requires knowing your belief structure and where it came from. When you take the time to build a solid foundation, you have a rock on which to stand.
That’s about all I have today but remember to always stay true!