Hello all. After a week of soul-searching and self-loathing, I’ve decided to lighten the tone. It’s time to get romantic, baby.
Kate Northrup suggests that once a week you light a candle, pour yourself a nice drink, put on your best dress and…. go through your bills…. after all, who needs a hot man when you can get down and dirty with direct debits?
She calls this a ‘Financial Freedom Date.’
Sounds ridiculous but Kate says it’s important to keep track of weekly expenses and earnings – and that putting on nice music and a special outfit will make the whole thing enjoyable. It becomes a ritual. A money love-in. She even has a play list for the occasion on Spotify.
To be honest, I’ve skipped the dressing up bit (I’m currently wearing two jumpers and a puffa) but I am listening to Kanye West’s Gold Digger to get in the mood. Kim Kardashian would be super jealous, I’m sure.
Learn to love your bills
I start my roll in the financial hay by looking at my bills. As I mentioned before, Kate refers to bills as ‘Invoices for Blessings already received’ – which means that instead of focussing on the money going out, you give thanks for the service you got for that money. That way we can learn to LOVE OUR BILLS, apparently.
So today I had a little fling my last giant phone bill, for old time’s sake. I looked at it on screen and thanked it. No really, I did, out loud. I said: ‘Thank you for the wonderful conversations I had with my wonderful friends’. It didn’t thank me back, but I always did like the strong, silent type.
Next, I lovingly caressed my £56 a month car insurance (look at me quoting actual amounts!! I never usually know what I’m paying for anything – this is progress) and said ‘Thank you for allowing me to drive around safe and sound in my lovely banger.’
But my most sincere gratitude and all out love goes to Netflix. For just £5.99 a month I get hours of entertainment (more hours than I’d care to admit), not to mention a faithful bedtime companion. I actually think this relationship might last. Although, I have to say that House of Cards is depressing me. They’re all so horrible to each other.
Pat yourself on the back for everything you’ve earned
Then we move on to the main course (sorry, I’m struggling to keep up the dating metaphors) – where you go through your earnings, send any invoices you haven’t sent, fill out expense forms and generally appreciate the money coming your way. Alas, I have earned nothing this week and have no invoices to send.
So instead, I have also used my money date as a chance to do some financial housekeeping.
First I call my phone company and swap to a new package, which the guy promises will reduce my bills dramatically. He asked me why on earth I hadn’t called them sooner, and I said I hadn’t looked at the bills. He tutted. I asked them if they could send me paper bills, so that I can’t just ignore the emails and they said yes. They’re charging me £1.50 for the pleasure though. So is that a good decision, or not?
I also phoned up the magazine company I’ve been paying money to every month. It was a subscription from THREE YEARS ago, sent to a flat I haven’t lived in for two years. Oh well. It’s cancelled now – and maybe the tenants after me have picked up some style tips. I’ll think of it as a good deed.
The Times, meanwhile, is taking £17.99 a month from me, despite the fact that I buy the paper in my local shop most days. They say I’ve signed up to a year long super duper deluxe iPad subscription which doesn’t end till next September. I don’t even have an iPad. What an idiot I am. They say I need to send an email asking to be let out of the contract. I’ll do that in a minute.
Track your spending
In other exciting news, I’ve downloaded an app called You Need A Budget – which three different people have emailed me about. One said it changed her life. So far it does look very good, and very simple. You basically type in the money you have for the month and type in everything you spend on your phone. Of course this is the kind of thing I get very excited about for a few days, then get too lazy to do it, so we’ll see what happens.
And that’s it for my hot and steamy love date. I didn’t burn a candle, as Kate suggests, because after years of literally burning money with over-priced candles, I’m trying to go cold-turkey. More progress!
In the meantime, just so it’s not all me, me, me, I thought I’d leave you with something that Kate calls the Money Magnetisation Method – it sums up her general approach to bringing more money to your life, and brings together things I’ve mentioned in other posts. Don’t say I never give you nuffink.
Money Magnetisation Method
1) Value yourself – write a list of things you’re great at. Add to it every day.
2) Spend time with people who are focussed on prosperity, rather than people who complain about how broke they are. If you’re around friends who are starting a conversation about how dire the economy is etc, walk away or change the subject.
3) Celebrate nice things that come your way. This could be money or the fact that someone gave you a smile on the street.
4) Check your bank balance every day and thank your money for being there. If you don’t have any money give thanks for other things you’ve got. You get more of what you focus on.
5) Take care of your possessions, your receipts and your money. Kate says that it’s importantly to physically treat your money with respect. She keeps all her notes lined up in numerical order in her wallet – to show that she respects it and is grateful for it. (This is really interesting – I don’t look after my possessions. As soon as I have them I treat them like rubbish. As for cash – I keep it scrunched up in back pockets, lurking at the bottom of bags. This, apparently, is showing the universe, in some way, that I disrespect it.)
6) Remove thoughts of lack (I’m broke, I can’t afford it, I’m a disaster with money) and replace with your money mantra(s), such as ‘I’m a money magnet’ and ‘Money flows to me easily and effortlessly.’
7) Let go – Kate says that we have to let go of not only our old attitudes of money (I’m bad with money, Prince Charming is going to come and fix this) but let go of physical clutter. According to Feng Shui, a cluttered space cannot attract nor keep wealth. I am the queen of clutter… so I’m going to do a separate post on de-cluttering.
8) Have Financial Freedom Dates – Who needs a man when you can have a date with your bank statements? Kate suggests that once a week you light a candle, put on some music and go through your earnings and expenses as a way of checking in with your finances.
9) Make the most of what you’ve got – send invoices, do your expenses, use gift vouchers you’ve been given, sell clothes you don’t wear – sometimes we can be sitting on lots of nice money.
10) Become a better receiver – write thank you cards and when you get a compliment, don’t downplay or deflect, say a real thank you. According to Kate if you can’t accept a compliment you are ‘blocking the flow of abundance’ and showing the universe that you can’t accept good things. She says that people who struggle with money tend to be the ones who refuse to let you buy them coffee.
That’s it for now. Have a lovely weekend. Let’s all be money magnets…Money, a Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want