I have always struggled with money.
My whole life. Growing up, I would spend every dime I had as soon as I earned it.
When I was deep in my addiction to alcohol and food, I was spending thousands of dollars a month to get my fixes.
It was insane. And it all led to a life of misery, poor health and empty pockets.
Once I finally quit drinking and the dust started to clear, I saw just how bad my situation was. And I decided to file for bankruptcy. That was bad. But then it got worse.
I found new addictions to spend money on. Outrageous Amazon orders. Putting more money than I had into my business.
Money has always been a struggle for me. And it’s funny, it doesn’t matter how much I make, I never have enough. How is that possible?
I used to think the answer to all my money problems was to just make more. But I keep making more and keep having less.
Something is broken. And it’s time to fix it.
Recovery has taught me a lot of things about life. One big thing I am learning right now is all about my beliefs around money. I wanted to share some of the myths about money that have made me broke. Maybe some of these sound familiar…
Money Myth #1: Money Is Evil
I have recently started to realize that I view money as evil. Evil people have all the money. People with money do evil things. Therefore money is evil. I didn’t think about this on a conscious level, but deep down in my gut that is what I always believed.
I don’t want to be evil so therefore I don’t want to have any money!
I would do a lot of things to make sure I stayed broke because broke people are the good people. We are the one in the trenches doing the good work. Not sitting up on a hill looking down on all the peons.
This obviously is not true, but I think a lot of people operate like it is. We want to believe that we are the good people. We need to justify our bad spending behaviors so we tell ourselves that only evil people have money.
The truth is money is not evil at all. People are selfish and sometimes selfish people do bad things with their money, but the money is neutral. Matter of fact, money is helping a lot of good people do great things. Money is saving lives. Just imagine all of the amazing things you could do for people if you had some extra money lying around.
Money Myth #2: Once Broke, Always Broke
I’ve heard this one my whole life from a lot of the people around me (these are of course broke people, by the way). They say things like “Broke people can’t get ahead” and “ Only the rich can get richer. “ Or my favorite is “It’s impossible to get out of debt. You might as well just get another credit card.”
That is the exact kind of thinking that got me into this financial mess!
Debt sucks, no doubt about it. And that is exactly why we need to get out as FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. But in order to get out of debt, we have to actually DO SOMETHING! You can’t keep doing the same old things and expect new results. You have to make sacrifices. You have to make changes.
You have to increase your income and decrease your expenses. It’s simple math but it’s hard work.
It is so worth it once you have the sweet taste of freedom. Any of us can do it. If you are reading this, shaking your head, and saying stuff like “You don’t understand. I’m different. I’ll never get out of debt.” You are lying to yourself. All you are doing is justifying your poor spending habits.
If you want to be free, you can be. That’s all there is to it.
Money Myth #3: It’s The Government’s Fault
This is one of my favorites. People want to believe that the government is holding them down to control the wealth and keep it for themselves. And I bought into this for a long time. Mainly because I didn’t want to have to blame myself for my money problems. It is much easier to blame the government.
The truth is we are free to do whatever we want to do with our money. We have the same opportunities as anyone else. The government actually has a lot of policies in place to HELP us succeed.
We are making choices on where to put our money. And as long as we choose to spend it on liabilities instead of assets, we will continue to be broke. The government doesn’t care how we spend our money. They have their own money problems to deal with.
Money Myth #4: There Isn’t Enough Money To Go Around
This is maybe the most common myth. Another name for it is “The Poverty Mindset.” We believe that the world is a scary place and everyone is out to get us. The rich people are hoarding all the money and we are only left the scraps. There is no way we can ever have the money we want. Only lucky people get rich, and we’re not lucky.
Does any of that sound familiar?
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We believe what we want to believe. And then we develop the habits and behaviors that back up those beliefs. We create spending habits that prove we are meant to be broke. We surround ourself with broke people so we can prove that it’s impossible for anyone we know to be wealthy.
The truth is you are choosing to be broke. And you can change it today, but you have to change your mind. And you may have to change some of your friends.
Money Myth #5: I Don’t Deserve Money
This is the hardest one to get over and it was a big one for me. I was full of resentment, fear, and shame and I felt like a piece of crap. And pieces of crap don’t deserve good things. I believed I didn’t deserve love, money or happiness. I was a bad person. And bad people deserve bad things.
I think a lot of us walk around with this stuff. We made some mistakes in the past and we decided to punish ourselves for the rest of our lives to make up for it.
You are a human being. And ALL human beings make mistakes. ALL human beings do awful things. And ALL human beings deserve forgiveness and a second chance.
You are not your mistakes of the past. That was an old version of you. You aren’t that person today. Today is a new day and it’s a new you. You need to forgive yourself. And then you need to forgive the other people in your life too.
Life is too short to walk around with that stuff. I guarantee you everyone around you is walking around with it too. The person you think is a perfect angel, has some kind of deep, dark secret they are holding on to. We all do.
You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to forgive yourself and start your new life today. The new you deserves great things. The new you can accomplish anything. The new you deserves love. And the new you deserves all the money you can dream of.
Are you ready for the truth?
You have a choice. You can stop blaming others for your life. You can take responsibility and start making changes. You can change your mindset and change your life. You can forgive yourself and join the rest of us who are moving on up and living the life of our dreams.
Or you can continue to believe these myths and continue on down the broke path of misery.
I hope you choose us because we are waiting for you.