When I was 20 or so, I lived in a grungy student flat in Sydney. I was from a small town so moving to Sydney was a big deal for me. I had upgraded from an even grungier flat where I lived in the shed outside for $50 a week, so this new place was virtually a palace in comparison. (That's another story entirely)
I lived with my mate Jo from High School, an awesome blackjack dealer called Nathan and ... let's call her Stacy. I loved Stacy - she was the perfect slacker housemate. She rarely went to Uni so some days we'd hang out playing card games and eating cheese on toast while watching Friends or Bring it On.
Stacy was responsible for paying the rent, which in those days we did in cash. At the start of the month we'd each give her $400 in cash and she went to the bank to deposit it... old school.
Only turns out - she didn't always go straight to the bank. Sometimes she spent it. But none of us knew that she was basically stealing our money.
About six months after Stacey took on this important responsibility, we got a call from the landlord telling us completely out of the blue that we were being evicted unless we coughed up thousands of dollars in unpaid rent.
When we confronted Stacey, she admitted it immediately but I felt SO betrayed. She was supposed to be my friend and she stole from me. It sucked.
It was a harsh lesson, but you know what.... I didn't learn it. This wasn't the only time I gave my money power away or ignored money problems. I could give you numerous examples:
- The boyfriend I supported with food and other expenses because he had a really badly paid job.
- Buying a laptop on a stupid crazy interest rate that I never paid back
- Getting into massive amounts of credit card debt
- Worked three jobs at University but I was always behind
- Had a feast or famine relationship with money where I would quickly spend a windfall instead of saving it.
There are many ways that women give away their power around money. Sometimes it takes a crisis to actually wake you up to it, other times it's incredibly subtle.
Jess always seemed to pay for her friends when they went out for coffee or even lunch. It got to the point when her friends wouldn't even offer anymore, just waiting until Jess reached for the check. Annoying right?
During my money bootcamp, Jess realised that this was an old pattern. She felt bad and almost guilty that she earned more money than her friends and felt like it was her responsibility to pay for them.
I set her an assignment. Next time the check came, she had to sit and wait (on her hands if she had to). She couldn't be the first to make the move. She couldn't automatically offer even if it was excruciatingly awkward. You know what? Her friends didn't change their behaviour but Jess did - she had to transition her friendships to people who had the kind of money relationship she wanted.
Question - where do you take more responsibility with money than you need to?
On the other hand, Beth realised that she wasn't taking ANY responsibility around money. Her husband paid for everything. She just put her income into a single joint account and let him organise all the bills. She never opened a single one, until she found out later they were in thousands of unexpected credit card debt.
Funnily enough, it was an old family pattern. Her dad had left her mother with massive amounts of totally unexpected debt when he died.
Question - where are you totally giving up money responsibility in your life
So what's your story?
History of dating broke guys (who conveniently "forget" their wallets?)
Stress when you pay something that your card will be declined?
Lending money to friends or family when you don't really have it to give?
Forgetting to save for your tax bill?
Everyone has their own shit around money.
Taking power back around your money is about getting the balance right. Taking too much or too little responsibility holds you back from having a beautiful, healthy and abundant relationship with your true wealthy self.
You don't need to get evicted, lose all your friends or break up your marriage to learn the lesson.
Take a look at where money is a pain in the butt for you and ask yourself -
Where has this shown up in the past?
What's the pattern? What's the Universe trying to tell you?
What are you afraid of?
What are you no longer willing to put up with?
These are simple but magic questions and will start you on track to be a truly wealthy woman.
P.S - If mastering your money is your next big lesson, my next Money Bootcamp is coming up very soon. Make sure you sign up below so you can hear about my special early bird rate.