Does money stress you out? 
Do you spend your money, or INVEST your money?

Now I am not talking about stocks and bonds here; I am just talking about a way to help you rethink the role money plays in your world. A couple of years ago, I made a decision to break up with money. Yeah OK, so you can’t break up with money, but you CAN break free of it’s power. Check it out.

OK, so let’s flash back in time a bit. A few of years ago, I was just beginning to get my fitness business off the ground and I was transitioning from stay-at-home mom/part time personal trainer to full time fitness business owner. I felt strapped and bound by limitations. I didn’t want to spend money; I didn’t have much coming in. It was so hard to justify spending anything. I was stuck. I felt like I couldn’t plan anything because I didn’t have the money to get me where I thought I needed to go. Fast forward to an awesome opportunity to be part of a convention where I could showcase what my business had to offer. I had to come up with a hefty fee to get into this convention, but I knew in my gut, that it was going to be a game changing opportunity. It would get more eyes on my business and I would get a chance to meet more people. It was truly a light bulb moment for this coupon-cutting mom. I knew I had to INVEST my money with the belief that it was going to contribute to the life I wanted to lead. My gut feeling WAS right, and I made connections that built more connections and more business opportunities, etc. That’s when I started believing in the power of the word INVEST. 

Since that convention, I worked to change my thinking about ALL of my purchases. I am not just talking business opportunities; I am talking everything. From clothes, to food, to vacations; nothing is off the table here. My thoughts on money have changed forever. I saw the power, and you can’t “unsee” that! Investing my money makes my life happier, and I feel like I cut ties from a toxic relationship. OK, so wait, (cue the scratching record sound bite) why should anyone take money advice from a personal trainer?

Let me clarify, I am sharing this with you because my mission is to help people live healthy and fulfilling lives. This way of thinking about money, has freed me up to be stronger, better, and healthier in my life. So, that means, I am compelled to share it, because it might help someone else. Like my dad says, “if you don’t like it, lump it.” If you like it, keep reading….

Now look, I get it, everyone has a unique budget, and again, I am not a financial advisor, and I am certainly not here to make a budget for anyone. I am sharing this to help inspire you to rethink your own relationship with money, so it no longer torments you or backs you into a corner. COOL?

Before my megawatt light bulb moment, I used to “spend” my money, only if there was need. At that time, I defined “need” as being without; in a very literal sense. I didn’t see bigger picture moments that I was missing or lacking in my life. I didn’t always think of my money as available for things that I didn’t “need.” However, on the flipside, I bought certain things simply because they were “on sale” and I got a cheap thrill from the bargain. Have you ever done that? In the moment it feels great, but when you see it still in the bag or on a hanger with the tags still on it weeks later it just looks like a wasted $20 bill. Money was emotional for me.  Money had strange power over me that kept me from doing, thinking, and feeling my best.

By simply using the word, “INVEST”, I have been able to free myself from feeling so bound by my money. For example, Marc and I have been sneaking away for coffee after our Saturday classes. We don't “need” coffee-we have a Keurig at the Warehouse, and a coffee pot at home. Instead, we consider our $10 coffee date as an INVESTMENT in our relationship, and we get a chance to give each other our undivided time to connect. That is $10; INVESTED. See what I mean? The old me, would not have wanted to “spend” the money. 
The word investment, carries a lot of weight---to me, it implies a long-term commitment. The old me used to think of investing as 401Ks or stocks and bonds. Our little $10 coffee date contributes to our marriage, which is a long- term commitment; and INVESTMENT. Follow me?

Now sometimes I run across a sale. Yes, I still can be dazzled momentarily by a 30% off price tag, but if it is not going to contribute to the quality of my life or my family’s life long term, why should I invest in it? The thrill is no longer enough.

To drive it home, I think about all of this, this way: just because a bag of chips is cheaper than a bag of apples, doesn't mean it is better for you. Get my drift?

Money is not something you can have a healthy relationship with; it is paper. A commodity. I challenge you to take your power back, and make your money work for you by putting it where YOU want it to go to lead your dream life. 

Looking for a place to start re-thinking your thoughts on money?

1.     Identify your long-term goals.

2.     Meet with a financial planner to help you plan for those goals.

3.     Ask yourself this question every time you make a purchase: “Will this contribute to my overall quality of life?” 

Keeping tight reigns on every penny might offer a quick fix on your wallet in the moment, but it doesn't contribute to a life of investment. Break up with money, and break free. You are worth it.