If you’ve read my story of heartbreak, being broke and earning my riches, then you’ll know I love the word “No”. It’s been the single most important word to help me grow my net-worth and self-worth, which has really helped me create so many boundaries with my money. Seriously.
In interviews and other blog posts scattered throughout, you would have probably read (or heard that) that I equate enforcing boundaries with my money to helping me better my money situation. It’s not a hard thing to do, it’s just that people make it out to be more complicated than it has to be.
When we think of the word ‘boundaries’, we think it’s this really mean thing they we do to shut people off. When I started creating more boundaries in my life, I felt like I was being really selfish, like I didn’t deserve to tell people what wanted.
I want to tell you right now that it’s ok to be selfish. Thinking about yourself and what’s in your best interest will only make you happier. Actually, it’ll make the people around you a lot happier.
How I Started Creating Boundaries With My Money
Once, I had a few friendships that weren’t really good for me. My husband knew this and tried to help me out. As in, gently telling me that I was so stressed around them that I would come home and take it out on him. Of course, I denied this until I realized later on that I did start arguments with him for no reason, or just get really annoyed by things he did (they’re no cause for alarm). Also, I had some wonderful friends who stopped talking to be as result of me still hanging out with the people who weren’t good for me. So here I am being really stressed and losing out on some amazing relationships. Plus, I was also causing other people stress in my life.
How does that translate to money you ask? Simple: I was spending money out of stress. As in, I would go out on expensive outings with these people because convinced me it would be fun. Or I’d end up eating foods I was allergic to and end up at the doctors. Each doctor visit wasn’t that expensive, but running multiple tests to find out why I was so allergic to certain foods was.
I encourage you to look back at some stressful situations and see how you played a part in it. As in, did you say yes to something you shouldn’t have? Did your gut tell you something and you totally ignored it? I bet you do.
I’m certainly not saying it’s easy, but you need to get out of your own head and do it. Heck, it took me years to learn the hard way to create boundaries around my money. Stop caring about what other people thing and just be you. You’ll find that you’ll start attracting people and situations that are better aligned with your life. Not only will you be happier, but your bank account will smile at you too.
When you’re creating boundaries, start small. That way, when you realize the world’s not going to end by you saying no, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going. Plus, even something you think is small will make a huge difference in your life.
A few weeks ago, I had a friend who would constantly invite me for Skype chats to catch up. She would constantly be 10 minutes late for our calls. I was really annoyed but didn’t say anything to her. Finally, I decided enough was enough and suggested we just email each other instead. That time I freed up helped me focus on work. I was constantly distracted wondering when she’d be on Skype. Being more focused on work actually freed up even more time to pitch more clients and work on launching my book (psst…want in on my launch team? Click here to get the book for free when it comes out in March!).
Start think of any little thing that stresses you out (it doesn’t have to be money related) and go with that. You’d be amazed at how much your money will be affected.
Make Some Guidelines
Ok, pretty common sense here, right? But there are so many of us (myself included) that think we created guidelines, but actually don’t. When you want to have boundaries, you need to be clear on what it is you’re doing. After that, you need to get clear on why you want to create these boundaries.
For example, I challenged myself to stop shopping for clothes for six months. That meant I said no to shopping trips to discount clothing stores, to friends who I know liked to go clothes shopping and unsubscribed from store emails. I got really specific to what I said no to because I wanted to test whether or not I picked clothes for its durability and not because it just looked nice on the rack.
However small your boundaries are make them really specific! Get clear on the time of day, people, situations, purchases, whatever! Remember, you have total control here, so stop feeling guilty!
Get Some Encouragement
I had told a friend I would stop loaning money to friends and family (after getting burned multiple times) and complained how I was so selfish. He cut me off mid-sentence and told me that it was about time I set some boundaries in place!
Go and get a friend like that, seriously. It seems a bit weird to seek out people who will tell you that you’re awesome, but it’ll do wonders for your esteem and bank account. I can’t tell you how much money I saved by not lending money anymore. Learning to implement and create boundaries with my money has helped me take that money and use it for more important things.
If you need more help with creating guidelines, please comment below and I’ll ask some juicy probing questions to get you started.