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  • Writer's picturePat Birnie

What is YOUR Money Story?

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Last month I wrote about some ideas for making a dollar stretch and managing during these times of inflated prices. It was so much fun to share those ideas - I really hope that you have taken a couple of those ideas and run with them. In talking to a few people about their experience grocery shopping over the past few months I've heard the following: One mother of two, feels that every thing is about 50 cents to a dollar more - that could hit the pocketbook rather hard. Others have seen a 15-20% increase in weekly grocery bills. For those on fixed incomes this could be rather challenging. I compared a recent 'big' shop to what I may have spent 6 months ago. Some of the prices really shocked me - as we were gearing up for a weekend of entertaining, there were a few high ticket items in the cart such as cheese and salami. The balance of my big haul was a lot of fresh produce and several cans of beans. In total I filled 3 1/2 large reusable bags for $120. Notably the only meat in the bags was a stick of pepperoni for homemade pizza ($10 yikes!). I mentioned last month that our diet is 80-90% vegetarian. This reinforces that a great economy tip is to go meatless at least a couple of days a week. The true secret however, is knowing what to do with the money you save.

Before you continue reading, I'd like you to think about what your money story is.

  • What was the attitude around money when you were growing up?

  • Do you feel like you are always short of funds, and living for "when xyz happens I'll be able to afford that"?

  • Perhaps it's a sense that you will never have enough - you just don't deserve it?

Interestingly "A child’s first view of how something is handled typically becomes, in their minds, the way something should be handled." Read more about this here in this article by Girl Boss. It includes a self-quiz that may help you understand where your money beliefs originate.

Money should bring you joy, not stress you out. WHAT?? No, really....this could require a significant mindset shift, depending on your history. I was raised with a scarcity mindset, and heard frequently that "money does not grow on trees". (I had hard working parents who grew up in the depression. They provided well for a family of 7, but I'm certain the concept of "abundance" never came up!) I bet you have a money-story of your own that had a lasting impact - negative or positive. I have definitely had to work at changing my default settings, but it has happened.

It is never too late - this journey of abundance really began for me when I was close to 50. Yes true story! It was really at this point in life, when I began my entrepreneurial journey, that I was introduced to abundance and the belief that there is no limit to what is available. How did we make these changes? First we decided together that we would no longer be at the mercy of an employer. That we would take charge of our lives and create our own wealth. This involved the reading of a LOT of books on mindset, entrepreneurship, real estate and just overall thinking big. One of the most important factors was supporting and encouraging each other along the way - through good decisions and bad - and believe me there were some bad decisions.

One of the many benefits of changing our mindset is that we model a different behaviour for our adult children. It's never too late to undo the earlier unspoken messages they may have received.

Of course, along with changing your mindset and reading books, you need to take action. Decide how you will improve your situation and take a risk. Talk to others that are doing what you want to do - that have started home-based businesses or invest outside of the box. Realistically, if you are going to grow your income and your net worth, you may need to increase your tolerance for risk.

Try looking at where you can trim a few dollars: One meatless meal a week; Cutting bank fees: reduce take-out food and coffee; track every penny spent for a few weeks (you may be shocked!). The real key is to take the unspent money and make it work for you! Have an automatic withdrawal come out of your account on payday, send it to an account that is not easy to access (Tangerine is our choice) and when it hits a certain level, find a way to invest for a solid return. There are very low risk options that will net you 10-12%. The key is to do the work and find them.

Do you have your own tips on finding a few extra dollars each week? On moderate risk investments? Want more articles like this? I'd love to hear from you at

Pat xo

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