The Psychology of the Haves and the Have Nots

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I recently received this blog post in my Inbox from a marketing expert that I follow for work. I have followed Julie through a divorce, some rough times, restarting her business and now excelling at what she is doing. Her personal story really resonates with me on a personal level.

And of course, the article title, Leaving Scarcity Behind: How To Make A Large Purchase Decision With Abundance Based Thinking got my attention. As I continue to work to get on more solid ground financially and make wiser decisions. I hope to leave the “scarcity” behind and have a time of “abundance” – someday.

Here’s my questions: for those of you who have been on this journey, have paid off all your debt, was their a mindset shift afterwards? Not immediately…but as your journey away from debt continued?

I already recognize that even though business is going well, and I am making continued strides toward being financially healthier, I still function with the mindset of “it could all fall apart tomorrow.” And it could, for sure. I know this, I’ve been there, and not too long ago.

When the kids ask for something, I still answer with “we can’t afford that” or “we don’t have the money for that.” Which I know leaves them with the impression that we don’t have money still.

And I know what I should be saying is “there are other places we need to spend that money right now” or “maybe down the road” or something like that.

But really I am still very much in poverty mode. Every dime that comes in is accounted for in one form or another…whether it’s to pay a monthly bill or earmarked for a debt payment. And other than what I consider essentials…kids activities or trips to see my family, I really don’t consider any other expenditures. My immediate response “we don’t have money for that.” When the truth is, we do have a buffer now and I could allocate money toward that.

Not that I’m planning to go that direction now. I really am 100% gung ho about getting debt free, especially these last two years while Princess is in high school.

But will there be a time, after I am debt free and continuing to make good financial decisions, that I will start to feel safe again. When I will feel okay with spending money again?

I can’t imagine every feeling comfortable joining an “exclusive club” like Julie mentions in her article or buying a name brand bag…those just aren’t my things. My temptation is travel and experiences with my kids, which I’m sure long time readers know.

But now, the thought of any extra money going anywhere just feels back in my stomach. And even with a decent EF, I always feel poor. Does that make sense?


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