I have a confession… I have not been the best role model as a personal finance nerd and blogger lately.
In the last few months, I have done the following “money management no-no’s”:
- Spent more than I made in some months
- Dipped into my Emergency Fund for frivolous spending or because of the reason I mentioned above
- Booked impulsive trips and paid for my shopping using my credit cards
- Have not paid extra into my student loans
- Have had to play catch-up on my more-than-average spending
AND I don’t regret any of it!
In those months, I spent more of my hard-earned dollars towards experiences and things that helped me improve as a person, that made me happy, that expanded my knowledge or skills and on people whose company I enjoyed – my family and close friends.
Put A Band-Aid On It [The Break-Up]
It started out as a desperate attempt at wanting to be just a little bit less sad after I left my long-term relationship in March.
Related Post: I Am Newly Single and Moved Out of My Own House
On days when I really didn’t like myself, I would get my nails done to feel maybe a tad more attractive or go for coffee and dinner dates with friends to talk through my low times. Many dollars were spent at the spa with girlfriends – all to prevent myself from laying in bed thinking about the break-up.
I spent money on educating myself to stay busy. I went to conferences and seminars about my career as a nurse, my business in real estate and of course, personal development. Don’t even get me started on the pile of books and magazines I’ve accumulated on my bedroom floor!
I spent more than I usually do revamping my wardrobe, getting rid of my old image and jumped at the opportunity to showcase the “new me”. One of my best girlfriends has been my inspiration in looking #fabulous.
And I spent money on trips to new places. I’ve just returned home after a week spent in Costa Rica for a women’s yoga retreat and next month, my girlfriend and I will be spending two weeks in Fiji!
I spent money on trips to old places too – creating new happy memories and discovering something new in those old places. The city of Edmonton is one of these! Banff is another example.
But as the months passed by, my “quick-fix band-aids” turned into healthy confidence-building habits. I could clearly see my progression from someone who was hurting and healing to someone who is now thriving and excited for what’s to come!
The way I feel about myself now has been worth the price.
I have never felt more confidence or remember a time when my self-esteem is as high as it is now.
I’ve made more room in my life for quality friendships and more time with my family after I released that relationship I locked myself in for five years. I look around and I am overwhelmed with love and support because I spent the time nurturing my most important relationships.
Through the educational courses and seminars I kept myself busy with, I expanded my knowledge base and network and with it, even more opportunities to grow financially! I’m honestly quite surprised (and extremely grateful) at how hard and fast these opportunities seem to pop up now.
And you better know that I feel like hot sh*t most of the time. I am healthy and fit from all the hours I spend in the gym. I feel like a sophisticated, sexy, sharp woman in one of my outfits from my new wardrobe. And I don’t feel guilty anymore about getting my nails done, or buying makeup or going to the spa again.
With the money I spent, I pretty much bought back my high self-esteem.
(I do remember a time when my self-esteem was so high, and that was when I was a child! I believed I could get whatever I wanted back then. That feeling went away as a grew older.)
Okay and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly that reckless with my money…
I was still putting away 10-15% of my after-tax income in a TFSA meant for my next real estate property. I was still saving for retirement through my work RRSP and pension.
And even though I did carry a balance on my credit card at times, I’d work my ass off the next month picking up extra shifts at work or working more nights and weekends (as they pay more with my job) to make sure I pay those balances off ASAP.
I replenished what I borrowed from my Emergency Fund – although I am still working on this now. I don’t have the $5,000 I wanted to have saved in there at all times.
And I could’ve spent my money on “less-healthy” things like splurge on mind-numbing activities such as partying, alcohol, drugs and more festivals – that will serve me in feeling more upbeat and forgetting about the break-up – but I chose not to. I could’ve spent a lot more on shopping for new clothes and shoes but I put a limit on it, or I’d wait on sales or go to a consignment store instead.
Bottom line is MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING!
Me: I love money!
Friend: You don’t love money, you love what money can afford you…
This is what I was learning more clearly during those months after my break-up.
I AM worth more than all the money I have now. Why? Because every time I felt I was short of money, I was always able to make more of it if I wanted the end result bad enough. There was always another source for me to find or create more money. But I had to get in the right mindset… of financial abundance to attract it.
I have this entitled feeling now that I deserve all the money I need to create the life I want… and that feeling you can only get when you have a high self-esteem, when you feel you are deserving and worthy, when you feel that you have value!
So do whatever you can to feel that you have value, because you do and sometimes our sneaky minds have a way of telling us we really don’t. It’s our job to shut that part of our brains off and fake it until we ARE it – confident, sexy, worthy, deserving, powerful, influential, important, what-have-you!
Do that AND don’t be an idiot with your money either.