How to Develop Good Money Tools So You Can Be As Generous As You Want

I know many kind and generous people who wish to give money to organizations or causes they support, or simply other people in the community who are in need. However, sometimes being clear on how much you can afford to donate is difficult.

To clear this up, you need to develop a solid financial base for yourself. I’m talking about using a spending plan, a savings plan, and money mapping to get clear on where your money is going. Let’s look at how each of these three tools can help you give more easily:

Spending Plan

First, you need to know how much you’re spending and where it’s going. Take a walk through your income and expenses and figure out how much you’re saving, if you are saving. The point of developing a spending plan (also known by the less-fun-sounding-term “budget”) is to get clear on what your spending is like right now, and how it compares to your income. When you look at this, you can see what your spending priorities currently are, and you can start to think about that critically. Do you really want to eat takeout food every week, or would you rather be able to donate that $35 to a conservation campaign like Protect Juristac? Looking at your spending and weighing your priorities can make room for the giving you want to do. To develop a good spending plan, check out my article with ideas and strategies here.

Savings Plan

Saving money gives you serious options, whether you’re saving for an emergency fund or a big purchase. You can also decide to dedicate a portion of your savings directly to giving. Maybe, you decide to save 5% of your income every month and donate it to the COVID-19 Hopi Relief Fund at the end of the year. Whether the giving comes out of your savings or your spending plan, having both gives you a fuller picture of how you can spend, give, and save for your goals. You can read more about creating a savings plan for yourself here.

Money Mapping

Once you’ve got the spending and the saving figured out, you can put it all together into a money map! Money mapping is a visual tool for organizing your own money system. It’s super helpful for both your business and personal finances. I’ve talked about the how-to of money mapping quite a bit on this blog, so I won’t go into detail. I recommend reading my full series on money mapping, and especially How to Use Money Mapping to Give Back.  The big pro of money mapping is that you can visually parse out how you will allocate for giving money. Whether it’s coming out of your business finances, your monthly living expenses, or you’re saving a big sum, creating a money map helps you see that and stick to it.

Want to Give? Get Organized!

The bottom line here is that donating money from a solid financial base requires getting organized. You need to go over your financial priorities and see what kind of money you have to work with. From there, you can make an informed and generous decision about where to put your money, without putting yourself in dire financial straits. I hope you found this article helpful. Currently, I have a few openings in my practice for some personal finance coaching clients, so if you’d like to work closely on your personal finances and develop a giving plan with support, reach out to schedule a free consultation!

 

 

Happy giving!

☮

Angela


This blog post is a re-publishing of the original article, “How to Make Donating Way Easier on Your Finances,” published in November 2020. For more articles on this topic, check out the “giving” tag. 

How Your Relationship With Money Affects Your Finances (and What You Can Do About It)

Your relationship with money can make the difference between a steady stream of income and a trickle. How so? Because the way you relate to money, the beliefs you hold around it, etc. – these things affect how you pursue money and how you make decisions with it. Today, let’s dive deep into how your relationship with money affects your business and personal finances, and what you can do to improve that relationship.

How Do You Relate to Money?

If you want to get a quick pulse on your relationship with money, think about money or say “Money,” out loud to yourself, and then keep track of what emotions come up. More than likely, there will be several that come up in a quick succession: anxiety, avoidance, excitement, compulsion or repulsion, etc. The goal with this exercise is not to suppress or judge any of the feelings as good or bad. Simply take note of them as they come up. Try this several times to get a full emotional picture.

How You Relate to Money Affects Your Finances

If you’re anything like most of us, anger, shame, and elation may have made an appearance during that exercise. Other common visitors are anxiety, avoidance, and a vague feeling of worry. All of these emotions influence our behavior around money. They dictate whether we’re an over-spender or an over-saver, whether we’re bold with our investments or cautious. In our business and personal finances, if we feel strong repulsive emotions like shame and stress, we may avoid looking at our money all together. This can lead small business owners to live in a state of perpetual vagueness around their finances.

Many of the emotions we’ve examined are negative ones, but your relationship with money can also include positive emotions that can be leveraged. Elation, for example, can motivate you to take action and claim financial agency. Personally, when I think about money, one positive thing that comes up is the way that money gives me choices in life. Associating choice with money has long helped me maintain a positive relationship with my finances.

For many of us, the goal is to simply reduce the stress involved in our finances, so that we can begin to handle them from a more rational place. Acknowledging all the emotions housed in our relationship with money is the first step.

How to Improve Your Relationship With Money

Now that you have a good idea of your “emotional money picture,” and an understanding of how it effects your financial behavior, let’s talk about how you can start improving your relationship with money. This process involves looking at your life over the longterm, and examining what experiences and people shaped the way you feel about money today. There are a couple different ways to do this:

  • Journal prompts are a great way to dig into this and examine your past with money. To get things started, I suggest trying out the prompt “People with money are _____.” You can fill in the blank, and then write about the experiences or people who informed this opinion. Try not to edit yourself. Just observe the feelings and memories that come up. After you’re done, you might take some time to examine what you’ve written and see if you can find examples from your life that contradict those beliefs.
  • If you aren’t the journalling type, talk to a money buddy, confidant, or coach. Make sure this person will hold nonjudgemental space for you. Try doing the exercise above, or shape your conversation in such a way that you can really get in there and see the roots of your money beliefs.
  • Reflect on how your financial situation has changed over the years, and in recent times due to COVID-19. Sudden changes in financial circumstances can trigger new emotions around money, and bring up old ones. This interview I did with photographer Jennifer Graham makes a great example of how the pandemic has effected people financially in the short term, and what coping strategies can be employed around that.

A Note on Money Beliefs vs. Societal Circumstances

Before I wrap this up, I want to acknowledge the current state of our society and economy. While more aid for small businesses has recently been approved, we are living through an economically damaging pandemic. There are likely many systemic factors effecting your experience with and relationship to money, including race, social class, gender, etc. I believe it’s important to take this context into account when working on your relationship with money, while not letting it discourage you from claiming financial agency.

I hope this has been helpful. If you’d like to have these conversations with a nonjudgemental accountability partner, I offer as-needed personal financial coaching sessions, or 3 and 6 month business finance coaching engagements. I have guided many clients through the process of working on their money beliefs, and would love for you to set up a free Financial Self Care Consultation to find out if we could work together well, too!

☮

Angela

Image: Natalie Breeze

 

How to Make Donating Money Way Easier On Your Finances

This time of year, many of us are thinking about giving. Traditionally, we come together to be thankful for our blessings and share generosity. While many aspects of the holiday season will look different this year, your giving doesn’t have to! I know many kind and generous people who wish to give money to organizations or causes they support, or simply other people in the community who are in need. However, sometimes being clear on how much you can really afford to donate is difficult.

To really clear this up, you need to develop a solid financial base for yourself. I’m talking about using a spending plan, a savings plan, and money mapping to really get clear on where your money is going. Let’s look at how each of these three tools can help you give way more easily:

Spending Plan

First, you need to know how much you’re spending and where it’s going. Take a walk through your income and expenses and figure out how much you’re saving, if you are saving. The point of developing a spending plan (also known by the less-fun-sounding-term “budget”) is to get clear on what your spending is like right now, and how it compares to your income. When you look at this, you can see what your spending priorities currently are, and you can start to think about that critically. Do you really want to eat takeout food every week, or would you rather be able to donate that $35 to a conservation campaign like Protect Juristac? Looking at your spending and weighing your priorities can make room for the giving you want to do. To develop a good spending plan, check out my article with ideas and strategies here.

Savings Plan

Saving money gives you serious options, whether you’re saving for an emergency fund or a big purchase. You can also decide to dedicate a portion of your savings directly to giving. Maybe, you decide to save 5% of your income every month and donate it to the COVID-19 Hopi Relief Fund at the end of the year. Whether the giving comes out of your savings or your spending plan, having both gives you a fuller picture of how you can spend, give, and save for your goals. You can read more about creating a savings plan for yourself here.

Money Mapping

Once you’ve got the spending and the saving figured out, you can put it all together into a money map! Money mapping is a visual tool for organizing your own money system. It’s super helpful for both your business and personal finances. I’ve talked about the how-to of money mapping quite a bit on this blog, so I won’t go into detail. I recommend reading my full series on money mapping, and especially How to Use Money Mapping to Give Back.  The big pro of money mapping is that you can visually parse out how you will allocate for giving money. Whether it’s coming out of your business finances, your monthly living expenses, or you’re saving a big sum, creating a money map helps you see that and stick to it.

Want to Give? Get Organized!

The bottom line here is that donating money from a solid financial base requires getting organized. You need to go over your financial priorities and see what kind of money you have to work with. From there, you can make an informed and generous decision about where to put your money, without putting yourself in dire financial straits. I hope you found this article helpful. Currently, I have a few openings in my practice for some personal finance coaching clients, so if you’d like to work closely on your personal finances and develop a giving plan with support, reach out to schedule a free consultation!

 

 

Happy giving!

☮

Angela

 

Three Steps to Financial Clarity

3 Steps to Financial Clarity: At Peace With Money

As the holidays set in and the mad rush of preparation begins to slow, you might find yourself with a little time to reflect on your year. Why not take the opportunity to reflect on your finances? Your money, much like all the other pieces of your life, deserves your attention, thought, and critical eye. This exercise is meant to lead you to financial clarity. By completing it, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you want from your money, and how to get there.

Step 1: Define Your Destination

What’s your destination with your money? What are you planning to do with it? Is there something you’re saving up for? You might have vague plans, a well-defined roadmap, or nothing at all. This is the step where you can dream and imagine that destination. If you already have one in mind, check in and make sure it’s where you want to go. Make sure you investigate any current money goals you might have to make sure they really align with your desires. If you don’t have any goals, think of some you might like to adopt!

Step 2: Drop Your Pin

Pinpoint your current location. In other words, figure out where you are now financially.  It’s time to get clear and honest about what you have, what you owe and where your money is going each month. Use this step as an opportunity to total up your expenses and debts and track your recent income. Leave no bill unturned! If you want further instructions on this step, I recommend checking out my article on creating a spending plan, specifically the section on analyzing your expenses. 

Step 3: Plan Your Journey

3 Steps to Financial Clarity: At Peace With MoneyNow that you know where you are and where you’re going, it’s time to figure out how you’ll get there. This is the step where strategy comes in. Based on all the information you’ve already looked at during Step 2, you should be able to determine what will help you get to your destination. Whether that’s saving more money, paying yourself first, cutting out certain expenses, increasing your income, or a whole host of other ideas, identify your moves and decide when you’re going to make them. 

This process may take you a little while to complete, but it will ultimately bring you to a place of much greater clarity when it comes to your finances. This exercise can be applied to personal finances but it can also be applied to your business finances. I hope this season of reflection serves you well.

If you need any assistance looking through your finances, I’m happy to help you reach a place of clarity. Schedule a call with me!

Angela

Go to Top