Thoughts on finance: The struggles of living within our means

Life comes with responsibilities, and amongst them, unless you’re living off the grid, you have to pay bills. And in the current state of the world’s economy, most are often struggling to make ends meet. One of the perils of managing finances is ensuring that you have enough to live a fulfilling lifestyle. This means that you often require funds to afford your desires. It’s often buying a new book, a dress, holidays or a day out with loved ones. In the age of the internet, though, our desires tend to grow bigger as we see some people ‘living their best lives’ while others swear by the minimalist lifestyle. Then comes the struggles of finding a balance between living abundantly and within our means. So, where do we draw the line? This is an impossible question to answer here as everyone has their financial boundary. We’re all on the same ride in hell, but some are in Lamborghini, some are in private jets, while the majorities are on public transport. So my advice is to place yourself in financial positions that are empowering. Then prioritise what you value the most. If an expensive perfume or spa day is conducive to your growth, then put some money aside and make it happen. 

If you value your sleep, perhaps invest in some good quality bedding once in a while. Nobody should dictate what you can and can’t do in life, especially when it comes to money. Yes, be responsible; however, life shouldn’t be about suffering. Regardless of your budget, living within your means shouldn’t be a struggle. Some days you’ll have to sacrifice to meet specific goals, and that’s on you to evaluate your budget and seek support. Above all, remember that not everything you see online is real. Some are in debt from their head down to their toes, chasing the high of luxury. You don’t need to buy an expensive item to feel luxurious but if you can afford it, by all means, enjoy. 

Until next time.

Thoughts on Money: Financial security is important

Some say that money is the root of all evil or that you do not need money to be happy. This post is not to reinforce or go against this message but merely to shed some light on the importance of financial security. Money is a tool, and with the declining state of the world’s economy, people require this tool now more than ever. Money doesn’t only pay essential bills and support families in the present. When you have financial literacy, you learn how to leverage it in savings and investments to provide security for years to come. Hence you end up working less while enjoying more of it in the future. However, money can also be a pitfall for those who use it compulsively, buying and spending more than what they can afford, for example, buying expensive luxury items, paying for nights out on credit cards and taking out unnecessary loans. These could quickly become a liability in debt.

There are various ways to leverage an income which you can research. The idea of working hard and playing harder in the context of finance is quickly becoming redundant. This is apparent with people promoting awareness of minimalism and ways to spend money consciously. It is essential to know your financial health whether you are in a relationship, living with family or alone. When you take the time to assess your earnings and spending, you can make a financial plan that works for you and will benefit your future. If your financial status is chaotic, you will continue to fall into traps. And some companies take advantage of people who are already in financial traps.

Having financial security allows you peace of mind, which could positively impact your mental health. Losing sleep over money woes and being anxious about whether you can pay your bills on time is unhealthy and could lead you into haste decision making that will further cause a detriment to your mental health. If your financial health is poor, organisations and services are available to provide support and advice. You have to muster the courage to find them and ask for help. Having financial security is imperative, especially when you have goals such as buying a property, saving for your family or even if you want to treat yourself to a vacation.

So take some time to look at your finances, create a plan that works for you and stick to it. Life comes with many sacrifices, but you won’t regret them when you reap the benefits in the future.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on personal development: Simply exploring the power of choosing motivational language to win at life.

Today’s post will focus on your power of awareness and its role in choosing the correct language for your advancement. We often busy our days trying to fulfil tasks without paying attention to how we communicate in different situations. However, as intellectual beings, we have the power to choose, arrange and rearrange language to achieve our desired effects in all situations because if you study, look and listen carefully to words, you will understand that each one has the power to create or halt change.

Let’s begin with how language and words are powerful in relation to finance. I want to point your attention to phrases that you may often use.

‘I’m sorry I can’t do this activity this week, I don’t have any money.’

‘I can’t wait for payday, I’m so broke.’

The choice of words used here immediately limits your ability to be receptive to ways that money can actually flow to you. Thus automatically locking you in a lack mindset. You should understand that beyond the material world, money is currency, and currency is energy; therefore, energy does not rest in limit and lack. You just need to find a way to keep it flowing. By stating that you don’t have any money or that you’re broke, you’ve subconsciously stopped the flow of the energy of money into your life. So how do we change this? By removing low-vibrational words associated with lack mindset.

‘I’m on a budget this week, let’s plan this activity for next month where I can factor it into my budget, and we can have fun.’

‘Payday is around the corner. In the meantime, I will work with what I have. Next month I will ensure to manage my budget and cash-flow effectively.’

This does not automatically hand you money out of thin air but opens your mind to ways to manage your finances so that you’re not in the same situation next month. It nudges you to make a plan that factors your financial needs and eliminates dread and embarrassment. This concept can be applied to any aspect of your life, such as health and fitness, business and career, to how you manage your close relationships. Try to approach situations consciously and see solutions rather than focus on the negative aspect of problems.

Until next time.

Thoughts on personal development: The power of language – 3 Phrases to scrap from your vocabulary

Today’s post aims to bring awareness to your use of language. Communication is often misunderstood or misused, especially when we use specific negative language to talk to ourselves and others. Language is a powerful tool that can make or break your day. The words you choose have the opportunity to create a supportive community or conflict yet, sometimes we don’t even think twice about how we linguistically project ourselves to the world. We have the power to change ourselves, our reality and the world through the use of positive language by being conscious about what we consume and project. The following points are five words and phrases to be aware of and scrap from your vocabulary if you want to further pursue your self-development journey and create a reality you desire. 

‘I can’t do this’

When it comes to achieving your goals, trying something new or even working on personal confidence, it’s good to begin to train your subconscious mind by using firm words that opens enthusiasm and prompts action. Using the word ‘Can’t’ automatically creates a negative bias and diminishes your confidence when your aim is to take action. Unless you are using this word in a situation where you are creating firm boundaries, using this word illustrates unsureness about your ability to utilise your strength, will power and motivation. If you know that you have the skills and resources to help you reach your goals, using ‘can’t’ will stir up doubt and cause your efforts to falter. This will also give people the impression that you don’t trust yourself. It takes time, however, try to replace ‘I can’t do this’ with ‘I can do anything I put my mind to’ and eventually simply ‘I CAN do this.’

‘I hate this, that and everyone’

This is one of the most commonly used phrases, and I have to admit that I have used it a few times in testing situations. When you think about the word hate, it’s not necessarily a negative word but rather a low-vibration word. We often use it in frustration and low-vibrational situations. When you’re on a journey of self-development and expanding consciousness, you’ll begin to understand that we are all connected to each other and our surroundings. Suppose you are in a low-vibrational environment or situation; your goal is to raise your frequency so that you are unaffected by external factors and instead, have the ability to transmute the chaos into your lessons and gains. How will you learn about yourself if you constantly carry a funk in your heart that’s not even yours? How can you grow into your highest and best version of yourself doing what you love if you’re projecting hatred and spending your valuable energy on people and situations that don’t serve you? I’m not suggesting that we walk around pretending to love everything and everyone. However, changing the word ‘hate’ and associating it with empathy, understanding, and learning will become more productive for you when life gets chaotic. When you build anger, or you feel a dislike for something, try to explore ‘I’m not keen on this, but at least I have experienced it and can move on’ or by taking a breath and acknowledging why you feel this ‘hate’ so that you can address the uncomfortable within.

‘I am sick’

Yes, we all have days when we fall under the weather, and ailments plague us, but it’s worth noting that you become what you consistently tell yourself you are and feel. Some days you can’t deny that you’re unwell, especially when you are swamped with extra stress. Instead of declaring ‘I am sick’, try ‘I am healing and I will rest’. This will slowly lift your mood and place your mind in a receptive mode to find resources to make you feel better and heal. I am not a doctor, and this is not a replacement for a medical appointment but to help support your thoughts as your body heals. 

Remember that there are no golden formula or shortcuts to reach your goals and deal with situations along your journey. It’s all about perspective and changing angles to understand the lessons hidden in the chaos. Be aware of what you want to embody and what you put out in the world and onto others. Keep going and find ways to enjoy the experience.

Until Next time.

Thoughts on success: 5 ways to invest in yourself this month

April seems to be over in a flash, but there’s still time to address habits that no longer serve you and get your life in order. We have eased into spring, and nature is now active yet, some of you may still need support to shed the grogginess of winter and step into vitality. Below are the five ways you can invest in yourself this month and possibly for the long term.

Invest in a good notebook and pen

Yes, you read that right. We all have to-do lists, affirmations and thoughts to write and process as we go through the day. Investing in a good notebook and pen will make your journal moments a little more exciting and keep your brain more alert. Try Paperchase or Amazon.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Invest in a workout video plan, app or gym equipment

It’s always a good time to take on a workout regime, whether it’s yoga, cardio, pilates, dance or exploring the outdoors. The beauty of today’s technology means that most times, you don’t really have to leave your house to get a good sweat on. If you have enough space, you can find some free workout videos on Youtube, purchase an app or some accessible home gym equipment. If you don’t have space or the funds, simply put on some comfortable shoes and go for a long walk.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Invest in a holistic health treatment

If you have aches and pains that are managed with conventional medical care or simply just want to try something for your overall wellbeing, it’s worth looking into some holistic treatments that are widely available. Ensure to do your research on the treatments and practitioners, and speak with your doctor beforehand to ensure that your chosen treatment is right for you. These include acupunctureacupressurereflexology etc. A nice massage and meditation may also help you feel refreshed and balanced.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Invest in a new piece of technology that allows you to work seamlessly

This can be a new phone, new laptop or anything that will help to streamline your workload and enhance your learning experience. If you’re stuck on a choice, you can find something useful here.

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

Invest in a new meal plan that is healthy yet indulgent

The majority of us are foodies but also choose to stay healthy. This month you can try adding some new ingredients to your shopping list or invest in a new meal plan. There are plenty to choose from to have fresh ingredients for new recipes delivered to your doorstep. Try hellofresh or Gousto if you want fantastic meals but don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Until next time.

This post is NOT sponsored or affiliated by any of the products or organisations mentioned.

Thoughts on discipline: How to mind your business and do you

The title grabbed your attention, and I bet you’re expecting today’s post to be catty. If you’re new to this blog, you should know that this is not how we vibe here. Sure, I strive to keep my posts relatable and engaging; however, my core value and aim are to open explorative conversations and help readers find solutions as they journey towards their higher purpose. This week I thought about the action of minding one’s business. This is not to necessarily say that we should shut ourselves out by sitting in the house with a pout thinking that we are better than everyone else, no. My reflection on this is that sometimes, we lose awareness of ourselves and fall off track when trying to achieve our goals. Sometimes, we also don’t realise that other people have infiltrated our mental and emotional space leaving us energetically empty. This is usually achieved as we scroll through social media which prompts us to care way too much about what everyone else is doing. In return, it makes us feel bad because we’re not doing the same thing and having the same ‘fun’ as celebrities and influencers. It may also be a case of having family, friends or even colleagues constantly dumping their unwanted funk onto you. Most of us know one person we feel stuck with (because sometimes the universal lessons take a lot longer than expected) and have to consistently protect our energy because nothing in their life makes them happy. Whatever the case may be, there are people and situations lurking like landmines that catch us off guard now and then. If you find yourself caught in too deep with someone else’s situation and detached from your own growth, below points may help you to reconnect with the self.

Meditate like your life depends on it

There are several ways to meditate, and you don’t have to jump into a full hour of meditation if you’ve never done this before. Find a quiet place and allow your mind to wander to eventually be still. You can also meditate on the breath as a guide to balance your mind when it’s full of chatter. Do this a few times a day and be patient with yourself as you go through the process. Eventually, meditation will be integrated into your self-care and mental health routine, enabling you to be aware, fluid and adaptable in situations and around people.

Mine your business

In the age of technology, social media and faster wifi connections, it’s becoming increasingly easier to create a side hustle doing something you love and boosting your income. Suppose you find yourself always complaining about how much you hate your job or your current financial situation and seeing other people living their best lives tick you off. In that case, it’s time to consider removing the lack mindset and tap into your entrepreneurial spirit. You don’t need much to start a business, for most of them you only need a phone and good wifi. Figure out what you love doing for free and find a way to get paid for it. Do note that it’s essential to do your research and start small to build your clients and your brand. Ensure that you have all the facts before you make any financial investments. I can’t promise that you’ll be wealthy and successful quickly because having a business takes time and sacrifices. However, the process will keep you occupied, excited and disciplined; therefore, you’ll barely have time to be concerned with what everyone else is doing.

Read books

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but books are packed with information that will fascinate you. Business and finance, fiction, health and wellness and the list go on. Below are books I currently recommend.

Business and finance knowledge: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Richistan by Robert Frank, The intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham

Fiction escapism: Mated Fortune Series by J.P. Mooney, Ice Cold Boss by Olivia Hayle, The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Poetry: Mercury Retrograde Poems by J.P. Mooney, Sea Sores: A Brightonian Book by Nick Wood, Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell

Consciousness expansion: Sciencia by Matthew Watkins, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, Ley Lines by J.P. Mooney

Some of you may find it difficult to detach and focus on your growth in the current age. It’s important to understand that sometimes we may go through undesirable situations. However, there’s always a lesson in disguise. Just remember to reflect, acknowledge the lesson and keep moving forward.

Until next time.

J.P. Mooney’s read of the month

In this riveting book, Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank explores the lives and lifestyles of a new breed of millionaires and billionaires – many of them self-made and from blue-collar backgrounds – and how this new gilded age is affecting wider society. Profiles of ‘instapreneurs’, dot-com billionaires, and eccentrics from the lower and upper reaches of Richistan take us into the rarified world of people like Ed Bazinet, who became a multi-millionaire by selling miniature ceramic villages, and Tim Blixseth, who earned billions by trading remote stretches of timberland. The influence wielded by the newly wealthy goes far beyond their earning power, and Frank also explores the lifestyles developing around them (butler schools and a new type of service employee, self-help groups for people worth $10 million or more) as well as where their money is going (the commodification of the art world, the rise of ‘market-driven’ philanthropy). As wealth creation becomes more and more globalised, Richistan looks behind the glitz to find the real story of new money and its impact on the world.

Regardless of whether you’re rich , dreaming of being rich or simply just want to peek through the lives of the wealthy, Richistan has illustrated great insight into the inner workings of new money.

Note, this is not a sponsored review of this product.

Thoughts on finance: Tiny ways to save money for bigger goals

A lot of times we don’t hesitate to swipe our thumbs and credit cards, purchasing things that we know we can do without. Many of us have goals, and we have an idea of the journey we need to make towards such goals. However, we lack the financial health and longevity. Some of you may wish to purchase your first home or second investment property, thinking about your retirement, or simply wish to start creating generational wealth for your family. Whatever your goals may be, below are some simple steps to help you on your way. Note, I am not a financial advisor, therefore, seek professional help if you’re struggling financially.

Budget, Budget and Budget some more

You’ve probably seen this word everywhere, but the reason why it’s popular is because having a budget is essential to balance your spending and boost your savings towards your financial goals. How many times have you gone to the shop and bought something that you weren’t sure you could afford? Chances are we have all done this. Having a budget is not as daunting and limiting as it may come across. The purpose of a budget is to create a plan for all of your spending. You simply need to write a list of your outgoings with the total and a list of your income. This should include your essentials- bills, clothes, grocery etc. and your wants- The remainder of the money left over from your bills should then be evaluated and placed in a savings account of your choice for the long term. You can also do some research into investing by checking out The Motley Fool.

Balance your wants

I know it’s challenging to adhere to your budget when everything seems to be on sale and it doesn’t help that every social media influencer keeps advertising the latest trend that you NEED to have…The truth Is, you don’t! If you’re serious about meeting your financial goals, you need to seriously consider what you’re willing to sacrifice out of your life. One thing people tend to forget is that long term goals, most times require short term sacrifices and the sacrifices don’t always need to be painful as there are ways to get your needs without spending outside of your budget. If you usually turn your nose up at sales then you can swallow your pride and find some good discounts (yes even on investment pieces), you can learn how to cook your favourite restaurant dishes at home and find the best discount vouchers for your days out. There are ways around doing what you want while staying within your budget, you just need to be more creative and flexible with your research.

Place yourself in the right mindset

Sometimes it’s challenging to save money when we are always surrounded by everyone else’s expectations of what wealth is. The meaning of wealth is unique to each person, and only you know what that meaning is for yourself. In order to reach your goals, you have to take the first step and make a move because nobody will do it for you. Then, you need to align yourself mentally, emotionally and physically by ensuring that your environment is conducive. Your emotional connection to money also needs to be aligned with your vision, and your mind requires focus on executing the actions required to help you on the way. Everyone has their individual circumstances, and to take a step in the right direction you need to pause, evaluate, plan and make a move. This also includes doing research on long term money management by reading books or by finding a YouTube documentary. Yes, YouTube can be handy! Also, it’s good to surround yourself with likeminded people who will encourage and motivate you when the going gets tough but don’t be afraid to go independent if you find that people are dragging you down. There is plenty of support and resources available to help you on your way, but you have to make an effort to find it.

Until next time xo

Thoughts on productivity: It’s time to get organised

The leaves are falling, the air drifts into stillness, and our desire to go outside begins to decline into a need to stay indoors in our favourite silks watching Netflix, sipping our beverages of choice. Autumn. The perfect season to slow down and gather ourselves. As we do so, we begin to feel the need to get our lives in order the best we can. Below are my typical list of things worth revisiting and up-keeping.

Wardrobe

This is the time to have some fun putting together some autumn/winter appropriate outfits. Find ways to liven up your wardrobe by adding new pieces or removing the cringe-worthy items you purchased out of boredom during lockdown amnesia. You can donate some of these items to the local charity shop, sell them on eBay, or swap them with your friend. If you’re someone who loathes ironing clothes, this is the time to ensure all of your key pieces are washed, dried, and ironed so that it’s ready for the festive season.

Finances

You must go through your bank statements, direct debits, and standing orders to reevaluate your income, savings, or any outgoings you anticipate during the winter months. This is not the time to bury your head under the sand, hoping that your financial affairs will fall in line. Emergencies are most likely to arise during the cold months, such as boiler breakdowns, car breakdowns, services, etc. It’s also important to factor in all of your festive activities and luxuries as early as possible. The more time you give yourself, the more money you will be able to save. Perhaps you’re anxious about the lack of income. Nonetheless, this is the time to think about creating a side hustle or perhaps research on affordable investments. The opportunities are endless once you summon the drive and discipline to flourish in the age of technology. Check out the Break Platform for some ideas.

Necessary Maintenance

As much as you need to be financially prepared to deal with the necessary maintenance, you also need to be prepared by anticipating what may need fixing during the cold months. Don’t leave your car servicing or fuel level until the last minute, because it won’t be a fun experience to be stranded on the motorway or on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a homeowner, make sure your boiler is sufficient, and your house isn’t susceptible to flooding or anything that could make your autumn and winter a living nightmare. Prevention is better than a cure.

Health

This is an obvious point, but I think it’s worth reinforcing. Your health is the foundation of your quality of life. If you’re run down from overworking or from being a permanent sofa resident, you will be unable to enjoy the pleasures of this life. It goes without saying that in the current climate, your health is of utmost importance. As tempting as it is to slouch on the sofa, wrapped in your blanket with a tipple in one hand, and a thick slice of cheesy pizza in the other, it is also good to ensure you’re well-hydrated, your body is moving, and your diet is as clean possible. I’m not a doctor, so if something doesn’t feel quite right with your mind or body, then it’s a good idea to catch up with your GP.

Check on your loved ones

Perhaps you’re responsible for looking after a loved one or you live quite far, and you are unable to visit frequently. Whatever the situation, it is crucial that you schedule consistent means of communication to ensure that your family and friends are okay, be organised with their care, and promote a micro-community to help those in need.

The most important thing to remember here is that everything seems to take twice as long in the cold months; therefore, always be prepared for the unexpected. Ensure that you look after yourself and your loved ones and stay safe.