Why Saving Money Doesn't Create Abundance (And What To Do Instead)

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It was around 14 years ago that I learned a few very simple tips to revolutionize my financial reality. I had to hear them three times over before I actually paid attention to them, but now, I am so glad I did! At the time, I was $187,000 in debt. Seriously. Almost $200,000. Now, I am living the financial dream.

It was the third time I heard about these simple tools that I thought, What's the worst that could happen? I would have some more money I would have to spend? Something would change? Or something would stay the same? I hadn't been paying attention to my money. I was avoiding examining it. I had a whole lot of debt and not a whole lot to show for it.

Truth be told, I am hopeless at deprivation. I couldn't possibly say no to that trip to Melbourne or stop doing other things I wanted to do. If I told myself I couldn't have something, then I'd HAVE to have it — and lots of it. Full disclosure: I am the same way with water — if I go somewhere without a bottle of water, I worry about it and I'm dreadfully thirsty. If I have one with me, I feel fine, and I don't even necessarily drink from it. I just feel better knowing it’s there.

Using that analogy, what if having money around you, with you, in your life, started to change the angst, worry, feelings of deprivation you have with money in general? The key here is having money. It’s not money for spending, not money for saving (which is just delayed spending), not for paying bills, just for having. Just so you know it's there. So you don't feel thirsty.

Having money doesn't mean you have to stop spending money, or saving money, or doing whatever else you love to do with your money. Again, it's not about deprivation. What if your financial world suddenly meant having money? What would change?

My advice: Try these things and see for yourself what changes. Worst-case scenario, you will have some money you didn't have before. That's it. Here are three tips for having more money in your life and quenching those feelings of financial dehydration:

1. Put aside 10 percent of all funds that come in.

(No cheating—make it 10 percent of the "gross" or pretax amount.) Watch it grow. You can keep it in cash; you can keep it in a bank account and watch it grow. When you "save" money, that means you intend to spend it eventually. This is different. When you have money, you are making an investment in you and your future.

2. Carry around the amount of money someone wealthy might.

When you allow yourself to have money that you don't spend, you start to create a safety zone around money. Once you have a certain amount of money in your life, whether it's in cash or in your bank account (and that amount is different for everyone, but it's often somewhere between three and six months' income), you worry less about money, you feel happier, and you actually go out and make more of it more easily.

Some people balk at the idea, thinking, What if I get mugged or lose my wallet or purse? When you're willing to have that money on yourself at all times, you are willing to be aware of your money, where it is, and what you need to be aware of so that it doesn't get taken. If you ever did lose it, that would certainly be more than enough incentive to keep you from losing it again.

Because I travel a lot, it's fun for me to have my cash in different currencies. I also have a gold coin worth about $2,000 in my purse. It makes me happy to have it there. It makes me feel abundant. What would be fun for you?

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3. Buy items of intrinsic value and enjoy them.

Buy things of intrinsic value. If you are someone who thinks you will spend your 10 percent or the cash you carry around, consider buying things of intrinsic value—that means by their inherent material value. It is a way to enjoy having money and will also increase in value over time. Things like gold, silver, or platinum can be fun. You can buy those things in ounces, kilos, or coins.

Purchasing antiques or antique jewelry can also be a good investment. They retain their value, unlike modern furniture or costume jewelry, which may look good but will lose more than 40 percent of its value the minute you walk out the door. Sterling silver flatware can be fun too. It not only has monetary value and is liquid (can be sold easily for cash) but is aesthetically beautiful and contributes to creating a feeling of wealth and luxury in your life.

If saving and budgeting were the entire answer to your money problems, wouldn't they have been solved long ago?

If you want to change your financial reality and your future with money, it's time to change the energetic undercurrents of anxiety and lack and to replace them with peace and ease. When you are relaxed and know something can come to you easily, is it easier or harder to create more of it? Is it more enjoyable?

This is what changing your financial reality is about—changing what doesn't work and doing more of what does.

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