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We are coming up to the Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover) where one of the primary themes is freedom.
So I decided to ask a few people in my group session what freedom meant to them.  Because a lot of them have stressors around money and work, the need for financial freedom was a common answer.
In fact, financial stressors are a huge contributor to people feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

Although my quest to become a fairy godmother (or at least a genie) has so far failed, and I am unable to ‘magic’ these problems away for people, I am going to offer some (not so magical) advice for everyone who is weighed down by money worries:

  • Lying awake at night, worrying about money does not make you any richer.  It makes you more tired and less productive and more likely to feel like giving up.  If you can’t sleep because you are worried, get up and make a list of proactive steps that you can take to take control back.
  • There is a debt counselor at every financial institution.  If you feel like you are drowning in debt, speak to somebody who can give you practical help (and it is not a sign of weakness or failure to ask for help!)
  • By the way, spending more money on things that you don’t need to make you feel better about your (money related) stress is really not going to help you out.  It is an obvious point but still a lot of people shop to feel better.  Yes, retail therapy is… well therapeutic…. but it does nothing to help your situation.  No, you don’t actually need another pair of shoes!
  • Don’t let your financial stress make you become close minded.  You start to think that you will never be OK or you will never cope.  So you put yourself in the “poor box”.  When you allow yourself to be open minded, you become more relaxed and more open to new ideas and new opportunities – you do not need to become stuck because of your current situation.  It is just the situation that you are in at this moment, and it is not what you are going to be forever unless you allow that  to become your reality.
  • Think about all the things that you CAN do.  Can you create opportunities out of your hobbies, interests or talents?  And then, get help using your talents and skills to make extra money (or a whole new career!)  betterwage.com is a brilliant place to figure out what your skills are as well as to access resources that will help you to get started.
  • Find yourself a mentor.  If somebody else is doing what you would like to do or has what you would like to have, step out on a limb and ask them if you could talk to them about how they did it or even better, if they could mentor you in your journey to get what you want.
  • Remember that although we need money to survive (unfortunately) – there is far more to life than being rich.  You could be rich in so many other ways – it is time to count your blessings too.