Hello and welcome to episode 56 of the money mindset shift! We’ve all been feeling the pressures of student loans restarting and inflation recently, just everything, right? So let’s talk about it.
In an article on the New York Times, titled “Why Poverty Persists in America” by Matthew Desmond, there is a quote from Michael Harrington, author of The Other America. “It is much easier in the United States to be decently dressed than it is to be decently housed, fed, or doctored.” Apparently he said this approximately 60 years ago, but it is only more true today.
Cellphones and televisions for example are cheaper than they were 60 years ago. But so is clothing. I can walk right into Target and get a $5 shirt, or a nicer one for $20.
Side note: There’s reasons for this. It’s exploitation. But we’re not gonna get into that. We’re gonna keep going here.
So you can walk right into Target and get a $5 shirt, or a nicer one for $20.
But, things like housing, food, and healthcare have increased in price over the years. An article on PBS News Hour referenced the US goverment declaring that consumer prices were up 8.2% from September 2021 to September 2022. Unfortunately, in this article, the author placed the responsibility for this inflation on “steady consumer demand and higher labor costs.” when we know very well that companies are boasting increased profits, which are in many cases due to the fact that they took advantage of the situations present.
Regardless of all this, right? You are feeling it. I am feeling it.
So how do you do any money mindset work, when the struggle is very real?
You have to honor the struggle. You acknowledge it.
You acknowledge that maybe your income has dipped lately or just flatlined. Or even if you are making more money than ever, it is still feeling tighter than you expected.
And instead of shooting for the end goal, or even a step one goal, break it down further. Aim for the babiest of baby steps.
I saw a coach speak about not minimizing your goals when it appears like you won’t get there, but instead this coach promoted becoming more strategic. The context here was launch goals. And while I can definitely see where that applies in that situation, I don’t want you to take that on in all situations.
Yes, get more strategic with your mindset work. But don’t try to push through like you are in the homestretch of a race. A race has a very distinct end. A launch may even have a very distinct end. Needing money doesn’t really – even in death there are bills that get passed onto loved ones.
So needing money doesn’t have that distinct end. It keeps going.
And if you are a low-energy cutie like myself, you don’t have the reserves to pull from for something like that.
So by breaking things down into the babiest of baby steps, it is a bit more like chewing even smaller bites. A “slow and steady wins the race” kind of thing.
Take a moment to review your goals. What is the next, smallest goal that you can make movement towards? What’s the babiest of baby step that you can take towards that next smallest goal?
And remember one of my favorite songs, from the 1970 film Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town –
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor
You put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door.
Terribly bad singing by the way. Totally off-key, off-beat, everything. But sentiment still stands.
When we make those small movements towards our goals, it’s still movement and it all adds up. Basically what the song is saying. You put one foot in front of the other. You just keep doing that and soon you’re walking across the floor. And soon that adds up to walking out the door.
So just remember that. Small movement towards your goals is still movement, and it all adds up. Hang in there. Take the babiest of baby steps. Keep moving. Rest when you need to.
Know that there are systemic things happening that we didn’t really touch on that are feeding into all of this, that aren’t your fault. There’s no guilt and shame there to be had on your end.
You are just living the life that you have in this moment, trying to get through it, doing your best. Even if it feels like your income is more than it’s ever been and things are still tight – even if you’ve seen a dip or a flatline in your business income recently, that’s not your fault.
Sure, there are maybe things you can do. And you can work on those things. And yes, we do have to get strategic. We have to employ a little bit different strategic thinking here.
But as far as your money mindset goes and doing money mindset, just break it down. Break it down further. Keep those bigger goals for your money mindset in mind. Keep where you want to go with your relationship with money.
But break it down. Make those steps. Put one foot in front of the other. Add up those small movements. You’ll get there.
So hang in there. Keep going.