“If you have an itch, only you can scratch it” Emam Al-Shafaey
In all aspects of your life, you are responsible for your own decisions and the effects they have on your life. What you experience today is the consequence of yesterday. In terms of your financial situation, you are responsible for your current financial endeavors and you and you alone are the only one who knows how you are going to keep moving down the path you have set for yourself.
Money is something that is a constant concern that is on everyone’s minds day in and day out. The importance of having enough so that bills are paid and life is easy and comfortable remains one of the major focuses of people on a daily basis. But the question is, do you really know what you are doing with your money?
Before getting into the concepts of financial investments, savings, the importance of money and so on, let’s go back to the first point mentioned. Deep down, how do you spend or deal with your money? What are your beliefs about how you deal with it?
First, try the following exercise to really figure out deep down in your mind what your beliefs about money and spending:
On a paper, write one word that you connect with the word “money”. Don’t think too much about it. Just write the first word that comes to mind. If you write a word that has a negative connotation, next to it, write a positive connotation so that you can rewire your brain to think positively when thinking about money.
Another exercise you can try is to write the word ‘money’ at the top of the page and beneath it write all the words that come to mind when you hear it. This will help you rid you of your beliefs that money is in anyway only connected to the rich or wealthy.
You can use these exercises in any way to help you alter your beliefs to positive beliefs and remove any obstacles that may keep your conceptuality one of negativity. By doing this you will be eliminating any stereotypes or judgments you may have about money such as:
Money is the biggest scum of the world.
These sayings and beliefs are ones that go against what Allah (SWT) has ordained. Allah has said that, “Money and men are the decorations of life.” He has not forbid them. Quite the opposite actually! One of the companions, Abdulrahman Bin Ouf, was one of the wealthiest of the companions whose goal was to fund and sponsor the Islamic armies. These armies were charged with the duty of spreading Islam around the world. With time, he accomplished this goal. So if you want to be like Abdulrahman Bin Ouf, set a goal, make your intentions clear to Allah and move forward.
The next step is for you to open your wallet. When you look inside, what do you see? Your subconscious mind stores images and loves to reveal hidden secrets. From personal experience, I removed all business cards regarding hospitals and clinics as well as appointment cards from my wallet. I kept only official cards needed on a daily basis (Civil ID, driver’s license, Health insurance card, bank cards) and money in the currency of the country that I am currently in. If there were other currencies, I removed them. I also removed any receipts or papers that entailed that I had spent a large amount of money. The only papers that I kept were those that reflected a deposit that was made.
The presence of restaurant cards, medical appointments, personal pictures; of those who are alive or who have passed away and credit cards hinder the mind’s ability to believe that your wallet has an abundance of money. Also, deactivate the mobile service that banks offer that send you a text message that inform you of the amount of money you have spent and tell you the total amount in your account.
Now start using word with positive connotations with regards to money, they are available everywhere. Start with trying to reach a financial goal by starting a small business or investment. It doesn’t matter how you move in that world, as long as you make the move. Any move is better then no move. After that, your faith in God must remain that he will help move along your business or investment. Allah blessed birds, ants and bees, it isn’t far off that he will bless you too! But you have to believe and keep that faith strong, for those who have been driven into the ground will surely be blessed by God’s gift.
The next step is to start reading books about financial matters, attending seminars and training courses about managing your finances, and keep up to date with current events about the latest investments. If you are an admirer of a wealthy icon or figure, follow up on their latest financial endeavors or read their life story. You can learn a lot from other’s endeavors and eventually you will feel better knowing there is hope that you can be like them.
Now, decide how motivated you are to take control of your finances and break it down accordingly:
Saving = 10%
Debts and Installments = 20%
Spending = 70%
This general breakdown is well known and not set in stone. It can be altered according to your personal financial situation. Just remember, your saving should have a clear target or goal so that you can actually reach it. Once you have done that, you have reached the goal of investing.