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222 But... I've always been bad at money!

September 07, 202214 min read


Are you REALLY bad with money, or is that simply an excuse to not tackle your financial troubles? The thing is, we ALL want to make great strides with our money, but most of us weren’t taught how!

In today’s episode I share with you a tiny secret that will have a huge impact on your finances with minimal effort, so that you can take the first step to getting on top of your money.

Show notes:

  • [02.01] Lessons in money from an art teacher

  • [05.11] Primary basic needs (and money worries)

  • [06.00] Where to start

  • [07.24] Money is finite

  • [10.05] A shift in your WANT

  • [14.00] What you need to do


“Anyone can be good at anything.” – Lisa Linfield

“There is an easy way to manage money, from your every day spending all the way actually through to your investing for your future, but you just weren’t taught it.” – Lisa Linfield

“In this day and age, our money represents what it did in the old caveman days, of safety and security.” – Lisa Linfield

“All change starts first with changing your thinking.” – Lisa Linfield

“Apart from your health, your wealth is the only area of your life where not sorting it out is not an option.” – Lisa Linfield

“You were born to live a great life, and have a great future.” – Lisa Linfield

“If you change nothing, nothing changes.” – Lisa Linfield

“You need the combination of both fear AND hope, to drive you forward.” – Lisa Linfield

“Our spending reflects our values.” – Lisa Linfield

“Tracking your money is an exercise in mindfulness.” – Lisa Linfield

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One of the things I hear people saying is "but I'm SO bad with money".

Or... "I just have no idea where to start?"

Does that sound familiar to you? And if none of those apply to you... then here's the question...

Would you be able to tell me exactly how much you spend? And if I asked you to tell me how much you needed for you to survive, could you?

Well if this is you, in this episode I'm going to let you in on a little secret... the easiest way to start with minimal effort... So you can take the first step to getting on top of your money.

When it comes to drawing or painting things, I have ten left thumbs. Always have been.

In fact, there is only one person in the world who thinks my art is amazing. My seventh grade art teacher's dog. Not to look at mind you, but to eat.

For some reason, was consistently so yummy that my art teacher's dog always ate it or took it to play with... which unfortuneately meant that it never got to be displayed on open art days.

Since then, I've lived with a story in my head that I'm terrible at drawing or painting.

Until, that is, my eldest daughter Jess had the most amazing art teacher. And then I realised that in fact, it wasn't me who was that extremely terrible at art, I just had a really bad art teacher.

As I said in my book, Deep Grooves, Anyone can be good at anything. It just takes effort and a good teacher. To be great at something, you need to have a natural talent, and to truly HUM, you need to find purpose in it, and serve another human.

And the same goes for my art, or for your Money Admin... you truly can do it - you just need a good teacher and an easy process to follow.

And that's the problem… I don't believe that any of us are born good or not good with money. We just weren't taught correctly. And when we were young, the amazing, easy tools that exist today, weren't available to make it easy, visual, colourful for us to manage our money.

And because no one taught us in an easy way, we started believing a story that money was hard, and worse still, that I'm not good at money... particularly if your parents believed that.

You see, there is an easy way to manage money - from your every day spending, all the way through to investing for future ... you just weren't taught it.

And because of that, you'be spent years feeling a deep knot in your tummy that your money's not under control. You keep promising yourself that you'll get it under control, and then for many reasons, it just doesn't.

And the weight of that burden is heavy to carry.

Even if it's not top of mind, trust me, that worry's always subconsciously there, and the reason why is that in this day and age, our money provides us safety and security, a home, protection and food. And because those are our primary needs, our brains over thousands of years are programmed to ALWAYS worry about that, because that ensures survival of the species.

So I"m here to tell you, that you can reach a place of brain freedom, peace, when it comes to your money. It's just that you haven't had the right teacher and process to follow that you're where you are.

So where do you start to find that peace in your brain?

All change starts FIRST with changing your thinking. So, The first place I want you to start is by shutting up that cruel voice in your head.

Replace the thought "I can't do money, and I'll never get it under control" with the mantra…. I CAN learn anything.

And the minute your brain says "yeah right", I want you to shut it up and just say... I was never taught properly. It truly can't argue that

You see, here's the problem with believing that negative thought in your brain… besides the fact that it's just plain WRONG, anyone can learn anything with effort and a good teacher, …. It sets you up with an excuse, a reason to duck out of getting on top of your money.

And the real problem with that, is that apart from your health, this is the only other area of your life where Not Sorting it, is not an option

Money is finite, and it's cumulative.

For every Rand or Dollar you earn, it can only be spent, or saved.

The problem we all face is that whilst spending is great, we know that we need to save the money - for a rainy day, to invest for our future, or the new car we know we'll need when our current one packs up.

When we aren't on top of our money, we tend to spend more than we should. But we don't feel the impact of it now, when we're pottering along. We only feel it later on.

And whilst I always say, I'm a world expert and digging my head in the sand, and hoping that if I ignore a problem long enough, it will go away... this unfortunately is NOT one of the problems that gets easier with time.

It unfortunately gets worse. So every day we ignore it, it's actually getting worse.

So allowing yourself to believe the lie that "I'm just so bad with money, It won't work with me" and giving yourself the excuse not to tackle it, is allowing yourself to be okay with a bleak future with not enough money.

And that's just plain wrong. You were born to live a great life and have a great future... and you shouldn't do without that because you are holding onto a false belief

In my course, Stress-Free Money which I'm running again on the 29th of September, I take people through the full money system I use to run our daily money.

In one of the earlier courses, I had the most divine human, another Lisa, on the course. Now unlike me, she is unbelievably talented at art and creativity, and in fact, works with kids in that space.

Lisa's own view of her money was that it was a complete mess - well, she used another phrase, but Apple will sensor me for that!

I loved what she said about the process of being taught a way to manage money that was doable... she said, "I've never got down to doing my money or even wanting to... In the last week you've created such a shift in my wanting to get my money ah-ha was that I can actually do this, and that it's not this huge mystery... that it's easy to do."

And I think that's what it comes down to, a shift in your wanting... and that's easier to do when you know that it truly isn't this hard, huge mountain to climb that you have absolutely no fitness for... that money is a hill you need to conquer, but one that with the right trainer, is possible step by step.

So here's a question for you… how long have you been saying "At some stage, I need to sort my money out?"

Let's say, if you're honest, it's been the last 10 years.

The follow up to that is… IF nothing changes for a similar time, let's say the next 10 years... then what will happen? How old will you be? Will your money be easier or harder to sort out?

So up until now we've chatted about the fact that often we allow ourselves a story in our heads that says "I'm bad with money, I can't do it".

And, over time, that becomes an excuse we use not to deal with something.

And whilst in other areas we can just hope the problem will go away, when it comes to money, it isn't going away. It just means you're making the hill you need to climb into a mountain - a tougher task you will have to deal with later on.

This year has seen a huge ramp in energy prices and has exacerbated a LONG held problem bringing - that of elderly people having to choose between heating a room in their house or eating.

Now most of us who are working are able to cover our essential needs of food, heat, clothing, basic medical. And our debates in our head are often about what, in reality, are truly "nice to haves". We're not debating our next meal.

Nor were these elderly people when they were working... and it never crossed their mind that they ever would.

And yes, the most basic reason we need to sort our money out is we need to make sure we can pay our basic needs.

But I don't know about you... but just surviving is not my dream for my future. My dream is about freedom, about time to be with my family - my children and grandchildren. My dream is to explore, to see new places around the world. My dream is to change the world.

Getting on top of you money and changing the way you think about your money isn't about beating yourself up. It's about mindfully creating a life that matches your dreams. A life that allows you to live now AND in the future.

Which is why I want you over the next week to think about what is it that I really want to be able to do when I have enough money that my investments pay for my dreams?

Is it the freedom to choose how to spend your time? Is it the freedom to spoil your family with nice treats? To take your grandkids on a holiday?

And then this week I want you to begin a new habit… not of beating yourself up when it comes to money… I want you to start a new habit of mindfulness. WITHOUT judgement, step outside your body and watch yourself … watch yourself whilst you pay for something. What are you feeling? Why are you buying that? What's going on under the surface?

Just start being mindful... start working out what it is you really believe, what is it you're telling yourself... and without judgment, just say Hmmm...

Which brings me to what you need to do to to become good enough with money. Money is a funny thing - you don't have to be an expert at it to have enough. You just need to be good enough. And there are three things that will help you take the first step:

The first one is that you need to change your thinking. And by just focusing on the mantra "With the right teacher, I can learn anything" you will begin to make a huge shift. Shut up that cruel voice that says you'll never be able to sort it. You can.

Which brings me to the second thing. You need to want to. You need the combination of BOTH fear and hope to drive you forward.

The fear part is easy. If you don't sort this money thing, you will not have enough money to fill your basic needs, will need to rely on your kids to pay for you, and that will add a huge burden to them and you.

The desire part is a strong vision for a life that's worth it. Because you were meant for so much more. You CAN have the future you want, you just need to be clear with the answer to the question... "How badly do you want that life of freedom?"

And then you need the third thing. An action you can take consistently that, over time will change the course you're on.

And that is mindful reflection, without judgement, on the facts. And to do that, you need to start tracking your expenses against one question - Was this payment aligned with what I really value?

It's when we realise that our spending reflects our values, and the sum of everything we spend is equal to the life we get to live now and in the future, that it starts to shift the conversation in our brain from one of "but, but, but..." as a victim to our emotions and wants in the moment, to one of strength and confidence in our vision for the life we want for ourselves and our family now and in the future.

About four years ago I started working with a couple whose average age was in their 50s. They had very little saved, and had been living a good life… scared that any saving for the future would curtail that good life.

Through our discussions they realised that there were two non-negotiables for them: They wanted never to be a burden to their kids, and secondly, they wanted to be able to whether a storm with confidence.

So over time we built up an emergency fund for them because they started to use the one question I teach everyone... Is it worth it?... to filter their payment decisions. Is this takeaway worth us needing to rely on our kids? Is this new pair of shoes worth us being vulnerable to an emergency wrecking us?

Two years later, Covid struck, and their emergency fund was essential to them being able to keep going despite financial cuts. When their finances had stabilised, we brought them back to that focus and began rebuilding their finances. Just last month, she needed an operation. And their emergency fund will cover the excess payments on that.

Being absolutely clear on what you want your money for, what's really important to you, enables you to then develop mindfulness when you spend money. Ask yourself, is it worth THAT (whatever that is for you)? And then, the most important step, without judgement, watch yourself as your brain makes excuses and tells you stories why it's okay to do something that isn't worth it.

And then, when you are ready, start to track your expenses, where your money's going to. If you would like a tracking sheet, I have a free one at for you to use… it is colour coded and simple to use, and comes with a video of me teaching you how to do it... all for FREE!

But the most important thing there is that you remember that tracking your money is an exercise in mindfullness, in whether your spending reflects what's really worth it in your life.

The minute you find yourself judging and being mean to yourself... ask yourself - would I allow anyone to speak to my child like this? And then be more gentle!

Lisa LinfieldChristian MoneyPodcastBusiness OwnerEntrepreneurmoney mindsetbudgetdebtorganise
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Lisa Linfield

Lisa Linfield is on a God-given mission to free 1 million women from the weight and stress of money. She's a CFP, founder of a wealth management business, and podcast host of Working Women's Wealth

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