Money Series Lesson 7: Do you spend your money on fuel for your life or entertainment?

Spending money on Fuel vs. Entertainment

There are two types of spending. Spending money that literally fuels your life and spending money on entertainment and/or stuff. Neither is necessarily good or bad. If you recall from last week, it’s simply up to you. The point is to become masterful at the art of having and spending money to create what you uniquely truly want with money and time instead of unconsciously living out your unexamined money blueprint.

So please resist the temptation to judge yourself. There’re so many crazy beliefs we have about money that need cleaning up — so don’t take this as more opportunity get stuck in the belief system that you’re doing “money wrong.” It’s 100% up to you to decide if you “like how you spend your money or how you keep it.” The goal’s to empower yourself to spend and keep exactly as you choose from a clean place of abundance and not scarcity. Use this information to get crystal clear about your spending beliefs and habits. This’ll enable you to make the tweaks you desire without judgement —to create the ultimate result you want with money and time.

You can think of spending money as fuel— on the things you pay for to help run your life. These can be things like food for fuel (not entertainment), paying for rent or a mortgage, your transportation, etc. You might see this as everyone’s bottom-line minimal approach to spending. Now think of 5 examples of your fuel items.

Spending money for entertainment then becomes easy to define as all “other” things you spend money on. It includes all the spending you do for discretionary expenses. Money spent to entertain yourself definitely gives you that hit of dopamine which isn’t a net negative unless you’re doing it to buffer away negative emotions and use money to feel better. I know there’re plenty of discretionary things that I enjoy spending money on that have nothing to do with buffering. And you’ll see that you do too. But you gotta know the difference to be truly empowered.

So how can you tell when you’re spending from a clean place verses a “need to buffer” place?

If you’re using the act of spending money to try to change the way you feel or as a main form of entertainment, the results are gonna be a net negative because the external pleasure seeking’s only a temporary fix. AND, you’ll no longer have the money you spent. Entertainment spending can look like— going out to dinner, online shopping, or anything you buy just because you want to feel better, consciously or unconsciously. List 5 things you currently spend money on to entertain yourself.

Money’s a topic that whether you realize it or not takes up a lot of time. Think about how much time you’d save if you didn’t worry or think about money so much?

These concepts and exercises will help you start thinking about spending your money in ways that are purely congruent with your long-term goals and values and not spend for a “temporary fix”— that you’ll later spend a lot of time feeling guilt, self-doubt, disappointment, or just stuffed-up and cluttered. Or worse, perpetuate a cycle of never having your money be an empowering experience in your life.

One of the most powerful strategies you can implement to get really clean about your money— is to spend it ahead of time.

Using your prefrontal cortex to make spending decisions at least 24 hours in advance you get practiced at using your intelligence and conscious decision-making to spend. Not just your survival brain that gets addicted to the feel-good dopamine hit spending can provide. I don’t want you to misinterpret this for “having” to deprive yourself. Though when you go through changing your beliefs, feelings and actions it may at first seem like deprivation. But when it’s a choice it always results in more freedom. So remind yourself “it is your choice.”

It’s never a good idea NOT to spend and feel deprivation. And I don’t mean you should go out and buy everything on a whim either.

What I want for you is to make your choices to spend full out— in your complete awareness. And really love your reason for making each choice. It’s totally different than hoarding money so that you feel safe. That’s similar to spending money on a whim to feel good— because both scenarios come from a place of scarcity. And by the way, just because one has money does not mean that they went about the having it from a feeling of hoarding. You can have money and it can be easy.

To get the feel for this, imagine a life where you’ve no issues with money (how you spend it or don’t), how much you have and the money results you create.

Imagine you feel great about what you decide to spend on and about how much money you’re capable of having. Imagine how much time you’d have back when you take out all the drama around— “to spend or not to spend?”

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When it comes to spending money you'll feel a lot better about all of your choices when you use the prefrontal brain rather than the survival brain. 

Do the following exercises to flex your badassery in regards to your intentional —fuel and entertainment spending:

  1. How do you feel when you spend money on fuel or for entertainment? Do you have a pattern of seeking pleasure through spending more money? 

  2. The next time you buy an item, answer the following questions.

  • What’s the thought you’re thinking about the item?

  • How do you feel about the item? 

  • In one month, would you rather have the item or the money? Part of you being able to get the results you want when it comes to money is your ability to feel comfortable with the having of money— no matter what amount.

    Interesting ideas: Carry cash in your wallet upwards of 100 in dollars just to create abundance— that sense of having money available without spending it. Another idea’s to shop when your decisions are made ahead of time with an envelope full of “just the exact amount you want to spend.” Interestingly enough it’s a little more challenging to pay for something you may deem expensive with cash. Next time you go shopping for clothes I dare you to try this. It’s so much fun. I need a black blazer and going out and getting that feels way better than coming home with 2 bags full of items you’ll never wear and just clutter up your mind and life.

Keep a money journal for one entire month— writing down every time you spend money on entertainment. Then ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is it?

  • Why am I buying it?

  • How much does it cost?

  • How do I feel when I buy it?

  • Am I coming from a place of scarcity or abundance?

You’ll blow your own mind with this last exercise. It’ll help you understand why you do what you do with money. Then you’ll do the work of changing your beliefs about money to fit your values and that’s some exciting work my friends. If you need help don’t put it off, this work’s too important and you know it.

Imagine you have no stuck places around money and you feel clean and free with how much you have and how much you spend. Imagine that when you do this work, you can have any result you’d like with money. That may be hard to wrap your mind around but it’s absolutely true.

You, money and time, BFF’s.

Get on it and feel amazing about you and money.