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Johannesburg, South Africa

tanya@tanyahaffern.co.za

© 2017 Tanya Haffern

 

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Money’s too tight to mention

October 14, 2018

I gave up my well paid job. I thought I had a plan which would supplement my income but as with most best laid plans, it didn’t quite work out.

 

 

What now? Go back to my job or start something new? The idea of being back in my cubicle filled me with dread so the decision was clear. Create something new. (watch this space for more on that soon!)

 

BUT it meant learning to live with less. A LOT less. I am always up for a challenge and besides, I reasoned, as a wealth coach, I need to know what it is really like to live with less. I need to know both sides of the wealth equation. As part of the challenge, I would not tap into our property business wealth, I had to figure this out using personal income only.

 

Here are 5 things I have learned along the way:

 

1.  You need waay less money than you imagine

 

I used to waste money mindlessly. I wasn’t even aware of it! I’d just spend money knowing there’d be a lot more heading my way at the end of the next month. I’d buy:

  • the latest fashions even though my wardrobe groans under the weight of unworn clothes

  • magazines I never had time to read

  • books – again no time to read them all

  • Woolies effortlessly bent my credit card with every new tasty special

  • Dischem was guaranteed at least R1000 every time I walked through their doors

Now I don’t go to malls if I can help it. Malls are designed to trigger every kind of desire to have more more more MORE! So I just stay away, temptation is so much easier to avoid!

 

2. By saving people, you take away their power and creativity

 

Because I earned so much, I’d just jump in and help anyone who needed help. Now, I can only afford to save myself! An interesting side effect has been watching how creative and capable the people I used to support really are. Rescuing people takes their power away. Give people an opportunity to figure things out on their own. They can - and they will. The only ones we can really save are ourselves so let’s focus on that.

 

3. Spending time with your children is priceless

 

I love being able to spend time with our daughters in the afternoons. I fetch them from school and spend all afternoon with them. I call bullshit on anyone who tells you that all you need to do is spend half an hour of ‘quality time’ with your kids every day. Just spend time. I have learned so much more about their amazing personalities, I know exactly what is going on in their worlds, what their friends are like and what is going on at school. Priceless!

 

4. I was spoiling our children

 

Gasp! I didn’t even realise it! Every time we went to the shops it was “Mommy, please can I have xxx?” Sure. Yes. No problem. I was distracted, rushing as always and besides, it didn’t cost a lot. Just let them buy it. Now I say “Sure, you can use your pocket money”. Interesting to see how they can actually live without the latest lip ice/chocolate/shiny object. Lately they have stopped asking for anything at all. Bingo!

 

5. Money does not define you

 

Initially I felt panic stricken when my personal bank balance tracked steadily downwards. I could hardly sleep at night. Who am I if I am not earning a fortune? Lots of meditating and soul searching revealed the truth. I am Tanya. I am not what I do or how much I earn. And I am enough.

 

Recently, I was offered a job again. I said no. I shocked everyone, even myself. How could I turn down the opportunity to easily earn lots of money again? Had I gone mad? Maybe. Or maybe not. I love the space to create, to write, to attend fascinating events and network online with people around the globe. I love all that I am learning and growing into. What started out feeling like a giant mistake turned into freedom.

 

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