Business

Having Fun With MONEY

Your Money

With Cherryl Hanson-Simpson

Thursday, May 15, 2014    

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When some people think of finance, they may conjure images of imposing business people dressed in expensive suits speaking a language that goes way over their heads. To be frank, some of the money information in the media really does sound like college course material that most of us would prefer to skip.

Apart from the formality of finance, many people have less-than-positive sentiments about their personal money situations. When they think about their financial issues, they may feel confused, intimidated, frustrated, and even fearful. Money, for many people, is definitely not fun.

Change your money mindset

Unfortunately, having a distant or apprehensive approach to financial matters can prevent you from getting the most from your money and from achieving your financial objectives. You need to be confident and optimistic about your finances in order to succeed with money.

If you recognise that your money outlook is not very encouraging, you should look to change the way you think about your financial issues. One way to accomplish this is to actually try to enjoy the process of dealing with money. Let's look at some ways in which you can have fun with money.

Play money games

Money is an integral part of our everyday lives, so there's no reason for finance to be staid and boring. You can lighten up about money as well as learn important financial principles by playing games that use money, or creating your own forms of financial entertainment.

Since Monopoly debuted in 1935, money games have developed over the years. Today, you can find online apps that help children and adults practise investing and business techniques, such as Rich Dad's CASHFLOW. You can also create your own stock market simulator to practise trading stocks.

Create savings contests

If a little competition gets you going, how about designing a contest to encourage yourself to save towards a specific objective or to buy something you desire? Give yourself a deadline and make a concerted effort to save all your loose change and cut back on spending in order to achieve your goal.

You can include your family and friends in this process and make your contest even more competitive. Get creative by setting monthly targets and amusing rules for your contest, and offer prizes or awards for the winners of your money competition.

Reward yourself

Even if you don't devise a contest to help you build your savings, you can still give yourself rewards when you achieve a financial objective or accomplish a major change in your money habits. For example, if you're always overspending, have a mini celebration whenever you stick to your budget.

Although you may be trying to be frugal with your bills, it's good to include some entertainment or pampering in your spending plan. Push yourself to earn extra money from a hobby or side job that can be used to buy yourself luxuries that your budget would not normally accommodate.

Track your progress

It's easy to feel guilty or blame yourself when you've made a financial mistake, which only increases your negative emotions about money. Decide to document your successes instead by keeping track of all the positive steps you make with money.

For example, design a progress chart on paper or the computer where you indicate the growth of your savings or investments. You could also make a list of all the must-read financial books you want to complete, or create a schedule for doing online research to learn more about investing techniques.

Celebrate debt reduction

One financial woe that causes major distress for many people is indebtedness. If you're overburdened with loans, then it's hard to think of money in a fun way. However, instead of avoiding your reality, you could create a journal or dramatic story to record your efforts in paying down your debt.

First, write a declaration about the date that you want to be debt-free. Then, document small victories such as consolidating your debt or finding a lump sum to repay a small loan. Include pictures of your loan statement with a zero balance. This will keep you motivated and upbeat about your progress.

Give thanks

Even when we have sufficient funds, sometimes we are conditioned to feel anxious and miserable when we have to pay our bills. Instead of getting stressed about the rising cost of living and complaining about money, say a word of gratitude if you can cover your expenses.

A thankful heart leads to a joyful spirit; and focusing on the other blessings that you have can help you to have a happier attitude about your finances. Despite your money situation, if you can smile at, or see the bright side to your problems, it may allow you to find the solutions to overcome your issues.

Cherryl is a money coach, business mentor and founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services. Her upcoming book, "The 3 Ms of Money" will reveal all the secrets she learned about financial success. Read more on money and business matters at financiallysmartadvice.com and entrepreneursinjamaica.com.

Email comments to cherryl@financiallysmartonline.com.

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