It was an event fourteen years in the making. Yesterday it came to an end. I paid off the remaining balance on my student loan. My loan was never a huge amount. I used it for additional career training (between jobs). I could have paid it off years ago but the interest rate was so low, I didn’t bother. Last month, the balance fell under $1,000. That number eclipsed a mental block for me.
“Screw it. I want to get rid of this already.”
It’s a telling signal. My balance dropped by $35 from the previous month. That symbolic threshold transformed my perspective. No longer was it a benign payment due each month. It became a pesky annoyance I had to expunge. And so I logged in and paid off the remaining balance.
Everyone Has A Number
The only thing that changed from one month to the next was that symbolic threshold. What if my threshold had been higher, say $2,000 or $5,000?
We all have money thresholds. For some, it might be $99 to $100. You’ll spend under $100 all day long but will torture yourself for weeks on a purchase price of $110. These money hang-ups are hard to overcome. They benefit you in some ways. You avoid spending money on things outside your budget. But it causes problems for you in other ways.
Common Money Inhibitions
You resist opportunities to invest in yourself.
It makes you uncomfortable with asking others for money.
This becomes troublesome when you work in sales, marketing or entrepreneurial work. It comes in the form of self-talk.
“I wouldn’t spend $1,000 on this; how can I expect my customers to spend this much money?”
“$10,000 for a consulting fee? How could I expect anyone to pay me that much?”
These are samples of the destructive self-talk from unhealthy money beliefs. Fear not. I have an exercise to help you.
A former sales mentor of mine shared an exercise with me many years ago. The exercise has a single purpose; rewire your unhealthy money inhibitions. I didn’t know it at the time but this is a common problem for rookie salesmen who sell high priced products and services.
I did this exercise twice and it helped reset some of my inhibitions. It’s fun and also a bit scary. You’ll feel nervous in the beginning and nervous towards the end. When it’s over you’ll feel euphoric.
Rewire And Dine
- Go to a restaurant. Pick a place in the higher end of your price range.
- When you arrive, tell the host or hostess you don’t need menus.
- Tell the server you want whatever the chef recommends for each course. Important: Also tell the server that price does NOT matter.
- When the bill comes, do not look at it.
- Give your credit card to the server and instruct him to add a 30% tip.
- Sign the receipt. Take your copy and do not look at the total until later.
You will spend more money than you normally do. But you will get superb food and service. They will remember you the next time you return.
Most important — It resets your relationship with money.